JD180 million health insurance cost — SSC

SSC Estidama
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The financial cost paid by the Social Security Corporation (SSC) for the health insurance program in its first year is JD180 million, said SSC’s Director General Hazem Al-Rahahleh. اضافة اعلان

Rahahleh said that while about 2 million Jordanians lack any insurance benefits, JD750 million is spent annually by Jordanians directly on private healthcare plans.

Nevertheless, health insurance is listed under the insurance clauses in the Social Security Law since 1978, but it remained ink on paper until a year ago.

Rahahleh explained that any project has certain challenges and complications, especially with regard to health insurance. “We must move towards” ensuring as many Jordanians as possible, he said.

He pointed out that medical care is integrated, and should include treatment inside and outside hospitals. “This is the ideal course, but the most important thing in health insurance is also the treatment outside hospitals, and the medication.”

Treatment outside hospitals and medication is a problem to many because it is expensive. “But these risks were avoided in the first stage”, he said, referring to SSC’s nascent health insurance program. He did not elaborate.

Insurance and social protection expert Mousa Al-Subaihi said that Rahahleh’s statements “are not convincing”.

“He gave insufficient details on the health benefits provided to beneficiaries, excluded diseases and the percentage of the beneficiary’s bearing of the cost of medicine and treatment,” he told Jordan News.

He said the Rahahleh stated that there was a “specialized medical committee that will supervise all these details, and this means that the details of the health insurance are unknown to the director general, or to the corporation”.

“This reflects a technical defect,” he pointed out.

“It is known that pricing health insurance is only calculated after determining the details of the insurance, and this raises an important question about how to calculate the cost of insurance and determine the subscription of those covered by deducting 5 percent from their wages and salaries,” Subaihi said.

He pointed out that “Rahahleh also said that establishments with employees already subscribed in a health insurance plan will not be allowed to enroll in SSC’s insurance”.

“He did not pay attention to paragraph (C) that was added to Article 3, which is pertinent to health insurance,” he maintained.

He explained that the designated paragraph “stipulates that establishments that provide their workers, or their retirees, with private health insurance are allowed to participate in this insurance”.

In return, he added, the establishments must meet their “obligation to pay a total of five percent of the workers’ wage, whereby the establishment bears three percent of the total, and the remainder, or 2 percent, gets deducted from workers’ wage”.

SSC spokesperson Shaman Al-Majali said that the “projected cost for the first year of health insurance was based on several studies conducted by the corporation, and other entities”.

He said that the cost “is considered normal, and could be covered by contributions deducted from the wages of the insured, and those covered by social security, in addition to pensions and salaries”.

“Our aim, through the program, is to cover those who do not have health insurance,” he said. “Workers who already have health insurance are not our goal.”

According to Majali, “SSC will include pensioners who were employed in the private sector, who went out with no civil or military insurance, as well as employees who are not insured by their facility with health insurance”.

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