Expansion of public health insurance will become more inclusive for Jordanians

5. Hashem Health Insurance (Pxhere)
A Cabinet decision to amend the Civil Health Insurance Bylaw was announced this week by Minister of Health Feras Al-Hawari. (Photo: Pxhere)
AMMAN — A Cabinet decision to amend the Civil Health Insurance Bylaw was announced this week by Minister of Health Feras Al-Hawari, will allow the inclusion of new beneficiaries to the public health insurance system; a decision that came after weeks of deliberation and dialogue between the Ministry of Health and the Parliamentary Health Committee, and the outcome of long consultations between ministry officials and Jordanian physicians. اضافة اعلان

The amendments will allow an unmarried son or daughter — over the age of 18 — of any subscriber, to enroll in the civil health insurance program.  Unemployed children of subscribers, who are 25 years old, will pay JD5 a month in order to receive full coverage, while those who are employed will be required to pay JD10 monthly in order for their civil insurance to remain valid.

Additionally, the amendments will now enable those who are subscribed to include their sisters who are either divorced or widowed and do not have any male children over the age of 25, as long as these sisters are not pension recipients, and also as long as they are unemployed.

Unemployed sisters of subscribers are not the only beneficiaries however. Sisters who have no children, but happen to be either retired or employed, can also benefit under the subscriber’s plan, on the condition that they are spouseless. The amended bylaw will be published in the Official Gazette, coming into effect 60 days after they have been published.

A study published in November 2020 by the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, funded by UNICEF, concluded that “the cost of expanding healthcare coverage for vulnerable Jordanians was $223.20 per newly-covered person per-year.” They also reported that the “annual per capita out-of-pocket payment by an uninsured Jordanian for an ambulatory visit was $11.33, compared to $2.92 for those covered by the civil insurance program,” indicating a clear advantage for insured patients.

Director of the Health Insurance Department at the Ministry of Health, Nael Adwan, told Jordan News that these changes have been introduced as a means of “making the Jordanian healthcare system more inclusive towards certain segments of society that have been excluded over the years. The final decision was carried out by the Council of Ministers, and it has been approved by a Royal Decree.” These amendments are undeniably a “positive measure”, he said.

Adwan asserted that it was too early to determine the financial cost of these new amendments. He also added that under these amendments, certain subscribers can use their insurance plans to receive medical care at a private sector facility, depending on the specific category of their insurance subscription.

MP Hayel Ayyash, a medical doctor and a former member of the Parliamentary Health Committee, told Jordan News that while these new amendments do not specifically address those who are 60 years of age or older, this age group will undoubtedly continue to be supported by the Jordanian government.  “The healthcare of Jordanians is an essential goal, regardless of monetary costs,” he said.

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