The Capital Market Authority (CMA) has announced initiatives to expand the scope of coverage to include medical tests and treatment costs related to the coronavirus for both nationals and expatriates under their existing policy, making exceptions for COVID-19 pandemic from the typical list of exclusions from health insurance coverage as per global practices and norms, according to a circular issued on 1 June.
A circular addressed to insurers includes the directives related to coverage of the costs and treatment of insured members infected with COVID-19 up to their available annual benefit limits in their respective policies when they receive treatment for COVID-19 in any public or private hospital. The insurers will apply the unified standard price schedule and national guidelines set by the Ministry of Health.
All insured members currently receiving treatment for coronavirus and those members who develop symptoms will be covered in public and private hospitals, and will be effective from the date of issuance of the circular, said the CMA.
These initiatives are launched in coordination between the CMA and the supreme committee dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak and the Oman Insurance Association. The authority will coordinate with the relevant entities to closely monitor the progress of these initiatives, as well as follow up on the developments in context of the pandemic and review the results of the circular every three months.
The CMA said the role played by insurance companies to support the community through absorbing the risks and expanding their coverage for COVID-19 is paramount in ensuring a sustainable ecosystem as the economy opens up.
According to the audited financial data of the insurance sector in Oman last year, health insurance is the biggest line of business with OMR170m ($442.1m) and total claims paid related to health insurance amounted to OMR142m.