The recent 19-article Cooperative Health Insurance Act calls for the formation of a health insurance council under the chairmanship of the Minister of Health. This council will supervise the application of the new system, which is designed for expatriates residing in the Kingdom but may later be applied to Saudi nationals if this is feasible. Currently, the Act stipulates that sponsors of expatriates enroll them in the system. The council will determine the rights and duties of the sponsor, the beneficiary, the insurance companies and the health providers (clinics, dispensaries, and hospitals), and the appropriations for the cooperative insurance organization that administers the system on behalf of the State.
Cooperative health insurance covers diagnosis and treatment, dispensing of medicine, and preventive measures such as vaccination, as well as childhood and maternity care, laboratory testing and X-rays, and all hospital services, both outpatient and inpatient, and including operations and deliveries. It also covers the treatment of diseases of the teeth and gums, but does not cover orthodontics or dentures.