The government of the Kingdom of Bahrain has enacted a new health insurance law (Bahrain Law No. 23 of 2018) establishing a compulsory health insurance program known as Sehati (My Health). The law, which entered into force 7 June 2018, makes health insurance coverage compulsory for all citizens, residents and visitors beginning 1 January 2019.
The law requires employers to enroll their employees and pay the health insurance subscription fees for their non-Bahraini workers to cover the benefits listed under the compulsory health package for residents. Employers must also pay for worker dependents if this is part of the employment agreement; otherwise, the employee would be responsible for paying for the coverage of his or her dependents. Employers are prohibited from obtaining compensation in any form from the worker in exchange for enrolling him or her in health insurance. Proof of insurance will be required for the renewal of employment and residency permits. Health insurance subscription costs for Bahraini citizens will be paid by the government. Implementing regulations and a list of approved health insurance providers are expected to be released soon. (See Global Update.)