Based on the decision issued by the Board of Directors of the Public Authority of Manpower (PAM) last week, the authority has reportedly begun accepting applications for renewing work permits of non-graduate expatriates aged 60 and over, for a stipulated fee of KD250 per annum.

However, the renewal of work permits could not proceed as planned since there was no clarity on the fees to be charged for health insurance coverage. The decision by the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) on Wednesday to fix the insurance coverage for this category of workers at KD500 per year purchased from one of the companies on the list approved by IRU.

However, the decision by the IRU forbids companies from buying collective insurance for their employees who fall in this category, which means an individual document will be issued for each person insured and the validity will be commensurate with the duration of the work permit.

The mode of payment of the fee of KD500 plus KD3 for miscellaneous charges is to be made through electronic payments, bank transfers, or checks, thus ruling out any payment in cash. Each person who is insured will be issued a card similar to ‘Afiya’ which will contain all data of the individual, policy data, and the name of the company issuing the policy.

During its meeting on Wednesday, the IRU also canceled its earlier decision according to which only companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange could issue the insurance policy to this category of workers. The service can now be provided by all Kuwaiti shareholding insurance companies that meet all the conditions stipulated by the IRU, including being licensed by IRU and having the ability to manage health claims or to be contracted with one of the insurance claims management companies.

The list of companies approved by IRU, which was published on Thursday, now allows companies to file online applications for renewing the work permits of their employees who fall in the ‘Sixties’ category by visiting the official website for PAM and filling out the required form and requested attachments. The request is then automatically transferred to the relevant labor departments for review and audit. After the application is accepted, company representatives can pay the prescribed fees in accordance with Resolution No. ‘34’, after which the application is automatically approved.

It needs to be mentioned that the online application process could take some time to be fully implemented as the worker’s file and the companies’ systems are yet to be linked with PAM. Nevertheless, it is hoped that all obstacles hindering the renewal of work permits for the long-suffering ‘Sixties’ have now been cleared.

Companies approved for issuing health insurance policies

Insurance Regulatory Unit (IRU) has issued a statement approving the following 11 companies to issue the health insurance policy for non-graduate expatriates 60 years and over. The companies are: Kuwait Insurance, Gulf Insurance, Al Ahlia Insurance, Warba Insurance, Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance, International Takaful Insurance, Elaf Takaful Insurance, Boubyan Takaful Insurance, Baytak Takaful Insurance, Arab Islamic Takaful Insurance and Enaya Insurance Company.

The above companies have met the following conditions stipulated by IRU in order to qualify for providing insurance policies:

  • Must be a Kuwait shareholding company licensed by the IRU to engage in insurance business related to the subject matter of the insurance policy.
  • Have the capability to manage health claims through its own networks and submit proof of this to the IRU, or have a contract with one of the health insurance claims management companies.
  • All final judicial verdicts issued against the company must have been fully settled, unless the verdicts were judicially suspended.
  • Must be committed to paying all the financial obligations of the Health Claims Management Company and the network of health service providers.
  • Any other conditions determined by the IRU.

The statement added that the regulatory unit has the right to cancel the listing of the company from the approved list if it is proven that any of the previous conditions are not met.

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