Finance Ministry selects Allied to provide universal health insurance

The Finance Ministry has announced that the government will partner with Allied Insurance to provide all Maldivians with universal health insurance.

The Ministry said that three companies expressed interest in the public-private partnership, but only Allied completed the letter of expression.

“Sri Lanka Insurance and Amana Takaful didn’t complete the letter of expression. So we decided to award it to Allied,” Director General of the Ministry, Saami Ageel, was reported as saying.

Under the proposal, which the government intends to implement in January next year, Allied will own a 60 percent share in the scheme while the government with own the remaining 40 percent. The actual insurance premium will be paid by the government, while claims, billing and public awareness will be handled by the private partner.

The service will cover emergency treatment, including overseas if the treatment is not available locally, inpatient and outpatient services, domestic emergency evacuation, medicine under prescription, and diagnostic and therapeutic services.

Allied Insurance in July claimed to have launched the country’s first international health coverage policy allowing individuals, families and businesses to access hospital services anywhere in the world.

Provision of the services were said to have been made available through a collaboration with London-based international banking organisation Lloyd’s and the US-based Global Assurance Group.

While regional health policies for destinations like Singapore and Sri Lanka have been available for some time in the country, Allied claimed that its premium package now allowed for coverage everywhere in the world including the US and Canada.

Allied said at the time that although it has worked to provide coverage suitable for all types of income, the international coverage have been devised for higher income earners in the country.

Meanwhile, MPs this week proposed almost a hundred amendments to the National Health Insurance Bill, including a call for it to be made compulsory for locals and expatriates alike.

The bill currently requires workers to contribute 3.5 percent of their salaries to the scheme, however an amendment proposed by MP Yusuf Abdul Gafoor would require the government to pay insurance costs for everyone in the country, out of revenue derived from taxing tobacco products.

Haveeru reported that Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed had proposed a 1.5 percent employee contribution, with three percent paid by the employer. Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Rozaina Adam proposed that workers pay only 0.5 percent.