MUSCAT: Abdullah Salim al-Salmi, Executive President of the Capital Market Authority (CMA), affirmed that the amendments on the Insurance Companies Law and the Takaful Insurance Law promulgated under the recent Royal Decrees are related to the regulation of health insurance.
The focus of the amendments is on enhancing the regulatory readiness of the health insurance system in the Sultanate in response to its increasing significance and the rapid growth in the volume of the health insurance market during the past period, explained al-Salmi.
In a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA), al-Salmi said that the average annual growth of this vital sector during the past eight years was 19%, leading all other insurance sectors by seizing 34% of the gross insurance premiums in the year 2020 worth RO 466 million.
Al-Salmi added that such indicators and the future importance of the health insurance sector and its distinctiveness from other branches of insurances requires enhancement of the efficiency of insurance companies providing this activity. Those companies also need to be regulated to ensure that their financial abilities and human resources are capable of providing the required financing for their customers’ health care and adequate protection for health insurance policyholders, added al-Salmi.
In addition, he added that the new amendments separate health insurance from other insurance activities, making it independent after previously being considered as part of the general insurance business.
Al-Salmi further stated that the amendments in the Royal Decrees are a breakthrough in the regulation of the Omani insurance market as they take the industry to a new phase of regulation, and a higher level of quality in its provided services. He added: “Such independence for the sector takes into consideration the uniqueness of the health insurance activity and the nature of the insurance service as it is about the health care and the lives of individuals. This requires the provision of legislative and technological systems that commensurate with such distinctiveness and at the same time cope with the international developments and standards of regulation, ensuring the soundness and quality of the services provided to health insurance policyholders”.
Al-Salmi pointed out that the amendments respond to the requirements of the current development phase of Oman Vision 2040 under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik. This comes through the economic expansion of vital activities of which health insurance is one that many rely on to create investment opportunities in the insurance sector and in related services which would attract local and international investments in the private health sector, said al-Salmi. As a result, the health insurance sector will contribute to economic growth and in providing quality insurance and health services in the Sultanate’s various governorates, as well as creating job opportunities for the youth in both the public and private sectors.
Al-Salmi explained that the amendments to the Insurance Companies Law and Takaful Insurance Law were done with the participation of relevant entities in the public and private sectors to benefit from their views in order to build an integrated health insurance system to achieve the intended developmental goals.