An Overview of Health Insurance in Iraq
The health insurance act No 22 of 2020 was issued in 1/2/2021. This act will establish a health insurance commission to regulate and control the health insurance fund. This commission is directly linked with the ministry of health. However, the council of ministers may disengage the commission from the ministry of health after five years of its establishment.
- It allows both domestic and foreign registered insurance companies to provide their services
- This Act shall be implemented six months after its publication in the Official Gazette.
- All foreign arrivals and visitors should receive health insurance through Insurance companies that are eligible for health services no matter how long Visit
- All foreigners residing in Iraq shall receive health insurance through Insurance companies that are eligible for health services and registered in the Ministry of Health and contracted with the commission.
- Government Debt Collection Act No 56 of 1977 will apply to obtaining the debt of the commission.
- The movable and immovable property of the commission is exempt from taxation.
- Six months after this act entered into force, the commission must be constituted, shortly after that, the registration of the citizen begin.
- This act is optional for Iraqi citizen but it mandatory for foreign citizen.
- Most importantly, encourage to invest in healthcare field.
FINANCING THE COMMISSION
The commission is funded from multiple sources such as:
- Allocation from the government budget.
- Business owner contributions that are regulated by council of ministries.
- Donations, and voluntary given from inside and outside the country as regulated by the law.
- The income from the investment of the health insurance fund.
- Subscription allowances and monthly instalments for subscribers.
- 35% of taxes on trade in tobacco.
- Fines for non-compliance.
- The subscription allowances for general manager and higher will be 100000 IQD, for first-, second- and third-class government employees will be 50000 IQD, fourth, fifth and sixth class will be 25000 IQD. Lower class will be 10000 IQD.
- Monthly installment for employees is: general manager and higher will be 2.5% from the total monthly salary, the employees below general manager will be 1% of the total monthly salary.
- Medicine price: general manager and above will pay only 50% of the total value, the rest of employees will pay only 25% of the total value.
- 10 per cent of the cost of surgeries in public hospitals.
- 25 per cent of the cost of surgeries in private hospitals.
- Plastic surgery is not covered under this act except cases arising from burns, and accidents
- Business owners will pay 1% of employees income to fund the health insurance fund.
- Patients with Cancer disease, Mental disease, genetic blood diseases, Kidney failure, Physical disability, Armed forces’ disabled.
- Males who reached 60-year-old.
- Females who reached 55-year-old.
- Children below 5-year-old.
- In case of delay, Business owner will incur a fine of 2% for each employee.
- The hospital will incur a fine of 5000000 IQD as remedy for breaching the contract.
- The hospital or the physician will incur a fine of 1000000 IQD for any attempt to prevent the commission supervisor from doing their duties.
- The fine is doubled in case of repeat violations.
- The commission have the right to terminate the contract with the health institution for any breach of the contract after an internal administrative investigation.
There is no doubt that the subject of health insurance is one of the most important matter which it was established in the constitution of Iraq in order to provide a free and dignified life for the Iraqi citizen. Article 30 of the constitution states: The State shall guarantee to the individual and the family – especially children and women – social and health security, the basic requirements for living a free and decent life, and shall secure for them suitable income and appropriate housing.
This is a step forward in privatizing the Iraqi healthcare industry that is currently dominated by the public healthcare sector. The law supposed to apply last August, as decided by the Ministry, but the failure to approve the 2022 state budget has so far prevented the provision of financial allocations to the plan, which may push for the postponement of the application.