Insurance Cover for Refugees in Iran

Insurance Cover for Refugees in IranInsurance Cover for Refugees in Iran

Iran has set an example, globally, by including all refugees into its ‘Salamat’ (health) Insurance Scheme that will provide all registered Afghan and Iraqi refugees with health insurance services similar to that of its own nationals.

 A tripartite agreement to this effect was signed between the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs (BAFIA) of the Ministry of Interior, the Iranian Health Insurance Organization (IHIO Salamat) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It will soon be implemented.

All registered refugees residing in Iran will now have access to the Salamat scheme and benefit from a health insurance package for hospitalization on par with the scheme available to Iranians.

Furthermore, refugees suffering from special diseases (hemophilia, thalassemia, dialysis, kidney transplant and Multiple Sclerosis) will benefit from the basic insurance package that includes all hospitalization, temporary hospitalization and para-clinical services, reported.

Beneficiaries of this scheme will have a contribution to the funding; however the Iranian government “is generously covering half of the real monthly costs of the insurance premium. This is further complemented by a UNHCR contribution of $8.3 million for a six-month period.”

Refugees often face financial challenges in healthcare, in particular when surgery or hospitalization is involved. Inclusion of refugees in this scheme ensures that such challenges could be overcome to a considerable extent.

Sivanka Dhanapala, UNHCR representative in Iran, expressed the refugee agency’s gratitude towards the government for the services it has rendered to the largest protracted urban refugee population in the world for over three decades, and inclusion of the refugees “in this national insurance scheme which is exemplary not only regionally but also globally.”  

Such services haven’t been provided before and “I sincerely hope other countries will follow Iran’s example,” he added.