(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — The Council of Ministers on Thursday decided to include Jordanians over the age of 60 in the health insurance as ofJanuary 1.
The decision is part of the government's policy to expand the health insurance umbrella until reaching a comprehensive health insurance that covers all Jordanians, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
The government has earlier included Jordanians over the age of 80 in health insurance and later decided to lower the age to 70 years, before taking Thursday's decision. Children below six are all included under the free healthcare umbrella.
The decision, which will cost some JD25 million, is in line with the government's approach to improve services offered to citizens, including in the health sector.
Granting health insurance to citizens over the age of 60 has an important social factor and is part of supporting the medium- and low-income classes of the society, which His Majesty King Abdullah ordered to protect, Petra said, citing a Cabinet statement.
After examining the state budget, the Lower House Financial Committee on Tuesday recommended that all Jordanians in their sixties be covered by free health insurance.
Reading the report, the panel's rapporteur MP Riyadh Azzam noted that the cost of including the 60-to-69-year-old citizens in the health insurance would stand at around JD23 million which, he said, can be covered from the allocations for medical treatment.
According to official figures, 68 per cent of Jordanians and 55 per cent of the Kingdom's overall population, including children under six years old, are covered by various types of health insurance.
Around 312,000 children benefit from a Royal Decree that provides all children under the age of six with free healthcare services.
Excluding these children, the health insurance coverage rates drop to 63 per cent among Jordanians and to 52 per cent among the entire population.
Results of the latest census (2015) showed that the Kingdom's population stands at around 9.5 million, including 2.9 million guests, representing 30.6 per cent of the overall population.