Asylum Seekers To Get Health Coverage - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Asylum Seekers To Get Health Coverage

Published September 19, 2014

Photos by
Matyas Prokop

A new bill from the Minister of Health would provide health insurance coverage to Iceland’s asylum seekers.

Currently, only those asylum seekers who were expressly invited to Iceland by the government have had immediate health coverage. RÚV reports that this may soon change.

This Tuesday, Minister of Health Kristján Þór Júlíusson will submit a bill to parliament that, if passed into law, would provide health insurance to all asylum seekers, whether they were invited or arrived of their own accord. This coverage would go into effect immediately upon an asylum seeker being registered as such. Under the present system, asylum seekers who come to Iceland on their own have to wait at least six months before they can be covered by health insurance.

The news follows another change in government policy regarding asylum seekers, from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Housing. Last June, the Ministry established guidelines for municipalities on how they can better help asylum seekers integrate into Icelandic society.

A final vote on the matter is expected next week.

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