Coalition Presents Alternative for Abolition of Top-up Health Insurance

By , 01 Oct 2019, 10:38 AM Politics
Coalition Presents Alternative for Abolition of Top-up Health Insurance Flickr - agilemktg1, CC-by-0

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STA, 30 September 2019 - The coalition has agreed on a proposal from the health and finance ministries that the abolition of top-up health insurance be made in two steps, with the first being to transfer the collection of all contributions to the jurisdiction of the public health insurance fund ZZZS.

The second step would be making a so-called solidarity scale for the collection of health insurance contributions, Health Minister Aleš Šabeder told the press on Monday on the sidelines of the government session.

He explained that this was an alternative idea prepared by the two ministries after the opposition Left had filed into parliamentary procedure a proposal of its own last week, which the coalition has rejected.

In the first phase, the collection of what are currently contributions for top-up health insurance, paid to insurance companies, would be transferred to the jurisdiction of the ZZZS, making them mandatory contributions.

For starts, the contribution would be the same for all, while in the second step a progressive scale, which the minister called a "solidarity scale", for the collection of the contribution would be created.

According to Šabeder, the transfer of the payment of the contribution to the public health insurer would not change the current total amount of contributions paid.

The health purse would actually have more funds available, as a part of the collected contributions for top-up health insurance is currently being spent for costs of the insurance companies collecting them, he added.

The minister said that the proposal had not been discussed yet with the Left, the minority coalition's partner in the opposition, with a meeting expected to take place in the coming days.

The proposal comes after the Left last week tabled a motion that would in effect abolish top-up health insurance and replace it with a progressive levy, having failed to find common ground with the coalition despite weeks of talks.

Šabeder said that after the coalition had agreed to the proposal today, all details would now be sorted out, adding that the motion would be filed only after the parliamentary procedure for the Left's proposal started.

It would go through the usual procedure, with the government formally proposing it before it goes into public debate and debate at the Economic and Social Council. He expects heated debate and a negative campaign from the insurance companies.

Left head Luka Mesec said that the party had not seen the proposal yet, and invited the minister to present it to the Left.

"We are, of course, ready to talk about additional solutions and we kindly invite them to have a talk and try to include that in the proposal which has been 90% complete and which can be passed in the next two months, i.e. the proposal from the Left."

What is important for the party is that the final outcome is not an "MP and a pensioner with a monthly pension of EUR 400 still paying the same amount for insurance", as one can conclude from the minister's proposal, Mesec added.

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