Long-Term Care Bill Includes New Mandatory Insurance Contribution

By , 21 Aug 2020, 15:22 PM Politics
Long-Term Care Bill Includes New Mandatory Insurance Contribution pixabay.com unclelkt CC-by-0

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STA, 21 August 2020 - The government has unveiled the long-awaited bill on long-term care, which envisages a full coverage of related rights from mandatory insurance for long-term care. The contribution rate has been proposed at 1.47%, while the contribution for mandatory health insurance would be somewhat reduced.

According to the ministries in charge of health and social affairs, the bill on long-term care and long-term care insurance allows for the systems of social protection, healthcare and long-term care to be connected.

With the purpose of comprehensive care of an individual, it connects all systems between which the users will transition, depending on their needs, and an individual would be able to use services at home or in an institution, ministry representatives told the press on Friday.

In order to cover the rights defined in the bill, EUR 305.22 million would be transferred from the existing funds, and an additional EUR 335.85 million needs to be collected so that persons with comparable needs get access to comparable rights, which would be fully financed from public resources.

The bill thus enables users to get services they need regardless of their social or economic status, or without putting an additional burden on their families or local communities.

The contribution rate for mandatory insurance for long-term care would stand at 1.47%, while the rate for mandatory health insurance would be reduced by 0.4 of a percentage point, said Klavdija Kobal Straus, the acting head of the long-term care directorate at the Health Ministry.

An individual on the minimum wage would contribute EUR 11 a month to the long-term care fund, and their employers would contribute the same share. An individual on the average wage would contribute EUR 21 a month, while EUR 7 a month would be earmarked by the ZPIZ pension and disability fund for each pensioner.

With additional, voluntary long-term care insurance, individuals would be eligible for services which are not part of the basic package of long-term care rights, for example, accommodation services.

The goal is to provide services where people want and need them, said Kobal Straus, adding that the ministries were building on the existing solutions and filling the gaps in the system.

Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Minister Janez Cigler Kralj said that the key goal of the new system was that people stayed at home as longer as possible.

If they need to go to an institution, they need to be provided with decent conditions, he said, adding that three types of nursing homes had been envisaged, relative to the needs of the elderly.

Cigler Kralj noted that a majority of nursing homes would remain under the auspices of his ministry, which would preserve the social aspect of residing in elderly homes.

The minister added that the idea was to merge all related services into a comprehensive system which would make it possible for services to be accessible and affordable to the elderly, while also being financially feasible.

According to Kobal Straus, the evaluation of whether an individual is eligible for long-term care rights would be made at the person's home by expert staff.

If a person is eligible, they would be put into one of the five categories, based on which they would be able to access different packages of services.

Health Minister Tomaž Gantar added that the bill answered a lot of questions about the burning issues related to the elderly.

Gantar allows for the possibility of a transitional period, and also believes that a significant amount of funds for the cause could be drawn from the EU funds in coming years.

The bill is now entering public consultation, which is planned to take 45 days, but may be extended depending on the number of comments and suggestions.

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