State to limit free choice of health insurer

BASED on a new law being prepared by the Health Ministry, state employees will be obliged to purchase health insurance from one of the two state health insurers. The law would effect about 30,000 people employed in ministries and in state institutions.

Currently there are two state health insurers functioning on the market: Všeobecná Zdravotná Poisťovňa and Spoločná Zdravotná Poisťovňa. Soldiers, police, firefighters and customs officers already must be insured in Spoločná Zdravotná Poisťovňa. The main argument is that they need special health care and stricter protection of personal data, the daily Sme wrote.

According to Peter Pažitný from Health Policy Institute, the ministry's idea dates back to before 1989 (back to the Communist era) and limits the right of a citizen to choose freely. Pažitný said the intention could be a measure for stabilising the number of policyholders for state insurers. State health insurers lost about 10 percent of their market share this year.

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