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Fico wants to ban insurers from making profit

PRIME Minister Robert Fico said during a meeting with President Ivan Gašparovič on January 19 that health care insurance companies should not be allowed to make a profit, and that he would like to see all the money raised from health insurance go back into the health care system.

However, if parliament approves such a change to the law on health insurance, private insurers are likely to file suits against the state, the Sme daily reported on January 20.

In Fico's opinion, 4 percent of collected insurance payments would suffice to cover health insurers’ operating costs, while the rest could be re-invested into the system.

"We reject the fact that somebody collects health insurance from people, and takes part of it as profit," said Fico, a former communist.

The PM also wants to require policyholders whose insurance payments are being covered by the state – such as women on maternity leave, children and state employees - to do business with state insurance houses.

There are six health insurance companies on the Slovak market, including two state insurers - Spoločná zdravotná poisťovňa, and Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa. Fico’s policy would require over 3 million people out of the overall Slovak population of 5.3 million to register with the state health insurers.

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