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Private health insurers worried about nationalization

THE ASSOCIATION of Health Insurance Companies (ZZP) fears the nationalization that could result from the draft bill on public health insurance companies.

ZZP president Igor Dorčák said at a press conference on February 6 that the bill revises the current law on health insurance companies, and declares that "a health insurance company is a joint-stock company established for a purpose other than to do business."

ZZP lawyers are now analyzing this sentence because the health insurance companies do not know how to adjust their activities to comply with the revision.

Dorčák says the regulation could be unconstitutional. "With this provision,
the ministry is introducing retroactivity and wants to nationalize private health insurance companies," Dorčák said for the SITA news wire.

The Health Ministry says the association's concerns as misplaced. It argues that health insurers do not own but only administer the health insurance dues of contributors, and also control the availability of health care services.

The Fico government has announced its intention of banning health insurers from making a profit.

"The real mission of non-profit public health insurers is not to generate a profit but to serve to their clients. This is why public resources cannot be used to create a profit for shareholders," the ministry said in a statement.

The Health Ministry submitted the draft revision for review last week. The bill also seeks to transform the state-owned Všeobecná and Spoločná health insurance from joint stock companies into public institutions.

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