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IN SHORT

Health insurers threaten lawsuit against Slovakia

PRIVATELY-OWNED health insurance companies in Slovakia are prepared to sue the Slovak Republic over the matter of investment protection.

Health Insurance Companies Association (ZZP) President Igor Dorčák told the press on June 10 that if the government forces private health insurers out of the public health insurance system, their damages would amount to approximately Sk30 billion (€900.35 million).

Dorčák said this in response to the cabinet's Legislative Council, which advanced on July 10 the draft amendment to the Act on Health Insurance Companies for further proceedings. Among the draft's proposals are lowering the cap on funds that health insurers can use for their own administration, and ordering insurers to spend all of their profits on health care settlements.

During the draft's inter-departmental review, a number of state institutions said the proposed amendment could contradict the Slovak constitution and international agreements.

All four privately-owned health insurance companies in Slovakia currently have foreign shareholders. The ZZP said if the law prevents insurers from making a profit and restricts other forms of competition, the insurers would have no reason to remain in Slovakia.

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