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Governing parties to back law on health insurers

The governing-coalition parties will back a bill amending the Health Insurance Companies Act at its first parliamentary reading, Prime Minister and Smer-SD chairman Robert Fico said following a meeting of the Coalition Council earlier on September 10.

Smer, the SNS and the LS-HZDS have agreed on three provisions of the amendment: premiums collected by insurers are to be treated as public funds; profits in the companies' balance sheets should be invested back into the insurance system; and overhead costs from the companies’ profits should be lowered from 4 percent to 3 percent. Other provisions may still be specified during the second reading.

The three parties also agreed that the parliamentary debate on the related law on social insurance will be moved back to the end of the next parliamentary session in order to allow time for negotiations between Government experts and representatives of the country's private pension-funds management companies.

The coalition partners will also back the SNS's proposals for a special law to recognise the achievements of Andrej Hlinka (1864-1938), a priest and leading advocate of Slovak autonomy who co-founded the Slovak People's Party (SLS) between the two world wars and served as an MP in the Czechoslovak parliament. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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