The public health insurance company VsZP, which is the largest health insurer in Slovakia, ended 1998 with a deficit of 2.096 billion Slovak crowns ($50 million), up 256 million crowns compared with the previous year. VsZP director Alojz Majstrik provided this information to a press conference on April 16.
The insurance company had unpaid bills of 4.53 billion crowns at the end of the year, of which 3.34 billion crowns were outstanding debts it owed to health care providers like hospitals and pharmacies.
VsZP's outstanding claims totaled 8.561 billion crowns, of which 7.49 billion crowns were overdue insurance premiums and penalties, mostly from employers who had failed to pay obligatory premiums on their employees.
At the end of the first quarter of 1999, VsZP reported 3,418,199 insured persons, an increase of 119,000 in the first three months of this year. Last year the company reported an inflow of 543,000 clients, meaning that VsZP insured 61% of Slovak citizens at the end of 1998.
The firm's success rate in collecting premiums in the first quarter was only 90%, as the shortfall in collected premiums hit almost 600 million crowns.