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FinMin washes its hands of the bill on health insurance companies

Slovakia's Finance Ministry does not want to bear responsibility for possible consequences of the revised bill on health insurance companies, which the Cabinet approved on October 1 and which would enact that budgets of private health insurance companies be approved by the Cabinet.

Slovakia's Finance Ministry does not want to bear responsibility for possible consequences of the revised bill on health insurance companies, which the Cabinet approved on October 1 and which would enact that budgets of private health insurance companies be approved by the Cabinet.

Although the ministry warned of a danger of international arbitration during the bill's interdepartmental review, it is now stepping back and leaving the final decision up to the Health Ministry.

"Given that this draft bill is fully in the powers of the Health Ministry, the appraisal of the correctness of this draft bill is also under the authority of the Health Ministry," Finance Ministry spokesman Miroslav Šmál told the SITA newswire.

In interdepartmental review, the Finance Ministry pointed out that if the government did not approve the budget of private health insurance companies, their foreign shareholders might perceive this step as inappropriate interference in their rights and warned of the possibility of international arbitration calls.

Analysts and some health insurance companies also object to the bill. According to Health Policy Institute (HPI) think-tank, its objective is not control of public sources, but decision-making over their use. Private health insurance company Dôvera does not see a reason for such a change, and the health insurer Union Zdravotná Poisťovňa pointed out that the government could find itself in a conflict of interest as ministries execute shareholder rights in two health insurance companies. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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