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Slovak Health Ministry approves merger of state health insurers

A Health Ministry plan to de facto terminate the state-run SZS insurance company by merging it into another state insurer, VšZP, between January 2010 and April 2011 was given the go-ahead by the government on July 15, the TASR newswire reported.

A Health Ministry plan to de facto terminate the state-run SZS insurance company by merging it into another state insurer, VšZP, between January 2010 and April 2011 was given the go-ahead by the government on July 15, the TASR newswire reported.

In January this year a similar proposal was nixed because of the Finance Ministry's objections regarding various technical difficulties. The plan is intended to overcome impacts from the global economic crisis by cutting overlapping services, costs and contractual obligations, the TASR wrote.

To prevent potential financial difficulties during the process, the Health Ministry proposes either providing VšZP with a loan or raising its basic capital. Minister Richard Raši does not fear the flight of insured persons to Slovakia’s three private health insurers (Union, Dovera and Apollo) as he also sees those companies possibly merging.

According to Eduard Kovéč, head of the Association of Health Insurers, the mergers of private insurers, for the time being, are speculative – though it may be possible in the future. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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