Union, one of Slovakia’s two privately-owned public health insurance companies, has again declared its interest in remaining on the Slovak market despite the government’s stated intention of imposing a state-run monopoly. Union’s general director, Roman Podolák, assured the company’s policyholders that they need not fear, as the company would take care of its clients whatever happens.
At the same time, Podolák called on the government to concentrate on improving the health of the Slovak people instead of enforcing its plan to reserve the public health insurance market for the state-run insurer, Všeobecná Zdravotná Poisťovňa (VšZP). Union board member Boris Maslovec said that his company, which is owned by Dutch shareholders, will do all it can to defend the existing plural system in the Slovak health insurance market.
"This is a long path [to create a single insurer] and it isn't at all as easy as is presented," he said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. The Health Care Supervision Authority will now deal with a complaint submitted by Union in connection with what it claims are unfair competitive practices. The discussion on introducing a unitary health-insurance system must not be a reason for anybody to change their health insurer, it says, and if the government or VšZP proposes the opposite, this is suspicious.
The government has declared its intention to remove the two private insurers – Dôvera and Union – from the market, either by purchasing or nationalising them, by 2014.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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