IN SLOVAKIA, citizens can change their public health insurer once a year, with any change becoming effective as of the beginning of the following year. The deadline for switching health insurers is September 30. The Health-Care Supervisory Authority (ÚDZS) has registered 187,341 applications to switch insurers as of January 2013, the SITA newswire reported. Compared with 162,399 applications last year, of which the office accepted 157,331, this represented an increase of almost 25,000.
After the ÚDZS checks the applications, it will announce how many people are switching, and between which insurers, ÚDZS spokesperson Radoslava Muchová told SITA.
“A reason for not accepting the application might be, for example, premature submission of the application form, discordance with the central register of insurees, incorrect birth identification number, a mistake in the name or surname, and so on,” said Muchová.
Slovaks can choose from three insurance companies: Všeobecná Zdravotná Poisťovňa, which is by far the largest and is state-controlled, and two privately-owned insurers, Dôvera and Union. Recent moves by the Fico government to establish a single, state-owned public health insurer may also have affected people’s decision to switch.