THE EUROPEAN Commission has rejected a motion by the private health insurer Dôvera which asked it to examine alleged state assistance to state-run health insurers into which previous governments poured €153.4 million in total, the Trend weekly wrote on its website on December 8. According to Andrej Králik of the Representation of the European Commission (EC) in Slovakia, provision of the assistance was not at odds with the European Union rules regarding state aid.
“State-owned health insurance companies are not companies because they do not carry out any business activity in the sense of the rules of the European Union,” Králik told Trend, referring to Spoločná Zdravotná Poisťovňa and Všeobecná Zdravotná Poisťovňa which later united (VšZP).
“Thus their operation is beyond the competence of the supervision of the state aid from the side of the EU.”
Dôvera, the health insurer belonging to the Penta group, sent the motion to Brussels back in 2007. The state assistance in question included increases of registered capital, settlements of debts, as well as provision of a subsidy.
The EC studied the circumstances under which this has been happening for seven years. It began a formal investigation in July 2013.
A supervision of state aid from the side of the EU is conducted only when receivers of the state aid are companies carrying out business activity. But according to EC, this is not the case of state insurers.
According to Králik, the commission when making its decision also took into consideration the limitation imposed on health insurers to generate profit, as well as the limited stage of their competition and that Slovakia’s system of health insurance is based especially on the basis of solidarity.
15. Dec 2014 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff