People want health insurance debtors penalised

THE MAJORITY of Slovaks agree with providing non-payers of health deductions with only a limited form of health care, according to a survey carried out by Focus agency on a sample of 1,010 respondents, the TASR newswire reported February 26.

(Source: Sme)

The survey was initiated by private health insurance company Dôvera, which views the results as support for its strict approach towards debtors.

"We're trying to communicate with them to see if it's possible to offer solutions, including an instalment calendar," said Dôvera insurance company Director Martin Kultan, as quoted by TASR. "At the same time we have to comply with legislation."

More than 80 percent of people said that health insurance companies shouldn't pay for debtors' health care at all or that the insurance company should demand that the debt be settled first, and otherwise only provide health care in a life threatening situations.

"People would like to see some sort of justice in these relations," said sociologist Martin Slosiarik from Focus, as quoted by TASR. "Since the majority of people pay their deductions, they would like the non-paying minority to do the same."

According to the majority of the respondents, one way of forcing them to do so is either limited or entirely denied health care as a sanction, he added.

The system of Slovak health care has an excessive element of solidarity, according to Kultan adding that it doesn't matter how much one pays in deductions, the same health care is provided.

Health insurance companies lack hundreds of millions of euros due to the debts. The self-employed and employers owed €390 million by the end of last year, which represents one-tenth of the resources in the public insurance system. Debtors ignore their obligation to pay deductions despite the fact that legislation requires them to do so. According to the law, they should be provided only with urgent health care.

Dôvera pointed out that the debtors usually aren't poor people or people without incomes. Businessmen and self-employed with an average monthly income exceeding €1,200 make up 60 percent of debtors. One-third are entrepreneurs with stakes in an average of four companies.

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