Instead of 70 kuna a month, citizens will have to pay 89 kuna to have supplementary health insurance.
The Health Ministry plans to increase the cost of supplementary insurance starting from 1 May from 70 to 89 kuna. The news was confirmed by Health Minister Dario Nakić, report HRT and Jutarnji List on March 30, 2016.
“We are thinking about how we can stabilize the financial health system because there is a deficit in the system of 2.5 billion kuna”, said the Minister. “We are trying to reduce expenses”, he said and added that there would be more measures intended to increase revenue. “One of these is the increase in the price of supplementary health insurance. Citizens with the lowest incomes will be exempt from such contributions. We will not ask to pay those who do not have enough resources”, said the Minister.
Representatives of associations of pensioners and patients strongly protested against the announcement, saying that it was a new financial attack on citizens, especially pensioners who often use health services.
President of the Pensioners United Block (BUZ) party Milivoj Špika disagreed with the proposal. He pointed out that his party, even though it was a member of the ruling Patriotic Coalition, was not consulted. “We have still not named members of the National Council for Pensioners and the Elderly, which should debate all issues related to pensioners, which includes the increase in the price of supplemental insurance. However, we could not support such a proposal”, said Špika. “If this is one of the reforms, then God save us. I hope that this is not one of the reforms they have been talking about”, said Špika and announced that he would try to talk about it with the head of HDZ and the Patriotic Coalition Tomislav Karamarko, “although communication within the Patriotic Coalition is not particularly good”.
President of the Croatian Pensioners Society Josip Kovačić said that the increase in price would be a new blow to pensioners, who are the biggest users of health services, even though they were promised during the election campaign there would be no additional financial burden. “This month, it was announced that pensioners would receive an increase in average pension of 11 kuna, and now the supplementary insurance increases by 19 kuna. This is a disaster”, said Kovačić whose association includes about 280,000 pensioners.
“We are absolutely shocked by the insensitivity and rashness of the new Health Minister”, said Jasna Petrović, president of the Trade Union of Croatian Pensioners. “This is only the first step towards the extrication of the entire supplementary insurance system from the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance and its transfer to private insurers”, said Petrović.
President of the Association of Croatian Patients Marijo Drlje said that this decision was directed against the poor. This just confirms fears that healthcare system will be available only to the rich, said Drlje.