Health Ministry to propose two kinds of health insurance

The Latvian Health Ministry will propose two kinds of health insurance - an emergency medical services basket and a full medical services basked, said Health Minister Anda Caksa on June 1.

The politician said that the emergency services basket will include emergency medical services and family practitioner's services, services to pregnant women and people who have diseases that put other people in danger. At the same time, this is just a draft plan that can change.

The full medical services basket would then include different ambulatory, day center, and planned medical services, said the minister.

At the same time, the Health Ministry has not changed its stance and is against a fixed insurance payment made by the state. The minister supports the idea that health insurance should be tied to social tax, especially because of the share of shadow economy in Latvia.

Caksa said that the Finance Ministry is working on estimates.

As reported, Latvia's PM Maris Kucinskis said after a coalition meeting on Monday that a fixed payment for health care to be paid by everyone in Latvia might not be the best option to raise additional financing for health care.

The ruling coalition partners also agree that the monthly health care payment, if introduced in Latvia, should be differentiated.

Kucinskis told the press after the meeting of the ruling coalition parties to that the mandatory health insurance payment at €20 a month was a proposal by employers and trade unions and has not yet been approved. The proposal will still be discussed by the working group on health care and the coalition partners.

He said a fixed charge would not be the best solution as it failed to ensure progressivity but people's income in Latvia varied greatly. But it is obvious that additional financing for health care has to come "from the outside" because there is no spare money in the budget. "Someone will have to pay. Theoretically, it can be employers, employees or the public in general," the prime minister said.

A working group chaired by the Latvian prime minister is looking for the ways to raise additional financing for health care. One of the proposals suggests introducing in Latvia a mandatory state health care insurance.

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