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February 8, 2023

Medical system reform: Ministry continues talks with insurers

The Ministry of Health continues the consultations with insurance companies in view of defining the new package of basic medical services that should come into effect on April 1st this year.
“In the first phase we finalise the base package, which will very much help insurers in defining the new package of basic medical services,” Health minister Eugen Nicolaescu said, quoted by Romania Libera. He expressed his confidence in the fact that the National Union of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies (UNSAR) will represent a very important partner of dialogue in the process of completing the reform of the Romanian medical system and asked the association to become involved in talks and contribute to conducting the impact studies necessary for the drafting of the supplementary package of services. “I think that it will help us a lot to have a very transparent discussion about the variants we have. We will analyse if it is better to have mandatory or facultative private health insurances and to what extent the fiscal deductibility component will influence the evolution of this segment of insurances,” the minister explained.
Marius Popescu, vice-president of UNSAR in charge with the Section of Life and Health Insurances, said that the association is open for dialogue. “In this dialogue, insurers represent a good source of expertise, because we are used to making calculations for the evaluation of risks in this segment, we have the necessary programmes and knowledge,” Popescu said.
As regards the deductibility, the UNSAR official mentioned that insurers are convinced that its enforcement would be of much help. “The main competitor of the insurance products in Romania is not represented by the other money saving alternatives – an idea invoked by many. Insurers estimate that, in the absence of fiscal incentives, the number of Romanian that will contract a private health insurance will not exceed 1 million. The competitor is precisely the consumption, which diminishes the part of the Romanians’ monthly budget allocated to insurances. In this context, fiscal deductibility would be a real help.” A survey conducted by UNSAR shows that, if a total deductibility of EUR 400 a year for one person were in place, the attracted funds could reach approximately EUR 400 M over the next 6 years, with up to EUR 1.3 bln going to the medical system. On the other hand, the government would sustain a reduction of budgetary incomes of just EUR 20 M. At the same time, the penetration rate of private health insurance could reach 25 pc.

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