9 March 2011

We present the initial position of the Polish Insurance Association on the private additional health insurance bill.

It needs to be positively assessed that the Ministry of Health saw the need to legally regulate the private health insurance market in Poland. Several months ago, during a conference on private health insurance organized by the Polish Insurance Association, the insurance community was looking forward to appropriate regulations concerning the above-mentioned insurance. The announcement of such regulations reflected the needs of the Polish health care system.

The additional health insurance bill, presented on 4th March, must still be thoroughly analyzed and that is why the Polish Insurance Association will present its position in more detail towards the end of the next week. However, after having read the bill casually, we might attempt an initial assessment.

We were happy to see the provisions concerning the possibility to offer, as part of additional health insurance contracts concluded by employers, occupational health care benefits. Another positive aspect is the proposal of financing the additional health insurance premiums (apart from the occupational health care benefits) from the employee benefit fund. A promising provision is also the one on tax relief for people paying health insurance premiums but the Minister of Finance will have the final word in this matter and this will be based on the condition of state budget.

Nevertheless, some provisions of the bill are surprising for the Polish Insurance Association. Contrary to the announcement, the bill does not precisely define the notion of additional private health insurance. What is more, the bill assigns the National Health Fund with functions which should not be assigned to a payer but perhaps to the supervisor of the insurance market. The National Health Fund does not perform the function of supervisor and should not do it in the future. We believe that it is simply by mistake that the bill makes it impossible for life insurers, i.e. current market leaders in Poland, to offer additional health insurance.  

Within public consultations, we will call for changes whose aim is to create transparent law which enables everybody to receive a better and faster access to health care benefits offered as part of additional private health insurance.