In order to restore their health insurance, citizens would have to pay the required past due contributions to the NHIF for the past five years, decided the members of the Parliamentary Health Committee during the second reading of the amendments to the Health Insurance Act.
The text proposed by the Government which provided that period to be 15 years back did not receive a single vote “pro”. The motive of the MPs was that the tax limitation could go back only five years.
The Committee also approved the proposal of the MP Dimitar Bayraktarov from the party Patriotic Front that there should be a grace period until the 31st of December 2015, when citizens could pay the required past due contributions for the past three years. According to Bayraktarov, that type of preference would encourage citizens to pay their past due contributions by the end of the year. According to him, an information campaign on that issue would lead to increased collection.
The MPs from the opposition were against the idea insurance rights to be restored by making past due contributions for the last three or five years. Dr. Emil Raynov said that the government was trying to transfer the health insurance burden onto the ordinary citizens. At the same time, the state remained an incorrect payer, paying only half of the contribution of the citizens it provided for. “You want to draw blood from a stone,” he said.
Dr. Ademov from the party Movement for Rights and Freedoms said that if the five-year proposal was accepted, it meant that some citizens would have to pay BGN 1,080 without interest. He noted that there were over one million Bulgarians who lived below BGN 340 per month and that they could not afford such a sum. According to him, these citizens would remain outside the health insurance system. Dr. Ademov also predicted that there would be an increase of the number of uninsured people and they would become more than the insured.
Bayraktarov replied to the opposition lawmakers that our health insurance system was solidarity and everyone had to pay. According to him, the change in the HIA allowed people to participate in the system. He said that in return for BGN 680 for three years, citizens would be able to use resources for over BGN 3 billion.
Dr. Krassimir Petrov from party GERB reminded that a huge percent of the uninsured citizens blocked hospital emergency rooms at that time. According to him, if lawmakers did not accept the proposal, it would discourage the accurate payers and many of them would stop paying insurance.
Assoc. Prof. Dimitar Shishkov of the party Reformist Bloc noted that a similar way to collect insurance taxes was applied in all Europe. According to him, there was no other way to make people obtain coverage.