ArmInfo. Since September 1, 2017 in Armenia, a new procedure for providing medical services within the state package to state employees comes into force. The bill, providing for relevant changes, was approved at a meeting of the Government on July 27. "This bill can be considered as a pilot, for further introduction of the system of compulsory social health insurance in Armenia," Minister of Healthcare Levon Altunyan said after the meeting of the government, responding to the question of ArmInfo.
According to the head of the Ministry of Health, from September 1, the beneficiaries of the program will have to apply to their insurer, present a passport or ID-card. "No other documents or certificates will be needed." Then the relationship between the insurance company and the medical institution comes into force," he explained.
In addition, the bill provides for a postpaid system for the calculation of hospital services within the program. Settlements with medical institutions are carried out at the beginning of the fiscal year. The main minus of the current order, as explained by the minister, is that medical facilities that are popular with patients, even before the end of the calendar year, spend the limit they have allocated. "From now on, the sum will be kept in the reserve fund with the insurance company and be credited to the clinic account after the call of the beneficiary of the program that asked to be treated to the insurance company," explained Altunyan, noting that civil servants can choose their own medical facilities for treatment within the social package.
The number of beneficiaries at this stage, as the minister said, is from 80 to 100 thousand people. If this pilot program is successfully implemented, after 6 months, the Ministry of Health will propose a draft decision, according to which 612 thousand socially disadvantaged citizens will be included in the program. A year after receiving positive results, the process of introducing compulsory health insurance will begin in the country. According to the minister, the Ministry of Health is determined to implement compulsory social health insurance and the department hopes that the government will not go on reducing healthcare subsidies. If, however, the Government decides to reduce medical costs, as envisaged in the draft medium-term expenditure for 2018-2020, the Ministry of Health, which previously initiated the development of a program to improve the efficiency of the area by reducing mainly administrative costs, hopes to reduce the budget by saving money without reducing The quality of the services provided, as well as to keep the planned program for the insurance of 612,000 socially unsecured citizens. The required amount of AMD 14 billion (25-28 thousand AMD per year per person) will be provided from the budget of the Ministry of Health and partly from the budget of the Ministry of Social Welfare.
Talks about the introduction of MHI in Armenia became more active in 2014. As the head of the State Health Agency Saro Tsaturyan stated then, the draft concept of introducing compulsory health insurance was developed and submitted to the government, however, for reasons unknown to him, the process was inhibited. It was planned that health insurance would be mandatory for all working citizens in both the public and private sectors. The head of the agency noted that work on the development of the concept will continue if a political decision is made. "It's a long way from concept to implementation, it's not such an easy and fast process, but if there is a fundamental decision, the process will move towards the goal," he said.
They returned to this topic after the appointment of Levon Altunyan, head of the Ministry of Health, before heading the leading IC INGO Armenia. On October 13, 2016, commenting on the prospects of implementing the MLA in Armenia, ArmInfo stated that he considers it possible to implement the institute Compulsory medical insurance (CHI). "I think that our government will study and possibly eventually give preference to MHI as the only possible effective method of financing medical services," he said.