VZP Monopoly Over Foreigners’ Insurance To Remain In Place For Now
The five-year monopoly of Pojistovna VZP over the commercial insurance of foreigners was approved by the previous Chamber of Deputies last year. Photo credit: Freepik.
Prague, Dec 17 (CTK) – Pojistovna VZP’s monopoly on the provision of health insurance for foreigners in the Czech Republic remain in place now, despite a proposal from the Senate, as on Friday it was blocked in the Chamber of Deputies by the opposition ANO party, which pushed through the monopoly in the previous election term.
ANO blocked the final reading of the draft amendment in the lower house in the final plenary session of 2022, meaning the change was abandoned when the session ended.
Before the third reading of the draft, ANO parliamentary leader Alena Schillerova said that the proposals had triggered significant disputes, and there are differing views over whether they are in harmony with European law.
Schillerova said the draft amendment “deserves an expert debate”, which is being prepared by ANO MP Miloslav Janulik, the initiator of the monopoly’s introduction. The lower house approved Schillerova’s proposal that the session be interrupted and the rest of the Friday agenda cancelled.
The five-year monopoly of Pojistovna VZP, a subsidiary of the VZP public health insurance company, over the commercial insurance of foreigners, was approved by the previous Chamber of Deputies last year, although the step was opposed by the Senate, the ministries of interior and health, the Czech Insurers’ Association and the Chamber of Commerce.
According to the law, commercial health insurance can be offered by subsidiaries of all health insurers after five years of the monopoly being in force.
When promoting the plans, Janulik argued that it was necessary to solve the problem of doctors being required to treat foreigners who arrived to work in the Czech Republic without being sure that the services would be covered by health insurance.
According to the Senate, however, the monopoly is at odds with European law. Senators want a larger number of insurers to be entitled to offer health insurance to foreigners. The Senate proposal is supported by the current cabinet. The draft amendment envisages the launch of a foreigners’ health insurance register, which could be accessed by health facilities and by the police, if needed.
The amendment would enable foreigners to withdraw from their contract with Pojistovna VZP and choose another insurer. It also doubles the lower limit of the insurance premium to EUR 120,000, which the authors of the amendment said reflects the fact that the limit has not been changed for ten years.