Lebanon Businessnews News

Draft health coverage law for all citizens
A $100 annual fee per person
to benefit from this program
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A draft law was submitted by the Future Bloc to Parliament that includes reforms for the health sector. The draft law concerned suggestions that would offer health coverage for every citizen, about 45 percent of whom do not have any.

The first suggestion included the ‘Health Card’ that would offer hospitalization and other medical services for citizens who are not covered by the National Social Security Fund or other public funds, or private companies. Nabil De Freij, Member of the Parliament said that citizens would pay only $100 per year to benefit from these medical services at public hospitals. For admission to private hospitals, they would pay ten percent of the bill.

According to Mohamad Khalife, former Minister of Public Health (MoPH), “the funds needed for the Health Card are already available in the Ministry’s budget. The estimated health cost needed per person is $233 per year, of which $133 are allocated in the Ministry’s budget. The remaining amount will be provided by each individual.”

The Future Bloc’s MPs suggested establishing an independent body including the private and public sectors, and supervised by the Ministry to manage the Health Card project.

The second suggestion included health coverage security for people above 64 who were formerly covered by the NSSF. They would also be required to pay $100 per year to benefit from the Health Card.

The third suggestion would pay salaries to those aged above 64. To finance this fund, every employee would be required to pay 1.5 percent of their salaries, and employers another 1.5 percent. Retired employees after the age of 64 would receive the same amount as the last salary they had earned. An independent body would also be established from the private and public sectors to manage the fund and supervised by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

De Freij said: “The Speaker of Parliament is required to refer the draft law to the specialized committees, and invite the concerned ministers to study it, and issue the law to be ready for voting once constituting a new cabinet.”
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Dec 03, 2013
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