“In the event that they will pay the same amount of health insurance premiums as others, it appears to be extremely incorrect not to provide these insured persons with entitlements to all health insurance benefits, including nursing care,” argues the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in the draft amendment to the Health Insurance Act.
According to the office, this will strengthen social protection, especially for women, if they have a small child who needs care.
“Better and more accessible social protection for parents will also enable their earlier return to work after maternity or parental leave,” the ministry added.
What are the conditions for drawing short-term and long-term nursing care benefits
The resort estimated that more than a hundred thousand people could be affected annually. The financial impact on the state budget in the estimated amount of around 24 million crowns would at least partially compensate for the benefit in the form of parents returning to work earlier, with the certainty that they will receive benefits in the event of a child’s illness.
The creators of the proposal were inspired during the calculation by the time of covid, when due to extraordinary closures and quarantines, the number of nursing home beneficiaries temporarily increased.
Hospital allowances would be paid by the Czech Social Security Administration to so-called contract holders and self-employed persons, as well as to employees.
Finance agrees, employers don’t
The Ministry of Finance agrees with the proposal, which otherwise torpedoed a large number of similar proposals of the Ministry of Labor in the last year. According to him, however, the aforementioned two tens of millions must be found by the proposer himself in his budget.
“Due to the consolidation of public finances, it is important that all measures are covered within the already approved spending frameworks of the relevant chapters of the state budget or that they are alternatively compensated by austerity measures with the aim of achieving budget neutrality,” the Ministry of Finance pointed out.
On the contrary, employers have objections. “The application of entitlements to sick pay for an active employee based on a work performance agreement, an agreement on work activities, and an employee in a small-scale job will lead to an increased administrative burden on the employer, without this burden being compensated in any way,” the Chamber of Commerce objected.
This is not the only change that the amendment brings. Among other things, it would mean the cancellation of the condition of the same permanent residence for the spouse and partner during long-term nursing care, as well as the conditions for granting written consent of the treated person to the provision of long-term care.
Electronic communication between the doctor, the social security administration and the employee, or rather his employer, should then be extended to other sickness insurance benefits, including maternity and nursing benefits.
The amendment has now gone through the comments procedure, and it is still waiting for its settlement. Then it must be approved by the government and parliament. The change could come into effect as early as next year.