Georgian citizens with a monthly income of more than 3,300 GEL (more than 40,000 GEL per year) will lose access to universal healthcare as of May.
According to a government ruling, the changes in the insurance system will affect all citizens.
The planned changes suggest to differentiate socially vulnerable individuals with low income, individuals with average income and individuals with high income and offer different kinds of packages.
Changes will be implemented in different directions:
- Citizens with average income who have a salary of more than 1000 GEL per month will have the freedom to choose between the restricted universal healthcare package and private companies’ packages. Additionally, citizens in this category despite having private insurance will still be able to freely use treatment for oncological diseases through chemotherapy or hormonal therapy. Giving a birth or C-section will also be free.
- Citizens with low income are defined as those whose salary is less than 1000 GEL per month. In case they have the private insurance from their job they will retain access universal health care however with a restricted package.
- Socially vulnerable citizens, individuals whose rating score ranges from 70,000 to 100,000 and youth from 6 to 18 will have access to the same kind of universal package as before. The size of the services and ratings are defined by the income of individuals and not the family.
Costs associated with giving birth are financed by all packages. Moreover, members of all the groups will have the access to state health services such as for C Hepatitis, tuberculosis, diabetes control and others.
The aim of the changes is to ensure better healthcare for Georgian citizens and to encourage the insurance industry to attract customers with competitive marketing.
The Ministry of Health is not specifying whether another aim of the changes is to thrift financial resources. When presenting the changes, Minister of Health, Davit Sergeenko stated that “the main idea behind the changes was to have an effective distribution of spending and not its economy.”
660 million GEL was given to health care programs for 2017. The budget of universal healthcare in 2016 was defined at 570 million GEL, however eventually it turned out that it was not enough so another 53 million GEL was added to it from the budget. The same happened in 2015.