Public health fund’s plan projects EUR 149m deficit in 2022

Ljubljana – The financial plan of the public Health Insurance Institute (ZZZS) for 2022, approved at the institute’s general assembly on Tuesday, projects a shortfall of revenue over expenditure of around EUR 149 million. The ZZZS pointed out that long-term resources will have to be secured to cover the increased expenditure.

Tatjana Mlakar, the director general of the ZZZS, explained at today’s press conference that the financial plan was based on data on the ZZZS’s operations from January to October 2021.

It also takes into account the higher salaries in the healthcare sector, agreed upon between the government and the healhcare unions in November.

The ZZZS’s financial plan for 2022 projects a deficit of EUR 148.9 million, as in the coming year, the ZZZS plans revenue of EUR 3.57 billion, with just over 96% of that amount to come from insurance contributions.

Meanwhile, the plan projects revenue to be EUR 39.2 million lower compared to 2021, because it does not yet include a potential transfer from the state budget to finance the costs related to Covid-19.

The ZZZS’s expenditure in 2022 is planned at EUR 3.72 billion, an increase of EUR 215.7 million or 6.2% compared to 2021.

At the beginning of the year, the ZZZS is expected to have EUR 175 million set aside from the surplus of revenue over expenditure from previous years. Most of these resources will be used to cover the expected deficit.

As the commitments of the ZZZS are projected to exceed its own resources by an estimated EUR 18.1 million, the fund called on the government to ensure that the state budget covers the costs associated with Covid-19.

The president of the ZZZS’s general assembly, Drago Delalut, said that the government gave an assurance of that.

He also assessed that the financial plan could be revised as early as spring 2022, and that Slovenia’s public health fund would maintain a relatively stable financial performance despite the projected deficit.

Mlakar added that “conditions will remain volatile in the coming year due to the impact of Covid-19, the uncertain economic situation and the continuing negotiations on wages in healthcare.”

Mlakar also commented on the increase of the salary ceiling for doctors and dentists, which was laid down in the latest anti-Covid legislative package.

She said that the ZZZS wished that salary brackets would be implemented in a systematic way, as partial agreements repeatedly give rise to disproportion and new demands for negotiations.