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Over 600 000 Georgians added to government health insurance plan

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, May 1
From September 1, approximately 670 000 pensioners and children between the ages of 0-5 will receive a special insurance package from the government, thanks to changes to the Georgian health insurance system adopted Monday.

Minister of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs Zurab Tchiaberashvili announced after yesterday's government session that an additional 800 000 people will be insured starting this fall. “This is a very good insurance package,” he said, explaining that the package contains oncology and cardiology coverage, reflecting common health problems in the elderly. Under a limit of 15 000 GEL, the new package enables insurance-holders to undergo all necessary procedures.

Prime Minister Nika Gilauri said that the undated system defines all “the rules of the game” for relations among patients, insurance agencies, and hospitals as to the distribution of responsibilities among actors all over the country.

Calling it “a real breakthrough in the field of healthcare”, Gilauri recalled how difficult the situation has been in Georgia, and emphasized the transparency of new rules. He said these rules would be adjusted to suit patients’ interests so as “not to violate their rights". Any possible problem within the above-mentioned triangle would be solved within the new regulations.

It was in November 2011 when the planned pension increase and state-funded health insurance for all pensioners were suggested as the part of a new pension package. The package requires only a 20% co-pay for computerized tomography, while all other services would be fully covered by the government, ensuring that 2 300 000 people would be covered by the end of the year.

Tchiaberashvili will unveil the changes to pensioners today.