It is worth noting that those with the lowest income are the most willing to use significantly more private health services if they are reimbursed for a significantly larger share of the visit costs.
“Kela reimbursement is very cost-effective. A Kela-reimbursed visit is significantly cheaper for the public sector than a visit to a health center, as the customer pays a much larger portion of the price of a public visit. Even if the Kela reimbursements were multiple, the taxpayers’ money would be spent less than if the same service were offered publicly.” says Hanna-Maija KauseHyvinvointila HALI ry’s health services director.
The Ministry of Finance’s recent proposal must be rejected
On Monday, the Ministry of Finance published its own analysis of expenditure and income structures, which included various options for measures to strengthen the public finances. One of the proposals was to give up health insurance compensations, i.e. Kela compensations. As a result of the latest cuts, the state’s share of health insurance reimbursement costs is only about 90 million euros, which is very little compared to the total annual healthcare costs of 22 billion euros in the welfare regions.
“Abolishing Kela compensations would be a really short-sighted policy and would only mean shifting costs to welfare areas. Historically, Kela compensations have distributed costs to different payers and saved government spending. Instead of eliminating compensations, it would be more reasonable to raise them and allocate them clearly to areas where private service providers play a significant role and which the public sector cannot practically manage. Such areas are, for example, oral health or non-urgent gynecology services,” says Kause.
The benefits of Kela reimbursements could be realized by improving reimbursements for remote consultations and doctor’s visits, for example to shorten treatment waiting times. Kela’s compensations could also be targeted at, for example, low-threshold mental health services. The pensioner could receive a customized Kela compensation from the annual health service package, which would encourage spending one’s own money on health services and would also improve the continuity of care.
“I hope that the next government will immediately tackle the development of Kela’s compensations. It is a quick and effective way to reduce waiting times and improve people’s access to treatment,” concludes Kause.
Aula Research carried out the study by Hyvinvointiala HALI ry and Lääkärpalvelukyrket LPY.
Source: The Nordic Page