TBILISI, DFWatch–A new health insurance program became available to Georgians from Thursday. The program is open for citizens from the age of 6 to 60 who have not had health insurance before.
Health insurance for every Georgian citizen was a part of the Georgian Dream coalition’s election program, and was criticized by its opponents. Not many people use insurance services in Georgia. Most people who do, are insured by their employer, but many are not ‘used to’ use those services.
Opponents of the government’s new program think that a large portion of the population who don’t have health coverage have enough income to get their own insurance, but don’t, because they don’t think it is necessary. Therefore, they reason, it would have been better to popularize insurance services and reduce beneficiaries of this new program to a minimum.
Health Minister Davit Sergeenko told journalists that there are more than two million citizens who don’t have health insurance. According to the latest census data, there are about four million people living in the country, which means that the government insurance program applies to about half of the population. Census data in Georgia are disputed.
The new program offers citizens free visit to a family doctor, and services of USD 9 000 for outpatient and inpatient treatment.
USD 211 million was allocated for the first level health insurance, but the government plans to improve the insurance package from July, 2013.