Health Fund reviewing sick leave certificates issued in emergency situation ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa) office.
Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa) office. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Health Insurance Fund has begun reviewing sick leave certificates issued during the emergency situation this spring. In the first stage, sick leave data will be compared with data from the Unemployment Insurance Fund regarding recipients of wage compensation. Refunds will be demanded from anyone found to have abused the system.

A few weeks ago, the Health Insurance Fund began reviewing sick leave certificates issued during the emergency situation, initially looking at whether an individual has received both sick pay and wage compensation over the same month-long period.

Data is being exchanged with the Unemployment Insurance Fund as reviews are underway regarding whether and how many of the more than 130,000 people to receive wage compensation were also on sick leave at the time.

Health Insurance Fund board member Pille Banhard said that to date, the fund has conducted automatic checks as a result of which more than 500 sick leave certificates were identified as having been issued to people who simultaneously received both sick pay and wage compensation for the same, entire month.

"The Unemployment Insurance Fund forwards the Health Insurance Fund a list of people who have received wage compensation," Unemployment Insurance Fund board member Eerik Aas explained. "By comparing them with recipients of sick pay, we can identify those people who have been on sick leave for the entire month while also drawing wage compensation for the month. The Unemployment Insurance Fund will thereafter contact them and request they refund their wage compensation."

The Health Insurance Fund is also reviewing the grounds for the issuance of sick leave certificates as listed by doctors as well as data submitted by employers.

"The money meant for sick pay is our shared healthcare money, and the Health Insurance Fund's goal is to identify the misuse thereof and demand the repayment thereof in the case of mistakes," Banhard. "This is the first stage of review; work continues, and it is yet too soon to discuss results."

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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