In 2017, the income of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF) exceeded the amount estimated in the budget by two percent and totaled €1.13 billion, while the fund's expenses exceeded the budget estimate by one percent, likewise amounting to €1.13 billion.
The payment of the health insurance portion of social tax was €1.11 billion, or two percent more than expected, while income on the basis of insurance contracts totaled €1.5 million, claims for payment and income from health insurance benefits €1.3 million, and other income totaled €20 million, it appears from EHIF's 2017 annual report.
EHIF's healthcare service expenses exceeded the budgeted amount by one percent, totaling totaled €813.1 million, €692.1 million of which consisted of specialized medical care expenses, €113.7 million of general medical care expenses, €31.9 million of nursing care expenses, €29.2 million of dental care expenses and €9.3 million euros of disease prevention-related expenses.
Expenses concerning benefits for temporary incapacity for work exceeded the planned amount by one percent and totaled €141.3 million. Expenses related to medication compensated to insured persons amounted to €125.7 million, while the treatment of Estonian insured persons abroad cost EHIF €9.5 million, dental care and denture benefits totaled €9.3 million and other expenses amounted to €2.5 million .
EHIF's operating expenses totaled €10 million, which included €6 million in labor expenses, €1.8 in management costs, €1.1 million in IT expenses, and €942,000 in other operating expenses.
EHIF reserves increased by €6.8 million last year. The fund's legal reserve increased by €6.2 million as planned, while the risk reserve grew by €2 million. Retained earnings, meanwhile, decreased by €1.4 million, significantly less than the estimate of €10.3 million.
1.2 million insured by EHIF in 2017
The number of persons insured by EHIF last year increased by 3,700 to total 1.2 million people. The number of people who used family health care increased by 9,000 and totaled one million people, while the number of people who used specialized medical care decreased by 14,300 and totaled 784,000 people. The number of ambulatory appointments decreased by 97,000 to four million appointments.
The number of people who used nursing care increased by 300 to 18,400 people. The number of people who used dental care decreased by 1,200 to 168,000 people, while the number of people who used discount medication decreased by 1,000 to 846,500 people. The number of people who used benefits for incapacity for work increased by 15,000 to 352,000 people and the number of days of incapacity for work increased by 208,000 to 6.1 million days.
Beginning in 2018, EHIF will have several new responsibilities. In the future, EHIF will pay for ambulance services. The fund will also start supporting the work of HIV and AIDS treatment councils, coordinate the compilation of a list of antidotes and acquiring stocks. While the Health Board was previously responsible for paying replacement fees to family doctors, EHIF will be responsible for these costs going forward.
EHIF will also be responsible for the funding of the round the clock remote medical consultation of sailors. The fund will also start leading the work of the medication committee and assume responsibility of the organization tasks concerning the list of discount medications. In addition, a list of healthcare services and medical equipment committee will be established in the fund.
Editor: Aili Vahtla