Mutuelle tax to ease health debts

Health Ministry proposes that “top-up” health insurers should be taxed to help balance social security budget.

28 July 2008

Top-up health insurers could have their profits taxed further to help reduce growing social security debts.

The idea was jointly announced by Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot and Budget Minister Eric Woerth.

It is part of a plan to keep the social security deficit to four billion euros next year. The ministers said that if nothing was done the debt could grow by two billion euros each year making the deadline to balance the budget by 2011 impossible to meet.

Ms Bachelot said that mutelles which are used by 92% of the population to top up state health care reimbursements had benefited from breaks in their own social security payments to the government.

The level of the tax, which would be levied on their profits, has yet to be determined.

The ministers said that some cost saving measures including a plan to reduce reimbursements on non-essential medicines for the long-term sick from 100% to 35% had been dropped after strong opposition.

However further changes could come, including a rise in the price of general medicines, certain radiology procedures and tests, transport and rises in the social contributions from employers.
Photo: Besoindair

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