Health insurance would affect employment growth

Prishtina 20 July 2017 – Lëvizja FOL held today an open discussion on “The Impact of Health Insurance in Employment, with a Focus on Youth”. Petrit Zogaj from Lëvizja FOL said that FOL has conducted a research regarding the impact of health insurance on employment and that through this debate, we will understand more about not starting the collection of health insurance premiums.


Gersi Gashi from FOL presented the findings of the report “The Impact of Health Insurance in the Kosovo Economy”. The key findings show that in the absence of concrete and rapid steps, we are still without health insurance. Gashi said that the transparency of this process is crucial for this system to function. “Among other things, there should be: consultation and consensus by key stakeholders, and meet all the criteria foreseen before starting the collection of premiums,” Gashi said, adding that the impact of health insurance on the basis of the findings is positive. Likewise, theories and empirical findings indicate that citizens’ willingness to pay for health insurance and the burden on businesses would not be as great as hiring young people.

Meanwhile, Haxhi Arifi, President of the Union of Independent Trade Unions of Kosovo (BSPK), said that the non-implementation of laws has a bad impact in the state of Kosovo because health insurance is not only about health. “It is not surprising that governments fail to fulfill their obligations to implement laws. It is not a good thing that law enforcement is neither implemented nor for the state or for the partners. Only in Kosovo we have remained without a Law on Insurance; in the region they all have. This law is not just about health insurance but also employment especially for young people because we have a contingent of 25 thousand young people who are capable of the labor market each year, “Arifi said.

The chairman of the Federation of Kosovo Health Unions, Blerim Syla, said that guilty of the lack of health insurance in Kosovo are all the governments so far, but also the international factor. “The Government of Kosovo is guilty, but not only this government, there is also the international factor. The concept paper that is made predicts that medium businesses are hit and big businesses are favored. Then how does this hiring youth? We as a federation have proposed to make an escalation. Take the example of Slovenia and Croatia, which have 26 categories of premium payments, “Syla said adding that the legal criteria for commencing collection of primums have not yet been met. According to him, the list of services that will cover health insurance is not yet compiled, the pricelist is missing, the equipment with health cards is missing, there is no exact date of service.

Lumnije Ajdini from the Kosovo Business Alliance (AKB) said that in January they knew they would not have health insurance, as promised. “It is very important for all of us, and especially for young people to have health insurance. Since January we knew we could not have health insurance in July because the jobs were not done, I suspect they have not started yet, “she said.

Lumnije Hashani, from Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, said that in cooperation with businesses have listed the recommendations on this law and sent it to the government.

Fatmir Haxholli, a social and employment policy expert, said the lack of sufficient pressure is the cause of not starting the collection of health insurance premiums. According to him, there are many people who work in the informal market and if there is health insurance, people will put more pressure on employers to provide them with contracts. “It would also affect unemployed people. If there were health insurance, people would work because everybody wanted health insurance for their children, “said Haxholli.

Lundrim Aliu, from the World Bank in Kosovo, said that the World Bank has supported the health system in Kosovo throughout this time. “The World Bank has supported the Kosovo government in the reforms that are being made in health, in this case also for health insurance. We have demanded that poor citizens remain unaffected by health insurance payments and that the provision of services begins in parallel with the collection of premiums, “said Aliu, adding that there is still a lot of work to be done in this regard and the Ministry of Health should tell us where the jobs are left.