YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — The Armenian government is starting preparations for the gradual introduction of a system of national health insurance that should cover the country’s population.
An insurance plan unveiled by the government recently calls for a special tax that will cover the cost of surgeries and other essential medical services. According to government estimates, every working citizen will have to pay between 150,000 and 200,000 drams ($375-$500) annually for such coverage.
Samvel Kharazyan, an expert at the Armenian Ministry of Health, cautioned on Tuesday that these figures could be revised upwards by the time the insurance system is launched in 2027.
“These calculations are based on estimates made in 2019,” explained Kharazyan. ”We now need to update those estimates given the existing realities. inflation and the like.”
The government has promised significant tax discounts for workers earning less than the average wage in Armenia. It currently stands at 248,000 drams ($620) per month, according to official statistics.
The mandatory insurance plan will not cover plastic surgery, dental services, additional patient care or some types of post-surgical rehabilitation. But it envisages free or subsidized medication for people suffering from chronic diseases.