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Jakarta Post

Govt officially annuls national health insurance premium hikes in April

  • Alya Nurbaiti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, April 22, 2020   /   04:18 pm
Govt officially annuls national health insurance premium hikes in April A customer applies for membership in an office of the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) in Jakarta. (Courtesy of/www.panduanbpjs.com)

The government has officially annulled the increase in National Health Insurance (JKN) premiums following last month’s Supreme Court's ruling that voided Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 75/2019 on health insurance.

Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said on Tuesday that the central government had reverted the premiums to the original prices stipulated in the previous version of the Perpres issued in 2018.

“We are complying with the court’s ruling. Basically, the government wants to ensure the continuity of the JKN program and that people have access to the health facilities,” Muhadjir said in a statement.

Read also: COVID-19 exposes flaws in Indonesia’s health insurance program

With the 2019 regulation, which went into effect in January, the government initially doubled the premium for the first-class service to Rp 160,000 (US$10.4) per month per person, while raising the cost for the second-class service to Rp 110,000 and for the third-class service to Rp 42,000 per month.

As of April 1, however, the premiums have returned to their previous levels as stipulated in the 2018 Perpres on health insurance, namely Rp 80,000 for the first-class service, Rp 51,000 for the second-class service and Rp 25,500 for the third-class service per month per person.

For participants who had already paid the higher premiums in April, the excess amount would be counted as the payment for the following month, he said.

Muhadjir went on to say that the government was currently in the process of preparing a new presidential regulation regarding the matter.

The government, however, has yet to come up with a plan to cover the financial deficit suffered by BPJS Kesehatan -- which manages JKN -- since its establishment in 2014, which primarily had been caused by insufficient premium revenue to cover insurance claims.

In January alone, the company owed hospitals Rp 14 trillion (US$959 million).

Read also: Can BPJS Kesehatan survive? An assessment after drastic premium hikes

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said in February that BPJS Kesehatan still recorded a deficit of Rp 15.5 trillion, about 51.56 percent lower than the late-2019 projection of Rp 32 trillion.

She said the reduced deficit was largely attributed to the government’s Rp 13.5 trillion cash injection for the period of August to December last year.

The central government had initially planned to stop providing cash injections to cover the BPJS deficit this year following the doubled premium stipulated in the 2019 Perpres.