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New Cap on Health Costs Proposed

The Minister for Health has proposed a new bill which will cap any individual’s annual health bill to below ISK 100,000 (EUR 710/USD 809). No extra public money will be available to finance the move, however.

Minister Kristján Þór Júlíusson proposed his bill to the government yesterday and it is expected to be debated by parliament soon.

The overall annual cost cap will apply to community health and GPs, hospital treatment, independent specialists, tests, scans and X-rays, and post care, which are all currently covered by different caps and discount schemes which, the minister hopes, will soon be put under the same discount scheme with one overall cost cap.

There will in fact be two annual cost caps: one at around ISK 44,000 for children, the disabled and the elderly, and the other at around ISK 95,000 for everybody else. The actual costs are not finalized yet, reports Vísir.

The idea behind the plan is to make healthcare cheaper for those who are unfortunate enough to need the health system a lot—and to pay for the change by charging those lucky enough to rarely need healthcare more for the services they receive. That way, the minister hopes to implement the changes without extra public funding and without depriving the health system of any current cash.

The Icelandic healthcare system is mostly taxpayer funded, but users are required to pay token amounts. For example, a standard doctor’s appointment with a GP costs ISK 1,200 (EUR 8.50/USD 9.70).

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