The four public health funds ended 2011 with a NIS 1.259 billion deficit, the
Health Ministry reported on Sunday.
The main reason given for the red ink
was the fact that the insurers did not sign “stability agreements” with the
government covering 2011 to 2013; such agreements require the health funds to
increase efficiency in return for allocations. Such agreements are usually
signed every three years.
Delays in signing agreements also resulted from
health fund lawsuits against the government regarding the per diem rate
hospitals charge for treating their members.
As a result of the deficits,
the health funds have had to postpone payments to suppliers and take out bank
loans to keep functioning.
Clalit Health Services, the largest health
insurer, had a NIS 510 million deficit (including in its hospitals) in 2011;
Maccabi Health Services, the second largest, had a NIS 332m. deficit; Kupat
Holim Meuhedet had a NIS 227m. deficit; and Kupat Holim Leumit’s deficit in 2011
was NIS 150m.
These figures compare to the 2010 deficits of Clalit, NIS
123m.; Maccabi, NIS 94m.; Meuhedet, NIS 14m.; and Leumit, NIS 116m.
Barak, accountant of the ministry’s department for supervising the health funds
and outside accountant Dafna Barzilai – who predicted that by the end of 2012,
the health funds would be in even deeper deficit, provided the
The basket of health services that the four health funds
must provide to their members totaled NIS 32.67 billion in 2011, compared to NIS
30.33b. in the previous year. Aside from heath taxes provided through the
National Insurance Institute, the insurers financed an average of 6.45 percent
of their budgets through co-payments for medications, medical equipment, visits
to medical specialists, outpatient clinics and diagnostic institutes, as well as
from supplementary health insurance.