Panel approves bill to set drug payment ceilings for families

Health Ministry: Families would save between tens and hundreds of shekels if the bill were passed.

November 6, 2006 00:51
1 minute read.
Panel approves bill to set drug payment ceilings for families

yaakov ben-yizri 224.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])


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The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a bill on Sunday that would set a "ceiling" of drug payments to the health fund for the whole family rather than only per person. The proposal was pushed by Health Minister Ya'acov Ben-Yizri and opposed by the Finance Ministry. The proposal will now be brought for negotiation to the health funds and, in several months, to the cabinet. At present, every patient suffering from a chronic illness who needs prescription drugs monthly is charged a maximum of NIS 200 to NIS 260 per month in copayments, depending on the health fund. Every three months, he has to present receipts to the health fund proving his expenses and receives a reimbursement three months after payment. Under the bill, the immediate family, including all who have chronic diseases, would pay up to a maximum amount, which has not yet been determined. The Health Ministry said families would save between tens and hundreds of shekels if the bill were passed. The Treasury initially said it would cost NIS 60 million annually, but at the Sunday meeting claimed it would total NIS 76 million. The Health Ministry dismissed these estimates. The Gil Pensioners Party and Ben-Yizri, who is a member, aim at eliminating all copayments for prescription drugs for pensioners, as many of them do not buy medications they need because they cannot afford the fees.

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