The new Law on Health Insurance

The new Law on Health Insurance (Official Gazette of RS, No. 25/2019) entered into force on April 11th , 2019. It shall apply to all proceedings commencing from that date. Some of the most significant changes are the following:

  • The law regulates that parents have the right to sick leave with the income of a full salary during the medical treatment of a child suffering from a serious illness until the age of 18 years. Sick leave will have to be renewed every six months.
  • The chosen doctor can provide a sick leave note in the duration of up to 60 days, instead of the 30 days which were given so far.
  • Specialized doctors may refer patients to hospital treatment, and not only the chosen doctor
  • Establishment of a unique waiting list to be conducted by the National Health Insurance Fund (RFZO).
  • It is also foreseen that those who do not respond to preventive examinations three times and do not provide a justification for this, must pay 35% of the cost of treatment if they get sick from the illness for which the screening was intended.
  • A new insurance base is introduced for farmers, for persons performing public notary and enforcement activities, for persons receiving a pension or invalidity allowance exclusively from a foreign insurance fund, that is, those who have permanent or temporary residence in Serbia, for the victims of terrorism and combatants whose status is determined in accordance with the regulations on the protection of combatants.
  • Primary health care is transferred to the state level, except pharmacies that remain within the competence of local governments.
  • The conditions related to absence from work for maintenance of pregnancy for the period after the 30th day of absence are more rigorous.
  • The basis for the compensation of salaries paid from health insurance funds is the average salary earned by the insured in the previous 12 months before the month in which the temporary preventability for work occurred. Earnings is composed of payment for work performed and time spent at work, determined in accordance with labor regulations (employee’s basic salary, part of earnings for work performance, increased earnings).
  • Employed pregnant women must work for 12 months without interruption prior to opening a sick leave due to their absence from work in order to maintain their pregnancy, in order to receive full amount of financial compensation.
  • If an employed pregnant woman has not earned a salary in the 12 calendar months preceding the month in which the sick leave due to absence from work is  initiated for the purpose of maintaining a pregnancy, the earning base constitutes the average amount of earnings for the time the pregnant woman earned her income, bearing in mind that the as a base for the months during which there were no earnings a minimum salary shall be calculated, with the limitation of the highest basis for compensation.