Bulgarian MPs Work Overtime to Adopt Social Benefits Acts
The Bulgarian Parliament is working overtime Tuesday, from 10 am to 4 pm, in order to speedily adopt "social benefits" legislation.
The agenda of the extra sitting (as there are no sessions on Tuesdays in general) has only two items - second reading and vote on the budgets of the National Social Security Institute (NOI) and the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK).
However, Bulgarian lawmakers usually argue a lot on these subjects and they might not be able to conclude the sitting by 4 pm.
The draft budget of NOI provides for an update of retirement pensions in June 2014 with an increase of 3% of all pensions and upping the pension ceiling from BGN 770 to BGN 840 over the increase of the maximum insurable earnings.
The NZOK budget for next year will be increased by BGN 27 M. This money will go to payment for hospital care. The reason for the update is that the National Revenue Agency, (NRA) managed to collect BGN 27 M more in health insurance contributions.
NZOK is to settle overdue payments with 100% of the hospitals by September next year.
NZOK budget for 2014 also includes amendments to the Health Insurance Act, which require NZOK to pay to family physicians and dentists the difference between the patient fee and the fee paid by retirees.
NZOK will no longer have the obligation to pay for vaccines for mandatory immunizations and for assisted reproduction, which will be again funded by the Ministry of Health.
The funds for the above will be provided by cutting money for wiretapping, promised the main partner in the current government – the Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP.
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