Back to article list

Jubilee for health insurance debtors

Another debt jubilee is being prepared, this time focusing on health insurance. A group of deputies has submitted to the chamber of deputies a bill on the extraordinary remission of penalties on public health insurance premiums, under which penalties and enforcement costs will be forgiven if outstanding premiums are paid. The law is to apply only to individuals/natural persons.

This debt relief initiative builds on the previous jubilee years, which saw, among other things, a remission of tax and social security debts. In this case, the bill focuses on natural persons’ (entrepreneurs or individuals with no taxable income) debts to health insurance companies that are being recovered in an enforcement procedure under the Tax Procedure Code. In practice, it will therefore mainly affect clients of VZP CR.

Under the bill, the extraordinary remission would apply to:

  • any penalty on public health insurance premiums that has not been paid as at the date of filing the application for remission and for the recovery of which an enforcement procedure has been ordered by 31 December 2023 at the latest
  • any costs of enforcement procedure relating to the recovery of outstanding premiums or unpaid penalties which have been determined by an enforcement order issued by 31 December 2023 at the latest and which have not been paid by the date an application for remission is filed.

As a prerequisite for the extinction of the unpaid penalties and enforcement costs, the debtor must submit a written application for remission to the appropriate health insurance company between 1 July 2024 and 30 November 2024. In addition, the premiums to which they relate must be paid by 31 December 2024 or by the due date of the last instalment (if the outstanding premium exceeds CZK 5,000, debtors may spread the payments over 12 or 36 monthly instalments, depending on the amount of the debt).

Individuals/natural persons for whom penalty has been assessed that have not yet been subject to enforcement proceedings may also apply for remission under the Public Health Insurance Act. Once the outstanding insurance premiums have been paid, the law allows to apply for the ‘removal of the harshness of law,’ and if the debtor substantiates the failure to pay the premium with relevant reasons (e.g., their health, financial or social circumstances), the penalty may be reduced (usually by at least 50%) or waived completely.

The Act on the Extraordinary Remission of Penalties on Public Health Insurance Premiums should enter into force on 1 July 2024.