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Tariffs for some services including anesthetic, sonography, coronary angiography, and chemotherapy services, remain unchanged.
Tariffs for some services including anesthetic, sonography, coronary angiography, and chemotherapy services, remain unchanged.

5 Percent Increase in Healthcare Tariffs

Insurance companies maintain that the “considerable increase” in medical tariffs fixed under the 2014 Health Reform Plan, is not compatible with the premiums

5 Percent Increase in Healthcare Tariffs

The government has announced an increase of 5% in medical tariffs both in the private and public sectors, for the current fiscal year that started in March.
The Insurance Supreme Council had requested a zero tariff hike and the Health Ministry had sought a minimum increase of 10%. The Cabinet after much debate on the issue arrived at the 5% rate, IRNA reported.
Most of the medical services saw an average increase of 5%, while tariffs for some services including anesthetic, sonography, coronary angiography, echocardiography for non-congenital disorders, and chemotherapy services, remain unchanged.
According to health authorities, the annual increase in tariffs is crucial for hospitals to continue to provide quality services.
On the other hand, insurance organizations have not yet cleared a total debt of more than 80,000 billion rials ($2 billion) to hospitals, and therefore, they believe that the increase in medical tariffs “will further intensify their financial problems.”
Insurance companies maintain that the “considerable increase” in medical tariffs fixed under the 2014 Health Reform Plan, is not compatible with the premiums.
During the last three years, healthcare costs increased by more than 100%, according to IRNA. The steep hike came after the tariffs nearly tripled in October 2014, and the promises by the authorities that medical tariffs would remain the same in the last fiscal year, were not kept.
Earlier, Abdolrahman Rostamian a member of the Majlis Social Commission, pointed to the year-on-year rise in tariffs and said, “It would not make sense for another increase to follow so soon.”

  Insurance Organizations
A senior advisor to the health minister in economic affairs, Davoud Danesh Jafari, had also said the continuity of the Health Reform Plan hinges on an efficient and functioning insurance industry.
The biggest threat facing healthcare reforms is the lack of insurance support, he said, adding that “ultimate support for the reforms lie in synchronizing healthcare with insurance support.”
“With the implementation of health reforms, people’s out-of-pocket payments for healthcare declined from the previous 52% to the current 40%. Out-of-pocket expenses for medical care are not reimbursed by insurance,” he said.
Out-of-pocket payments for health can compel families to incur prohibitive costs, which in turn can push them into poverty, says the World Health Organization. The need to pay out-of-pocket can also imply that many households do not seek care when needed.
Stating that healthcare expenses pose heavy financial burden on both families and government, Danesh Jafari said effective measures in preventive healthcare “is and will be the best strategy that can reduce the burden of medical expenditure.”
He pointed to the five sources of financing medical treatment costs, namely, the government, insurance companies, complementary insurance schemes, people, and charity organizations.

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