The national health insurance scheme, or BPJS Kesehatan, covers 83 percent of Indonesia's 265 million people, while the government subsidizes about two thirds of subscribers. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Adimaja)

Jokowi Raises BPJS Kesehatan Premiums

BY :ANSELMUS BATA & DINA MANAFE

OCTOBER 30, 2019

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has issued a regulation that will double the premiums most Indonesian pay for the national health insurance scheme, or BPJS Kesehatan, from next year, as part of government efforts to rein in the scheme's ballooning deficit.

Informal workers or entrepreneurs will see their premiums increase to Rp 160,000 ($7.15) per person per month from Rp 80,000 currently for first-class health care – the highest service level available under the scheme.

Premiums for the second-class service will increase to Rp 110,000 from Rp 51,000, and those for the third-class service to Rp 42,000 from Rp 25,500 per person per month, according to the presidential regulation signed on Oct. 24 and published on Tuesday.

Premiums for formal workers are calculated at 5 percent of their salaries, with employees paying 1 percent and their employers chipping in the remainder. The rate remains the same, but the salary cap for the premium calculation has now been increased by 50 percent to Rp 12 million per month.

All changes will become effective on Jan. 1 next year.

The government will increase its subsidy of premiums for those unable to pay to Rp 42,000 per person per month from Rp 23,000 previously, which is enough for the third-class service. The subsidy was backdated to Aug. 1.

BPJS Kesehatan expects to run up a Rp 28 trillion deficit this year, Rp 9 trillion of which carried over from last year. This has resulted in delayed payments to hospital operators, drugstores and pharmaceutical companies.

"The swelling deficit is currently disrupting services at many hospitals and pharmacies," said Fachmi Idris, president director of BPJS Kesehatan. 

"The premium adjustment is the best solution. We are optimistic, if all parties commit themselves to making the adjustments, that the deficit condition will be resolved," he said.

BPJS Kesehatan currently covers about 83 percent of Indonesia's 265 million people. About three in five subscribers are subsidized by either the central or regional governments. Formal workers make up 24 percent, while informal workers or entrepreneurs make up the remaining 17 percent.

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