Jakarta. The Supreme Court has annulled a presidential regulation issued last year that had doubled the tiered premiums on the national health insurance, a court spokesman said on Monday.
The decision came following a judicial review on the 2019 presidential regulation brought forward by the Dialysis Patients Community (KPCDI), a Jakarta-based non-profit organization advocating on the rights of dialysis patients.
The organization argued that according to the 2004 Social Security Law and 2011 Social Security Agency Law, the national health insurance premium has to be at a level that matches Indonesia's economic development and also takes into account the needs of the people.
Doubling the premium during a time of stable inflation and slow economic growth was a diversion from those laws, the organization had argued.
The Supreme Court agreed with the plaintiff's argument, saying that increasing the premium would contradict the laws and also the 1945 Constitution.
The court ruled that article 34 of the 2019 presidential regulation on the premium increase "does not have a binding legal force."
Supreme Court spokesman Andi Samsan Nganro said judges Supandi, Yosran and Yodi Martono Wahyunadi had arrived at the decision last month.
"The decision was handed down on Feb. 27," Andi said.
Even without the potential stresses on its finances from the Covid-19 outbreak, the national health insurance agency, called BPJS Kesehatan, has been deeply in debt.
The agency is supposed to provide insurance coverage for 83 percent of Indonesia's 265 million people. It reported a deficit of Rp 28 trillion ($1.9 billion) last year alone.
Since the government could not afford to bail out the full amount, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo issued the presidential regulation in October to double the tiered premiums on the insurance. The premium hike was supposed to start taking effect on Jan. 1.