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Table 2 Eligible groups for exemption from health insurance contributions

From: State budget transfers to health insurance funds: extending universal health coverage in low- and middle-income countries of the WHO European Region

Country (World Bank income classification, 2014) Year of introduction of (social) health insurance [7] Year of introduction of government revenue transfers [7] Eligible groups Targeting method
Albania (UM) 1995 1995 children; women working at home; pregnant women; disabled people; cancer patients; unemployed; recipients of social assistance; elderly; war veterans [44, 60, 61] indirect targeting [60]
Bosnia & Herzegovina (UM) - Federation 1997 1997 disabled people; unemployed; refugees [61] indirect targeting [61]
Bosnia & Herzegovina (UM) – Republika Srpska 1999 1999 children < 15 years; mature students while registered with the Republic Bureau of Employment; pregnant women; disabled people; registered unemployed with secondary and higher education; redundant employees still receiving compensation in accordance with the labour; recipients of social assistance; refugees and displaced persons; elderly > 65 years [34, 61] indirect targeting [61]
Bulgaria (UM) 1998 1998 children < 18 years; youths < 26 years enrolled in full-time education; pregnant women; postpartum mothers; disabled people entitled to social support; parents or spouses taking care of disabled people in constant need of help; unemployed entitled to compensation; refugees; prisoners; spouses of soldiers participating in international missions; injured while performing their duties as employees of the Ministry of Interior and civil servants; war veterans [38] indirect targeting [38]
Georgia (MIP) (LM) 1995 (but abolished in 2004) 2006 (Medical Insurance for the Poor) poorest 20 % of Georgian households two regions (Adjara and Tbilisi) fund additional beneficiaries (the near-poor, or those with slightly higher proxy means test scores) [21] direct targeting: proxy-means test [21]
Kyrgyzstan (LM) 1997 1997 eligible since 1997: registered unemployed; people with disabilities since childhood; persons receiving social benefits eligible since 2000: children < 16 years; enrolled school children < 18 years; enrolled students of basic, secondary, and higher full-time education < 21 years eligible since 2002: refugees [30, 62, 63] indirect targeting [30]
Lithuania (H) 1997 1997 children < 18 years; students; women on maternity leave; disabled and their carers; persons with certain illnesses; people on long-term sickness benefits; registered unemployed; recipients of pensions, recipients of social assistance and social insurance cash benefits [64, 65] indirect targeting [66]
Montenegro (UM) 1993 1993 children of parents not able to work; orphans; unemployed entitled to unemployment benefits; recipients of social assistance; refugees; prisoners; military invalids; civil invalids of war; persons receiving veteran allowance if not otherwise insured [67, 68] indirect targeting [68]
Republic of Moldova (LM) 2004 2004 children < 18 years; youths enrolled in full-time education; full-time students in mandatory postgraduate training and doctoral candidates; carers for severely disabled children (into adulthood); pregnant women; postpartum mothers; mothers with four or more children; registered disabled; registered unemployed (for a max. of six months); since 2009: recipients of social assistance according to the Law on Social Aid and families living below the poverty line [39] partial exemption for self-employed (50–75 %) [26, 49] indirect targeting [26]
Romania (UM) 1999 1999 children < 18 years; youths < 26 years if students with no income; pregnant women; postpartum mothers; women on maternity leave; parents on leave for taking care of children < 2 years (or < 3 years if disabled); disabled; people on long-term sickness benefits; people with no income and having certain illnesses; unemployed; recipients of social assistance; prisoners; persons persecuted by the communist regime or declared war heroes in the 1989 Revolution; war veterans; retired persons with < 340 US$ income/month [24, 69] indirect targeting [24]
Russian Federation (H) 1993 1993 non-working population with citizenship/ legal residence [27] universal [27]
Serbia (UM) 1992 1992 children < 15 years; children/youth < 26 years if enrolled in education; pregnant women; postpartum mothers; disabled; registered unemployed; recipients of social assistance; beneficiaries of accommodation at institutions for social care; internally-displaced people; refugees; Roma population who due to the traditional way of life do not have a permanent living address; family members whose bread giver is engaged on regular military service; elderly > 65 years [7072] indirect targeting [72]
TFYR Macedonia (UM) 1991 1991 disabled; unemployed registered by the Employment Office; beneficiaries of basic social care; prisoners; war-disabled persons; [73] indirect targeting [73]
Turkey (Green Card Scheme) (UM) 1950–1971 1992 (Green Card Scheme) Turkish citizens living in Turkey who are not covered by any social security scheme and who have a per capita household income of < 1/3 of the minimum wage threshold (except for taxes and social security premiums); pensioners > 65 years and people with chronic illnesses are eligible even if their household’s per capita income is > 1/3 of the minimum wage [23] direct targeting: proxy-means test [23]
  1. a At this time Montenegro was still part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
  2. LM Low middle income category, UM Upper middle income category, L Low income category, H High income category
  3. The references used for each country are indicated in brackets