The Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health, Maggie De Block (Open Vld), has informed Belgium’s health insurance funds that they will now receive financial incentives to foster the reintegration of long-term patients into the work place. A notice to that effect was sent to the health insurance funds on Thursday, L’Echo and De Tijd reported on Friday.
The new measures are a “reform” of state financing for the funds, aimed at curbing the increase in patients on long-term sick leave. These patients will no longer count as “a member and a half” when financing for the fund is being calculated, but as ordinary members. This means that it is no longer in the interest of the health insurance funds to have many long-term patients among their members.
In the same vein of ideas, the “allowance” for unemployed workers will be scrapped and, from this year, health insurance funds will be financially “rewarded” or “penalized” according to the number of reintegration procedures launched or the number of their members who have gone back to work or whose situations have been reassessed.