Armenia – Universal Health Insurance System

March 15, 2024

Although life expectancy has risen to 75 years over the past three decades, Armenians are not generally healthier today. Compared to countries with similar socio-demographic profiles, Armenia has a very high instances of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes among its population.

Altogether, chronic illnesses account for over 25,000 lives lost annually in Armenia. These conditions cost the Armenian economy 360 billion AMD due to health care spending and lost productivity.

Underutilization of essential health care services is a key factor behind chronic illness in Armenia. Approximately 2,995 deaths could be prevented with greater access to high-quality care over the course of a year. While the average European visits a family physician about seven times a year, Armenians visit their doctor about four times a year. Two out of three Armenian’s report foregoing necessary health care annually. For about one in five Armenians, cost is the main reason they skip necessary healthcare.

By 2027, the entire population of Armenia will have health insurance, regardless of solvency, a major reform system stepped by its government who believes that “institutional reform should be carried out regardless of situations and challenges”. The rationale for the project emphasizes that health spending accounts for more than 25% of consumer spending.

According to the rationale for the draft decision, the government expects:

• A decrease in morbidity and mortality rates.

• Increase in average life expectancy.

• Reduction of the number of people with disabilities due to health problems, which will contribute to the sustainable development of human capital and economic growth.

The main goal of the decision to launch universal insurance is to ‘ensure the financial availability of basic medical services for all the groups of the population, which in turn, will ensure the preservation of the health of the country’s inhabitants.

Phased introduction of medical insurance is the best option. In 2025, beneficiary groups will include pensioners. The system will start operating in full in 2027.

Armenia's Minister of Health Anahit Avetisyan said that introducing compulsory medical insurance is an important part of the government healthcare programme and of healthcare reforms.

Minister Avetisyan also reported that at least 50 medical institutions will be constructed, renovated and provided with cutting-edge equipment by 2026. Thirteen medical centres are under constriction now, with design work for 20 outpatient clinics in progress. All the projects are funded from the state budget, with private businesses actively involved.

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