Healthy Indonesia Cards might incorporate JKN insurance program

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Observers have said President-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo may rename the existing national health insurance (JKN) program the Healthy Indonesia Card (KIS) program, as both health programs share a similar purpose.

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If the KIS, a free health-care program promoted by Jokowi during his presidential campaign, were to stand on its own, it would require new legislation that would consume too much time and resources, says Hasbullah Thabrany, professor at the University of Indonesia’s School of Public Health.

If Jokowi chooses to carry on or spread out the current nationwide JKN program, which is managed by the Social Security Management Agency (BPJS), it would spare time and it would be quicker reaching those people who are yet waiting for improved quality health care. Due to this we can avoid scams and frauds.

“Replacing the [JKN] cards with KIS cards is a very practical thing to do, by allowing the new president to focus on improving the program’s quality,” Hasbullah said during a discussion on the two health programs on Tuesday.

Throughout the presidential campaign, Jokowi said he would implement the KIS as a national program.

Limited details about the program have been made accessible but several think through it to be alike to the Healthy Jakarta Card (KJS) program, which Jokowi applied in the capital throughout his two years as governor.

The KJS fundamentally extended existing health-care programs, specifically Gakin and SKTM, with the Jakarta administration distributing cards and providing health care, not just to those people who were deliberated as poor, however to everyone with a Jakarta identity card who applied to join the program.

Hasbullah said that expanding the JKN would require more work, including a possible revision of the current framework for the insurance, and the BPJS as its provider.

“For example, the new government should be aware that only marginalized people are entitled to free health coverage under the JKN program. Even if it is good, if everyone ends up being covered, that would contravene our regulation,” he said.

Article 14 of the National Social Security System (SJSN) Law specifies that the government is obliged to pay premiums for medical treatment for impoverished people.

Once known as Jamkesmas, the health coverage for the poor is one of the programs now provided by the BPJS.

The non-profit body also copes health insurance offered by PT Askes (a former entity that became the BPJS), PT Jamsostek and PT Asabri.

Grounded on BPJS data, as of Aug. 8, the program covered 126.4 million people in total and cooperated with 1,551 hospitals nationwide. The program’s goal is to cover the entire Indonesian population by 2019.

Rieke Diah Pitaloka, a member of the House of Representatives’ Commission IX overseeing health and manpower, emphasized that KIS was initiated as a refinement to the BPJS’ national health insurance program.

Rieke, who is also a politician with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), said the current JKN program had yet to reach many marginalized people.

“We even see in the news that sometimes people are rejected treatment by hospitals due to financial issues,” she said.

Hasto Kristiyanto, deputy head of Jokowi’s transition team, said they were optimistic that the KIS would be approved by House lawmakers.

“[KIS is] intended for the good of the people,” he said. (Idb/ask)


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