• Sweden's news in English

Government faces new health insurance setback

TT/The Local/rm · 9 Jun 2011, 10:02

Published: 09 Jun 2011 10:02 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The changes, set to be debated on Thursday in the Riksdag's social insurance committee, would make it easier for people to receive extensions of their long-term sickness benefits.

“The centre-left initiative is welcome and is broadly in line with the Sweden Democrat policies on health insurance,” committee member Erik Almqvist of the Sweden Democrats wrote in an opinion article in the daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

Almqvist said his party planned to support the proposition, which would let those that had stopped receiving payments to get back on the scheme even if they have no previous income.

Sickness benefits, along with many other benefits provided by the Swedish social insurance programmes, are often based on sickness benefit qualifying income (Sjukpenninggrundande inkomst- SGI).

Like the centre-left opposition parties, the Sweden Democrats also want to see a more “reasonable and realistic” assessment of people's work ability in relation to the needs of the labour market.

Almqvist wrote that a potential reform of the current time limits on health insurance could also be in the offing after more information on the consequences have been collated and assessed.

According to Almqvist the government health insurance reform may have righted a few wrongs but “at the same time it led to vulnerable people being caught in the middle in an unacceptable way”.

In April, the Swedish government proposed a number of changes to its reforms, admitting its current efforts have left some people in a jam.

Sweden's new, tougher health insurance rules, which were adopted several years ago, have been the subject of near constant criticism.

But according to the Sweden Democrats, the government’s efforts are far from adequate.

“We can’t wait several years for a new government proposition,” Almqvist wrote in SvD.

The centre-left parties don't want to "wait to fix at least the worst shortcomings in health insurance".

According to their proposal, people who have or have had time limited sickness compensation (sjukersättning) and who lack and income should be allowed to re-enter the insurance scheme so they can receive benefits in line with the level they had previously.

In addition, they want to put a stop to having people getting kicked out of the insurance system altogether, although people who are on receiving benefits should still have the right to partake in employment-reintroduction programmes without having losing their benefits.

Story continues below…

The centre-left also wants to have the assessments of people's ability to work that take place after 180 days to be carried out in a way similar to that methods used prior to changes implemented in 2008.

The 2008 reforms were meant to address the problem of a spiralling sick leave rate among Sweden's generally healthy population.

The reforms to sick benefits have resulted in a large number of people moving into work or training programmes and placed a limit on the time people could be on sick leave.

People who have been on state sick benefits for more than 180 days have since been forced to either apply for work or training, or to seek lower sick benefits from Sweden’s social insurance agency.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:10 June 9, 2011 by Puffin
Good - about time they got away from this stupid tick-box mentality and allowed peopleto get proper assessments for their actual illnesses
21:02 June 9, 2011 by Species125
How many people have committed suicide because of Försakringskasan policy? Who are the soulless doctors and state employees who reject and deny patients whom they've never even met? Who are the soulless politicians who have put such policies in place? These are the people with blood on their hands. They should stand trial for the lives they've ruined, the families they've destroyed, the hell they have inflicted upon those who most need help! We can demand that they clean up this mess, but it will never bring back those-sons, daughters, mothers, fathers- whose lives have been lost. May God rest their souls.

Today's headlines
Facebook slammed for cutting Swedish breast cancer video
File photo of the landing page of the Swedish version of Facebook. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant removed a breast cancer awareness video because it deemed the images "offensive," according to the Swedish Cancer Society.

Pastor rapped for depicting rival as Nazi in church play
A different pastor. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The pastor allegedly found it funny.

In Pictures: Look inside this perfect Swedish island home
This modern Gotland home was designed and built by two Swedes. Photo: United Frog Studios/AB

Anna-Lena and Johan designed and built their home with tall beautiful windows, a smart heating system, and a separate section for their greyhounds.

Cannabis worth millions seized at Swedish port
A file photo of a Swedish police cannabis find not related to the story. Photo: Polisen

The 300kg haul was found by in a truck which drove off a ferry in Karlskrona.

Roll over Volvo: there’s a new Swedish car in town
Photo: Björn Olsson

Car developers in Gothenburg have given Volvo a new sibling.

Thaw trip: Swedish PM Löfven heads to Saudi Arabia
Margot Wallström was at the centre of the 2015 diplomatic crisis. She will not join the Prime Minister on his trip to Saudi Arabia. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

There are fences that need mending.

Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
This shot of snow in western Sweden may not be as far away as you think. Photo: Johan Eklund/TT

...and it's still only October.

Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
The new rules are unfair, say Swedish IB pupils. Photo: Berit Roald/NTB scanpix/TT

A new system for converting the grades of International Baccalaureate students in Sweden will make it almost impossible for them to get into top Swedish universities, it has been claimed.

Education doesn’t always pay in Sweden: study
Nurses are paid less than a lot of non-college graduates. Photo: Bertil Ericsson/TT

Half of Swedish graduates would earn more in their lifetime if they instead started work straight after high school, a new study shows.

What's On in Sweden
Five ways to discover something new in Sweden this weekend
Frank Zappa's symphonic works will be performed in Malmö this weekend. Photo: Anonymous/AP

From a performance of Frank Zappa's unheralded orchestral work to an intriguing combination of circus and opera, Sweden has some unique events this weekend.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Blog updates

8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »


6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
People-watching: October 5th
Must-watch: Incredible time-lapse video of Northern Lights in Sweden
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
jobs available