Prague, Jan 5 (CTK) – Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis and Health Minister Miloslav Ludvik on Thursday agreed to raise the health insurance fees the state pays for certain groups of people, Czech Television said yesterday, adding that the relevant spending will annually increase by 3.5 billion crowns from 2018 to 2020.

The increase still needs the government’s approval.

In 2018, the state will pay almost 70 billion crowns worth of health insurance fees for children, pensioners and the unemployed.

The monthly per capita fee will rise by 50 crowns to 970 crowns compared with the present situation.

Both Ludvik (Social Democrats, CSSD) and Babis (ANO) called Thursday’s agreement an acceptable compromise.

Babis said he wants to avert a dispute over an increase similar to the one he had with Svatopluk Nemecek (CSSD), Ludvik’s predecessor in the post until December.

“That is why we have reached a compromise,” Babis told Czech Television.

In May 2016, the government decided to raise the state health insurance spending by 3.6 billion crowns as of 2017.

Nemecek called for a new law to introduce a regular indexation of the health insurance spending, but Babis was against it and the government discontinued the discussion in August.

Ludvik continues to promote Nemecek’s indexation plan. In mid-December, he said he will submit it to the cabinet in January even without Babis’s consent.