Can people afford to pay for health care? New evidence on financial protection in Croatia (2018)



By Luka Vončina, Ivica Rubil
2018, xii+ 73 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 5328 0
This publication is only available online.

This review is part of a series of country-based studies generating new evidence on financial protection in European health systems. Financial protection is central to universal health coverage and a core dimension of health system performance.

Financial protection is stronger in Croatia than in many other European Union (EU) countries that joined the EU after 30 April 2004. The country has a mandatory health insurance system with a single national health insurance fund responsible for purchasing all publicly financed health services. There are no documented gaps in population coverage, and the publicly financed benefits package is relatively comprehensive. Out-of-pocket payments are low in Croatia. Yet, close to 90% of all households with catastrophic health spending are in the poorest quintile, and most of this spending is on outpatient medicines.

To improve financial protection, policy attention in the health system should enhance access to complementary voluntary health insurance for poorer households, strengthen co-payment design and improve the affordability of non-covered medicines.