Health insurance premiums for farmers and their families depend on farm size. Where the farm has an area of up to 6 comparative fiscal hectares, NFZ (National Health Fund) premiums for its owner are paid by the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (KRUS) from the state budget. Per each hectare above this threshold, farmers are charged a monthly fee of PLN 1 for themselves and their families.

The rules for financing farmers’ health insurance premiums were amended by the Act of 13 January 2012 on Health Insurance Premiums for Farmers for the year 2012. Amendments that followed extended these rules to include the years 2013 and 2014.

Premiums are to depend on income

The Act on health insurance premiums entered into force in 2012, following a judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal which in 2010 objected to the regulations under which premiums were paid from the state budget for all farmers, irrespective of their incomes.

Once this Act became effective, there were no grounds to calculate the actual income of a given farmer. Hence the Government’s suggestion to make the premiums dependent on the acreage owned.

Initially, the amendment was to be valid only in 2012, i.e. until the introduction of agricultural income tax. So far, however, the tax has not become law, so the regulations on health premium had to be extended for another year, till the end of 2014.

Who pays farmers’ premiums

Currently, the cost of health insurance premiums for farmers and their families, engaged in agricultural activities on their own land with an area of less than 6 hectares, is covered by the state budget. Farmers active in the so-called “special divisions" of agricultural production pay an individual health insurance premium equal to 9% of their declared income. This should be no less, however, than 9% of the minimum wage. The premium to be paid for their families equals 9% of the base which constitutes 33.4% of the average monthly wage in the enterprise sector. The premiums are paid on a quarterly basis.

In the case of farmers and their families who, despite engaging in non-agricultural business activities, are covered by the agricultural insurance scheme, the health premium is paid only in respect of farming activities.

Data from the Ministry of Agriculture

According to the data of the Ministry of Agriculture, as at the end of 2012, 532.4 thousand farmers paid premiums on their own (this group does not include farmers engaged only in the special divisions of agricultural production, and their families). The state budget, in turn, incurred the costs of health insurance for 870.3 thousand farmers.

Health insurance premiums paid by farmers on their own over a period of 12 months (April 2012 - March 2013) amounted to a total of PLN 109.5 million.

According to estimates based on applicable regulations, the amount of premiums to be paid for farmers by KRUS in 2014 will reach PLN 22.1 million.

The annual cost to be incurred by the state budget in 2014 in respect of health insurance premiums has been estimated at about PLN 1,753 million.

Facts worth noting

By 31 January each year, insured farmers active in one of the special divisions of agricultural production should file with KRUS a statement on the type of activities performed and the expected income.

Farmers are obliged to inform KRUS on any family members who are not covered by health insurance on other grounds, by filing a special application form.

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