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Up-to-date health insurance status in Bulgaria (NSSI-Health)

Published on: 15/08/2006
Document
This service includes submission of updated report on the health insurance status of all Bulgarian citizens under the Health Insurance Act and providing information on the periods not covered by health insurance contributions. This service is rendered freely to all interested parts. Electronic signature is not required, the report is obtained only through inputting of the Personal Identification Number /EGN/ or the Personal Number for foreigner. There are few methods for access to this information. The first method is the on-line report on the official Internet website of NSSI. The second opportunity for access to this information is through KIOSK terminals, installed in the Central and in the 28 Regional offices of NSSI. The third method is through sending SMS or dialing mobile or digital phone number.

Main results, benefits and impacts

The service has a positive influence on the whole insurance climate and on the relationship between insurers, insured people and the state administration. On one hand the service turned out to be an important prerequisite for building the reputation of NSSI as institution. It proved, as many times before, its readiness and capacity to provide efficient, customer oriented services in compliance with all legal requirements On the other hand, the client's satisfaction with the service grows. The report is obtained without waiting in real time. Unnecessary correspondence by letters is avoided. All this factors leads to its wider implementation. Clients' confidence in the reliability of the information increases which brings very positive results. The free access to the database of Health Insurance removes every suspicion of the employees for unpaid health insurance contributions by their employers and contributes to more secure working atmosphere. Transparency and control create environment encouraging compliance and discouraging infringement of the laws. The accurate and updated information received, stored and processed at NSSI is very useful and highly rated not only by the ordinary citizens, but also by external institutions that work with the National Health Insurance Fund like pharmacies, hospitals, medical laboratories and so on. They are provided with fast access to the necessary information directly from their specialized software applications without visiting the website of the NSSI. The time for checking the health status of patients is reduced and both medical workers and patients are pleased with this facilitation. NSSI staff is also relieved by the paper load The number of requests, complaints and letters from citizens is reduced and the NSSI officials are able to answer them more quickly and efficiently. The expenditures on hiring additional personnel, buying paper and maintenance of the printing machines is reduced. As a whole time and money are spared.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

- Working groups with dynamic memberships is a better way to attract highly motivated professionals with tight schedule The project was developed and deployed by NSSI specialists. As many professionals were required in the various stages of the implementation, working groups with dynamic membership were developed. The gatherings of the groups were attended only by the experts whose help was needed at that certain stage of the project. In this way all the members could carry on with their every-day duties and take part in the project only when their presence was needed. - 'Update and upgrade' rather than 'Demolish and Rebuild' As all database objects in NSSI follow strictly the relational principles they were ready for use by any additional services right from the moment of their deployment. Special attention was paid for the complete integration of the newly developed service in the complex software and hardware environment of NSSI constituting hundreds of servers, objects, applications and thousands of work stations. Apart from the implementation of the new service, special measures were taken while at on-line server status to prevent any intrusions or DoS attacks. Working on a live server, no matter how annoying it is for the administrators, is crucially important as even a second of non-availability is totally unacceptable. - 'Train as You Go' No matter how large the development team could be, there are always many other users that have to be trained, motivated, etc. The training of all the personnel was a continuous process, often at the working place. This provides better understanding of the processes themselves and do not take the employee outside his normal work environment. - Find way to fight opposition and disbelief with clear and transparent principles and actions throughout the whole process of implementation Often, any new undertaking is followed by strong opposition. Currently, society notions could only be influenced by broad public campaigns and a set of clear and transparent principles that should keep the public's trust high. As NSSI is the most important player in Bulgaria's 'pay-as-you-go' part of the pension system, trust is as important as contribution. - Maneuvering in tight and changing legislature framework As Republic of Bulgaria is preparing for its membership in the EU, there are many regulations that are changed to fit membership requirements. This long-term process forms quite dynamic legal environment that require fast response to all the changes. Further more, there are many completely new regulations that are taken into consideration, they completely change the way personal data is stored, processed or disclosed. All these factors impose to NSSI new, rather pro-active approach to the changes in the social life.