Indonesia reviewing second bailout for state-owned insurer

Consistently underperforming insurer’s fate hangs in the balance after requesting yet another lifeline

Indonesia reviewing second bailout for state-owned insurer

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The finance ministry of Indonesia is reviewing a potential bailout of state-owned insurer BPJS Kesehatan. The troubled health insurer has requested the government provide additional funding to meet its liabilities.

Since 2014, Indonesia has provided universal health coverage for its citizens, but BPJS Kesehatan consistently took losses, paying out more claims than premiums collected.

The beleaguered firm, which covers almost 200 million Indonesians, needs to repay IDR7.2 trillion (US$472.60 million) in matured or maturing debts, reported Reuters. However, the company’s head Fahmi Idris said that, as of Monday, it only had IDR154 billion (US$10.1 million) in its coffers.

A Finance Ministry official said that it would perform a full review before deciding what actions to take regarding the insurer’s situation.

In September, the government injected IDR4.9 trillion (US$32.2 million) into BPJS Kesehatan, but Idris said that all the money had been spent by the end of the month.

Hospitals have complained about delayed payments from BPJS Kesehatan, which end up hurting their cashflow as well as their relationships with pharmaceutical distributors, the report said.

BPJS Kesehatan is not the only Indonesian insurer encountering financial troubles. Life insurer Bumiputera remains under custody of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) after a failed rescue by a private investor fell through earlier this year. Jiwasraya, another state-owned insurer, is feeling a liquidity crunch and is currently being monitored by the FSA.

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