The new Long-Term Care Act has been adopted

The National Assembly, during its 43rd extraordinary session, rejected the proposal for a suspensive veto by the National Council on the Long-Term Care Act (hereinafter referred to as the “Act“). Thus, the National Assembly confirmed the Act and repealed the previous act of the same name.

The aim of the Act is to upgrade and unify the regulation of long-term care, which is crucial for ensuring a high quality of life for people in all stages of life, particularly considering current demographic trends. The Ministry of Solidarity-Based Future drafted the Act, taking into account projections that place Slovenia among the third of European countries with the highest proportion of elderly population in the coming decades. Due to these demographic changes and the consequent increase in the proportion of inactive population and decrease in the active population, the existing resources from social security and other sources (e.g., the state budget) are already insufficient to finance the necessary level of support and assistance for all those in need of long-term care. As a result, an increasing financial burden is being shifted onto direct payments by users and their families. The Act aims to partially alleviate this financial burden by providing funding from compulsory insurance for long-term care, and state budget up to EUR 190 million, with only a smaller portion to be covered by users’ own contributions.

The main novelties introduced by the Act are as follows:

  • Transfer of authority for long-term care to the newly established Ministry of Solidarity-Based Future, which will in this role replace the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities. This is expected to simplify the procedures and decision-making in the field of long-term care. At the same time, the Ministry is also the appellate body against the first-instance decisions of the centres for social services;
  • Precise definition of the types of long-term care services, including (i) assistance with basic activities, (ii) support with daily activities, and (iii) medical care related to basic daily tasks.
  • Regulation of non-monetary rights to long-term care (defined in hours), determination of monetary benefits (ranging from EUR 89 to EUR 491), and establishment of the right to a family caregiver who provides care services at the user’s home;
  • Introduction of additional rights to long-term care, including services for strengthening and maintaining independence and co-financing of e-care services. Services for strengthening and maintaining independence (e.g., counseling, psychosocial and post-diagnostic support) will enable users to receive assistance and care that would otherwise only be available in institutions, while e-care services will be provided remotely, allowing users to stay at home longer and providing them with a sense of security;
  • Establishment of entry points at centres for social services, responsible for carrying out professional and administrative tasks related to the enforcement of rights of insured persons for long-term care. These entry points will also provide professional advice to help the user decide, which long-term care services available to them, to receive;
  • Implementation of long-term care through a public network, which will include public institutions, other legal entities, and independent entrepreneurial concessionaires. The public network will provide long-term care services in nursing homes and at users’ homes. For the implementation of this activity, certain conditions and obligations, including enrolment in the register of providers, have been specified;
  • Establishment of a system of mandatory checks on the general conditions for the acquisition of long-term care rights throughout the course of application, with a view for preventing the unjustified use of the rights.

The Act, which will come into effect one day after its publication in the Official Gazette, envisions a gradual implementation of the changes until December 1, 2025.

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