Since April 1997, Bolivia has had two basic benefit models: the first addresses basic social security mechanisms, and the second relates to pensions. The Código de Seguridad Social includes sickness benefits, maternity benefits, family allowances, long-term professional risk and disability and old-age and death benefits. The second model is based in national pension laws, which formulate the new scheme for retirement, temporary disability benefits and professional risk.
Bolivia’s national health system (SNS) consists of the three sub-sectors that are typical for countries in the region. First, there is the public sub-sector under the Ministry of Health and Sport, which is responsible for developing and implementing national health policy. Second, there is the social security sub-sector, which consists of the health funds and programs under the direction of the of the Ministry of Health and Sport general directorate of social insurance and the National Health Insurance Institute (INASES), who coordinate and monitor the funds. Finally, there is the private sub-sector consisting of specialized clinics, centres and private consultations, as well as centres run by the Catholic Church and NGOs.
According to INASES, the total number of insured persons registered with the various health funds amounted to 28.5% of the population in 2004. This rate remains among the lowest in South America, and is typical for a group of countries with strong indicators of social exclusion in the health field.
The pension system adopted by Bolivia is based exclusively on workers’ contributions, except job risk benefits, which are financed by employers. The contributions are accumulated in individual accounts administered by private bodies known as pension fund administrators (AFPs). This system has completely supplanted the old one, in contrast to other models with parallel systems.
An ILO study based on the 2005 household survey dealt with the subject of affiliation with the AFPs. The group of employees is estimated to include 1,113,201 persons, while the group of unsalaried workers is estimated to include 1,091,915 persons, with an average affiliation rate of 21.1%. These figures are similar to those for premium-payers.
Job risk. The health funds, or the social health insurance in short-term cases, covers the consequences for health and income generating ability of work-related accidents and illness. Nevertheless, it is important to realize that the risks faced at work are different from those in other areas of human activity.
The protection offered for the three contingencies are financed through the same 10% paid by employers, calculated from the total salary.