THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE COVERED BY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE INCREASED BY 10.6 PER CENT AND IT WAS 4.08 MILLION PEOPLE AT THE END OF THE THIRD QUARTER 2022. POLES SPENT NEARLY PLN 880 MILLION FOR PRIVATE POLICIES – ABOUT 12.45 PERCENT MORE Y/Y. ADDITIONAL COVER IS INCREASINGLY MORE POPULAR AMONGST POLES, ESPECIALLY WITH THE EVER MORE COMPREHENSIVE PRODUCTS OFFERED ON THE MARKET. PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE MAKES IT EASIER TO REDUCE THE HEALTH CARE DEBT
- PLN 878.7 million – gross written premiums in health insurance at the end of the third quarter of 2022
- PLN 4.08 million – number of private health insurance users in Poland.
PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE – GROWING INTEREST IN COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH COVER
Nearly an 11% increase in the number of people covered by health insurance shows that we treat this type of insurance as an excellent complement of the public system and an effective tool to take care of our health.
Products offered by insurers are increasingly more elaborate: in addition to basic outpatient healthcare, the terms of agreements offer access to comprehensive medical examinations and prophylaxis. They facilitate regular check of the health condition. A number of insurance providers promote healthy lifestyle, offer access to psychologists, dieticians, vouchers for sport activities, etc. This is the right direction, consistent with the latest approach to public health.
“Our health primarily depends on us, our habits, lifestyle, but also on access to healthcare. These factors are addressed by private health insurance. Health-related needs are enormous among Poles, and they are always on the increase, so private policies will continue to be in high demand. This applies to insurance which guarantees comprehensive healthcare, especially for those who are professionally active. Their improved health condition will translate directly to general welfare for all of us. PIU has already presented a number of different projects to support the additional health insurance, demonstrating that such solutions will have measurable benefits for Poles, the healthcare system and for the State”, says Dorota M. Fal, Management Board Adviser of the Polish Chamber of Insurance (PIU).
WE NEED PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE
The NHF informs that more and more money is spent for healthcare. Unfortunately, rampant medical inflation, which has already exceeded 20 percent, means that higher spending does not translate into an increased number of medical services or improvement of Poles’ health condition. The act which will enable to shift the funding of certain services from the State budget to the NHF will not improve the situation. This applies to highly specialised procedures, medical rescue and medications for pregnant women and people aged 75+. The NHF budget is linked with the GDP, the growth of which is forecasted by the NBP to go down to 0.7 percent in 2023.
“An inefficient public healthcare system, no support for additional insurance, increasing health care debt, as well as inflation, waves of refugees and a number of other contemporary misfortunes and calamities are a recipe for a health crisis in society. The situation is additionally worsened by insufficient number of medical staff, the occupational burnout they experience, and the post-pandemic stress disorder which is on the increase in this professional group. There is not enough public funds to remedy the situation. Thus, it is not a coincidence that the popularity of health insurance increases, even though it has still not been made part of the healthcare system in Poland”, adds Dorota M. Fal.
HEALTH CONCERNS – STILL IMPORTANT
The health condition of Poles has long raised justified concerns. This is visible in the results of the third edition of ‘The Polish Risk Map’, the research conducted by PIU, which shows that the fear of a disease and ill health comes first in the list of greatest concerns. Similar were the results of the previous waves of the research: health issues were our greatest worry. According to ‘The Polish Risk Map’, 7 out of 10 respondents are afraid of no access to medical care, and 79 percent of them are worried about cancer.
In Poland, mortality caused by diseases of civilisation – cardiovascular diseases, malicious cancers and diabetes – is on the increase. According to the Central Office of Statistics (GUS), these are the most frequent cause of death in the country (65 percent). The increasing problem of obesity poses another challenge. The data available to the NHF and GUS shows that about 60 percent of Poles are overweight, while 25 percent are obese. Additionally, our mental condition, considerably affected by the pandemic, also gives rise to concerns. The research entitled ‘Pandemic vs. mental condition of Poles’, conducted by UCE RESEARCH for ePsycholodzy.pl, shows that nearly 40 percent of Poles admit that during the pandemic their mental condition deteriorated. Recent years have also been linked with unsatisfied needs for medical tests and checks. According to an analysis performed by PZUW – ‘Report on Poles’ Health. Post-Covid-19 Diagnosis’, in 2019 this figure was 4.2 percent, while in the spring of 2022 – it was as much as 30 percent.Zgodnie z analizą PZUW „Raport o zdrowiu Polaków. Diagnoza po pandemii COVID-19” w 2019 r. odsetek ten wynosił 4,2 proc., zaś wiosną 2022 r. aż 30 proc.
 ‘The Polish Risk Map’ research was carried out by SW Research at the request of PIU. The research was conducted in February 2020, 2021 and 2022. The sample size in each phase was over 2,000 respondents. The research was conducted using CAWI research methodology. The primary purpose of the research was to identify the key risk factors for Poles in terms of evaluation of a given concern and its likelihood.