Data from the Polish Insurance Association for the first quarter of 2017 show that the number of people with additional health insurance policies increased year on year by almost 30% and reached the level of two million insured individuals. The gross written premium from the whole market amounted to PLN 169.1 million (a 25% increase), according to PIA data.
In spite of a dynamic 59% increase in the number of individual policies (453,000 people), group insurance still accounts for the largest share of the additional health insurance market with 1.558 million insured people. They are usually purchased in the form of an employee bonus which benefits, on the one hand, employees who have easier access to medical services and, on the other hand, employers by reducing staff absenteeism.
‘Quarter by quarter, the growing number of individual and group health insurance policies demonstrates that people in Poland see a need to invest in private healthcare. This results from uncertainty caused by the planned fundamental changes to public healthcare on the one hand, and on the other hand, low financial outlays in the public system. Poland only allocates 4.5 per cent of GDP on health, which places us in penultimate position among OECD countries. Not only are Western European countries better than us, but also our neighbours from the east. For comparison, the average public spending in EU countries amounts to as much as 7.9 per cent’, says Dorota M. Fal,
Consultant for the Polish Insurance Association. She adds, ‘With such a low public outlay and a significant increase in interest in private investments in health, both individual and corporate, systemic support for the development of the additional health insurance market is necessary. Private policy holders have easier and quicker access to medical services and they are relieving the public healthcare system, which is also important from the point of view of the users of the services of the National Health Fund. As some patients move to the private healthcare sector, queues in public healthcare are becoming shorter’.