At total of 2.6 million Poles were using private health insurance at the end of 2018, according
to data from the Polish Chamber of Insurance — over 23% more than the previous year. This number has exceeded 2.5 million for the first time in history, and interest is continuing to grow. We spent PLN 821.1 million on private health insurance in 2018 compared to PLN 678.9 million last year.
‘According to our research, Poles choose to rely on private medical care in particular because of faster access to doctors. It is not surprising because the waiting time for guaranteed health benefits has been steadily increasing for more than two years. At the end of 2018 and 2019, it amounted to 3.8 months’, commented Dorota M. Fal, advisor to the Board of the Polish Chamber of Insurance. ‘We expect effective and quick medical assistance from private medical facilities. This is important for many people, especially in the light of recent media reports about the situation in public healthcare. Private insurance guarantees help when health problems arise. What is important is that it is much cheaper than paying out of pocket for each visit to doctors or expensive tests’, added Dorota M. Fal.
Cooperation with employers is key to better healthcare
The high level of interest of Poles in private healthcare was also confirmed by the study ‘Co-financing healthcare’, conducted at the request of PIU in September last year. Almost 60% of respondents indicated that they want to receive medical packages from their employers and are ready to participate in their funding. In the case of 64% of respondents who already have private health care, its cost is at least partially covered by the company. This is not the case for small companies in which workers cannot count on co-financing of healthcare as part of supplementary insurance by employers. According to the ‘Small business research report regarding charges linked to the Social Insurance Institution’, prepared by the INDICATOR Marketing Research Centre, 68% of small business owners do not offer their employees additional health insurance. For 34% of the respondents, the cost is too high, taking into account the high financial burden of compulsory Social Insurance Institution contributions and taxes.