The year of the pandemic ended in Andalusia with 1,750,322 insured with the provision of health services, which is 98,754 more than the previous year, the largest increase in the last decade according to data from the Spanish Union of Insurance Entities (Unespa). In the autonomous community, the percentage of the population with this type of policy is already 20.63%, below the average, but in continuous growth judging by the figures of recent years.
Private healthcare gains ground in Andalusia: Malaga and Seville are already above the national average in insurance
“The contribution of the private health system has been revealed during the situation generated by the covid. The sector has facilitated access to care for coronavirus patients. It has also paid for diagnostic tests to millions of people in Spain. It has contributed to containment of the pandemic in the country “, defend from Unespa. Sources of the interlocutor of reference on the matter also state that those who pay for health insurance in Spain do not consume public health services. “The cost savings for the administration that they generate, therefore, is evident”, they emphasize.
Regarding the reasons for the increase, they indicate that “they are products that are marketed at competitive and accessible prices, the available supply is wide and presents differential characteristics.” They also allow us to have complementary therapeutic options, quick access to specialists, coverage such as oral and foreign care, and so on. “These characteristics have motivated the sustained growth of health insurance billing in the last 15 years,” they detail.
The boom of payment in kind
Its growing acceptance as a payment in kind mechanism has also played a role. “Many companies have incorporated health insurance for their workers as a complementary remuneration concept. It is, in fact, one of the most valued social benefits among the workforce. This makes them a tool to attract and retain talent, and contribute to reducing the work absenteeism “, summary from the organization.
The market is dominated by Adeslas, Sanitas and Asisa, with almost 60% of the share of this market. The first company, in fact, touches 30% of the total. By provinces, Malaga is in the lead, with more than a quarter of its population with private health coverage. This is explained, in part, according to Unespa, by its business weight, which makes it foresee that more companies will offer their workforce this payment in kind. It is followed by Seville, where this type of policy also already covers almost a quarter of its population. In the case of Seville, it is also one of the provinces with more officials of the General State Administration outside of Madrid and, therefore, with many of them covered by insurance companies.
In the country as a whole, the total insured rose to 11,056,850 in 2020, 23.4% of the population, which also represented the largest increase in a year if we look at the statistics of the last decade. These companies thus gained 469,750 more clients in the year of the pandemic, an increase of 4.4% compared to 2019, when in previous years growth per year had always been below 4%. This in turn allowed its turnover to skyrocket above 9,000 million euros.
Fall in the rest for sure
This rise in health insurance contrasts with the general decline in other types of protection. In this way, Andalusia, with an average of 803.5 euros, was among the autonomous communities with the lowest per capita spending on insurance products, only ahead of Extremadura, Murcia, the Canary Islands and Ceuta and Melilla. It spent 63.8 euros less than in 2019 and 440.3 below the national average, according to the report prepared by Mapfre Economics in a context in which premiums fell in all autonomous communities.
In this way, the higher spending on health insurance, which represents a quota of more than 25%, was not enough to compensate for the lower outlay in the rest. The effects of the confinement and social distancing measures on employment, businesses, homes and companies, had an impact on the insurance activity, although unevenly by business segment. It stands out, in fact, that the life insurance business suffered the greatest setback, exceeding 20%, according to the aforementioned study.