gerep-barometre

(20 January to 30 May 2020)

FOCUS ON THE WEEKS OF DECONFINEMENT 

The first two sections of the GEREP barometer, already revealed a drop of almost 90% in the consumption of medical services at the peak of the lockdown period that ended on 11 May last. What has been happening since 11 May? Has the consumption of medical services gradually picked up or has consumption kicked in as abruptly as it fell on confinement? What is the forecast for annual consumption figures?

Section #1: 20 January – 27 April 2020 / Section #2: 20 January – 9 May 2020 / Section #3: 11 May to 5 June 2020

HEALTHCARE:

  • 30% from 20 January to 30 May 2020 vs 2019
  • 6.3% in the first 3 weeks of post-confinement vs 2019

DENTAL TREATMENT:

  • 35% from 20 January to 30 May 2020 vs 2019
  • 14.8% in the first 3 weeks post-confinement vs 2019

OPTICAL SECTOR:

  • 55% from 20 January to 30 May 2020 vs 2019
  • 6.4% in the first 3 weeks of post-confinement vs 2019

GEREP, a broking firm specialising in group insurance programmes, has set out to study changes in consumption and the behaviour of its insured persons during this health and economic crisis based on a survey conducted with a significant share of its client portfolio (a panel of around 60,000 of its programme beneficiaries). The study was carried out immediately following the official announcement of the first Covid-19 cases (24 January 2020) and then weekly:

  • Section #1 [published 23 April 2020]: 13 weeks of observation data
  • Section #2 [published 14 May 2020]: 15 weeks of observation data
  • – Section #3 [published 10 June 2020]: 19 weeks of observation data

Main conclusions as to the “consumption” impact on complementary “second tier” health insurance

[Study of the overall “Covid-19 crisis” period]: A net drop in healthcare benefits: -30% over the period vs 2019 (20 January to 30 May 2020)

It is no surprise that the GEREP study revealed that the Covid-19 crisis had a big impact on French healthcare spending. Over the 19 weeks of the health crisis (from the week of 20 January), the survey found a drop of 30% compared to the same period in 2019.

  • The trend accelerated as from the week when confinement was announced (-64%), and the drop peaked in the week of 23 – 29 March (-76% on average, in terms of healthcare spending). The following 3 weeks remained at the same level (-74%).

[Post-confinement study] – A clear improvement: -6.3% over the period vs 2019 (11 January to 30 May 2020)

The end of confinement (11 May) marks a clear change in the trend of healthcare spending in France. Whereas, the decrease during the lockdown period was of the order of 70%, the first 3 weeks after confinement saw a drop of 6.3%. This reversal had been expected but came about more quickly than forecast.

Situation varies depending on expense type

The GEREP study also set out to take a detailed look at the impact of Covid-19 on the main expense types that make up 80% of expenses covered by complementary health insurance, i.e.:

  • Optics: 26% of reimbursements – Dental: 21% of reimbursements
  • Consultations, visits: 11% of reimbursements – Hospitalisation: 11% of reimbursements
  • Pharmaceuticals: 10% of reimbursements

OPTICAL SECTOR:

-55% over the period studied vs 2019 (20 January to 30 May 2020)

[Study of the overall “Covid-19 crisis” period]:

The start of the year for the optical sector was marked by the introduction of price capping on optical appliances following the so-called “100% Healthcare” reform. Logically, reimbursements of optical appliances were down, even before confinement, nevertheless a sharp drop was seen as early as the week of 16 March.

  • An initial drop, linked directly to “100% Healthcare”, was seen at first (-33.6% on average) before the very sharp drop of over 90% in consumption during confinement.

[Post-confinement study ] – Consumption at a higher level than before the crisis:  -6.4% over the period vs 2019 (11 May to 30 May 2020)

Significant increase in consumption during the period of deconfinement compared to the beginning of the year, with a reversal of curves as early as week 3 of deconfinement – a distinct catch-up effect.

Indeed the consumption of optical services has been buoyant since deconfinement at only -6.4% compared to -33.6% during Q1 and Q2. It is noticeable that consumption picked up right from the first week of deconfinement: -23% vs -61% in the previous week.

DENTISTRY

[Study of the overall “Covid-19 crisis” period]:  -35% over the period studied vs 2019 (20 January to 30 May 2020)

Implementation of the “100% Healthcare” reform, which takes into account the position of the tooth and the material used for a denture, has in fact tended to increase reimbursement levels since the beginning of the year. The lockdown period, with dental practices closed, reduced consumption to practically zero.(-93%).

[Post-confinement study ] – Consumption back at the April 2019 level.   -14.8% over the period vs 2019 (11 May to 30 May 2020)

The denture sector has practically regained its pre-crisis level (-3% observed in the week of 17 May).

Impact on the management of employee benefit schemes

After having seen, during confinement, an increase of 50% in work stoppage declarations in March and 100% in April compared to the monthly average, GEREP has now observed that the management of work stoppages is back to normal.

  • 39 claims opened on average per week in 2019 and before confinement
  • 80 claims opened on average per week during confinement, peaking at 128 per week in the first two weeks of confinement
  • 39 claims opened per week post-confinement

Methodology

Study conducted on a significant share of the GEREP customer portfolio: Panel of 60,000 beneficiaries in managed schemes

The study was carried out right from the official announcement of the first Covid-19 cases (24 January 2020) and continued on a weekly basis (from the week of 20 January to the week of 27 April, i.e. 14 weeks data).

In order to “neutralise” variations in payroll numbers, GEREP reworked the consumption results for staff “at risk” each week.

Important: Some of the data we gave on 23 April 2020 and 14 May (SECTIONS 1 & 2 of the study) have changed. This is because GEREP has adjusted some data to take account of some developments that occurred during the period studied in SECTIONS 1 & 2 (week of 20 January to the week of 9 May) but where the data was either received or processed by GEREP after the period.

You can download the press release at this link

You can download section 1 at this link

You can download section 2 at this link

Damien Vieillard-Baron