Uncertainty rarely bodes well for complementary health insurance premiums. However, after two years that have upset business models and systematically proven all predictions wrong, maybe it is time for a change in thinking. Although there is still talk of higher premiums and cost increases, the world after may hold some pleasant surprises for employers and employees. The crisis has undoubtedly made insurers more attentive to companies and policyholders, and more open to negotiating changes in rating on a case-by-case basis.
A look back at two years of uncertainty
Over the last two years, forecasting the evolution of health insurance portfolios and premium rating has been something of a balancing act for complementary health insurers. 2020 saw a contraction in the consumption of healthcare due to successive lockdowns. But with the Covid tax decided at the end of 2020, the government has taken much of the wealth accumulated by complementary health insurers over that period, despite ongoing anxiety. Indeed, at the beginning of 2021, everyone was predicting a wave of bankruptcies with unpaid premiums bringing a drop in premium volumes and an increase in the cost of portability. There were also fears of an inevitable catch-up effect on health expenditure. Not to mention the effects of the 100% health care reform, which went unnoticed because of the pandemic. These concerns have driven up premium rates.
Insurers need to change their model
One year later, the much feared excesses have not occurred. And, generally speaking, complementary insurance financing has improved. Nevertheless, insurers are still worried and, with this kind of uncertainty, are leaning towards caution. Caution is often reflected in complementary health insurance premium rates.
This is what companies might well have feared for this year. This will, however, probably not be the case. Shaken by the projected overall reform of the Social Security system (the “Grand Social Security” project) insurers have been forced to revise their business models, impacted by two totally atypical years, and concentrate on the facts. And so what can we see? Catch-ups have occurred here and there, but to varying degrees. For example, the impact of the 100% health care reform has been massive for optical care in rural areas and small towns, but much less so in large urban centres. Some companies have come through the crisis unscathed, while others have experienced strong excesses in healthcare consumption and peaks in absenteeism. Thus, we can no longer be satisfied with global projections, general trends. Insurers are well aware of this: it is time to differentiate.
Complementary health insurance terms: a new type of negotiation
A fast-growing tech company with a low average age and high prospects now has real negotiating power over complementary health insurance rates. By putting forward such arguments, it can easily avoid a rating increase. What arguments? Its favourable age pyramid, growing workforce, unclouded horizon… But also its staff policies, quality of life at work strategy, good absenteeism figures, and also its claims figures. Today, insurers are looking much more at individual company situations. This change in attitude makes our consultancy and intermediary role more interesting and rewarding and corresponds to our positioning over many years. When a broker personalises the relationship between insurer and the employer, everyone pays the right price for their complementary protection.
Deputy General Manager