Insurance Europe ha presentato una risposta all’invito della Commissione europea a presentare prove sull’accesso a una LTC accessibile e di alta qualità.
Gli assicuratori svolgono già un ruolo chiave in molti stati membri integrando i sistemi sanitari nazionali con una copertura privata, alleviando la pressione su quei sistemi, e questo ruolo potrebbe crescere in futuro. Ciò sarà importante dato l’invecchiamento della popolazione europea e le sfide che esso crea nel garantire che i cittadini dell’UE abbiano accesso a un’assistenza sanitaria a prezzi accessibili in età avanzata.
Incentivi fiscali per la LTC
Tuttavia, affinché gli assicuratori possano svolgere un ruolo maggiore, devono essere soddisfatte diverse condizioni. Per esempio, gli incentivi fiscali potrebbero aiutare a garantire che i prodotti assicurativi rimangano accessibili e attraenti.
Evoluzione del servizio sanitari e di assistenza
Inoltre, gli assicuratori sono desiderosi di esplorare con le autorità come potrebbe evolvere il loro ruolo. Ad esempio, gli assicuratori potrebbero fungere da gateway per i servizi sanitari, soprattutto quelli che incoraggiano la prevenzione, la consapevolezza e l’adattamento, aree in cui gli assicuratori hanno un’esperienza significativa e che sono vitali per mantenere i costi sanitari accessibili.
La Commissione europea potrebbe anche incoraggiare gli Stati membri a sviluppare approcci per ridurre le pressioni sui sistemi sanitari e promuovere la prevenzione, stili di vita sani e l’uso appropriato di soluzioni digitali.
Contribution to EC call for evidence on access to affordable and highquality long-term care
While life expectancy appears to be stalling in many European countries, the average population age continues to increase, and will do so for years to come. It is therefore vital to ensure that, in the future, an increasing number of people have access to affordable healthcare throughout their old age. Against this background, Insurance Europe welcomes the European Commission’s call for evidence and looks forward to the upcoming discussions. There are several ways to ensure accessibility and affordability of long-term care across Europe, and these should reflect the various approaches implemented by individual member states.
Despite this diversity, there is a broad consensus in most countries that the private insurance industry has a major role to play to reconcile adequate and affordable healthcare and long-term care coverage with fiscal and financial sustainability, and that it could play an even greater one in the future. European insurers have extensive experience regarding the provision of health and long-term care services, albeit linked to the organisation of national health systems. Private health insurers typically fulfil a supplementary, complementary or substitutional role; or, in some cases, a combination of these three types of roles (depending on the national set-up).
Private insurers often allow policyholders to benefit from faster access to treatment and a wider choice of healthcare providers. Pooling and smoothing of risks over long periods of time are the essence of private insurance. Insurers can offer relatively stable lifetime premiums to customers, using “ageing reserves”. Indeed, as claims costs tend to rise with age, early access to private health insurance allows policyholders to build up their “reserve” and therefore achieve affordable insurance in later life. Insurers remain committed to continuing to provide these services and to supporting governments where possible. In order to do so, it will be vital for member states to ensure that the right conditions are in place to enable insurers to play their role.
Tax incentives could, for instance, play a role in ensuring that insurance products remain affordable and attractive. Insurers are also keen to explore with authorities the possibility to expand their range of activities. This could include, for instance, acting as gateways to services — especially services that encourage prevention, awareness and adaptation, areas in which insurers have experience and which are vital to keep healthcare costs affordable. As mentioned earlier, healthcare and social affairs are still predominantly regulated by individual member states. Nonetheless, the insurance industry takes the view that the EU has a role to play. In particular, the Commission could explore ways to support member states in making insurance cover more accessible and affordable: It is vital for all member states to develop approaches that will likely decrease the pressure on health systems, and the Commission could play a role in promoting such approaches.
Of particular importance is prevention, notably by promoting healthy lifestyles and making appropriate use of digital solutions. Public private partnerships (PPPs) and, in particular, the exchange of information and good practices between stakeholders could contribute to addressing long-term care challenges. The EU could support member states by promoting the value of and supporting the set-up of such PPPs. Another element to consider is the importance of clear information to citizens. Citizens should have clear information about what the public sector covers them for in terms of health and social services, so that they can take responsibility for any gaps in their coverage.