BUSINESS

Increasing number of Greeks opt for private healthcare insurance

EVGENIA TZORTZI

TAGS: Economy

It appears that more and more Greeks are signing up for private health insurance, as data collected by the Association of Hellenic Insurance Companies indicate that the number of private health insurance contracts soared 12.5 percent last year from 2014.

What is notable about this increase is that it has come about despite the marked decline in households’ disposable income. However, it also reflects society’s reaction to the fact that the public healthcare system is facing serious problems.

Statistics showed that the number of hospital care contracts came to 313,061 in 2015, compared to 278,211 the year before. This concerns lifelong health insurance policies sold either as purely hospital programs or as supplements to basic life insurance policies or savings programs. When annual health insurance policies are included, the number of healthcare policy holders reaches up to 850,000.

Another category comprises group health policies for the staff of large enterprises, with those insured numbering about 770,000, according to the association’s estimates. Although some of them also have private policies too, it is certain that the sum of private health contract holders is well above 1 million.

Besides being a flexible tool for insurers, requiring smaller capital and commitment, the annual policies in particular offer a satisfactory solution to a growing number of people who are seeking to secure access to decent healthcare services at a time when the problems of the public social security system are on the rise.

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