Compulsory private complementary health insurance offered by employers in France: Implications and current debate

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Abstract

In January 2013, within the framework of a National Inter-professional Agreement (NIA), the French government required all employers (irrespective of the size of their business) to offer private complementary health insurance to their employees from January 2016. The generalization of group complementary health insurance to all employees will directly affect insurers, employers and employees, as well as individuals not directly concerned (students, retirees, unemployed and civil servants). In this paper, we present the issues raised by this regulation, the expected consequences and the current debate around this reform. In particular, we argue that this reform may have adverse effects on equity of access to complementary health insurance in France, since the risk structure of the market for individual health insurance will change, potentially increasing inequalities between wage-earners and others. Moreover, tax exemptions given to group contracts are problematic because public funds used to support these contracts can be higher at individual level for high-salary individuals than those allocated to improve access for the poorest. In response to the criticism and with the aim of ensuring equity in the system, the government decided to reconsider some of the fiscal advantages given to group contracts, to enhance programs and aids dedicated to the poorest and to redefine an overall context of incentives.

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APA

Franc, C., & Pierre, A. (2015). Compulsory private complementary health insurance offered by employers in France: Implications and current debate. Health Policy, 119(2), 111–116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2014.12.014

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