Riccardo Colombani: «The weight of integrative healthcare is growing»

Public health is no longer enough on its own to cover the needs of a population, the Italian one, which is increasingly extending its average lifespan. And for this reason, insurance and health funds play and will increasingly play a fundamental role in guaranteeing essential benefits and services at prices accessible to all. In Italy, overall public and private healthcare spending is around 3 thousand euros per capita. The intermediated one stops at around 308 euros. As is known, private healthcare spending includes that incurred directly by families and that 'intermediated' by health funds and insurance companies. Therefore, increasing the share of intermediated spending is essential to promote access to services at sustainable prices and prevent health from becoming a right for the few.

“Alongside the national health service, the weight of supplementary healthcare must grow, currently at 3% of the total”. This is the message launched by Riccardo Colombani, General Secretary of First Cisl, on the day in which the ECB returns to cut rates after two years and ten consecutive increases. Colombani spoke today in Rome at 'Insurance Day', the event that the First Cisl union dedicates to insurance and their role in the changes affecting the Italian economy and society. The works were opened by Daniela Fumarola, CISL deputy general secretary and Maria Bianca Farina, President of Ania. The Minister of Business and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, instead sent a video message of greeting. The main representatives of the companies and businesses in the insurance world then spoke: among others, Giancarlo Fancel, Country Manager Italy and CEO Generali Italia, Giacomo Campora, CEO and General Manager Allianz Spa, Virginia Borla, CEO and General Manager Intesa Sanpaolo Vita, Matteo Laterza, Ad UnipolSai Assicurazioni Spa. “The aging of the population – underlined Colombani – and the major transitions underway pose new needs for personal protection and care. In the coming years the role of insurance is therefore destined to grow. The elderly dependency ratio, already at 38% today, will rise to 57.4% in 2040 and 63.5% in 2050. It is clear that, alongside the national health service, the weight of supplementary healthcare must grow (today to 3% of the total), also in terms of Long Term Care, so far marginal in the composition of private spending, within which direct spending by people (out of pocket) plays a preponderant role (23.1% of total health expenditure).

Increasing the share of intermediated expenditure is essential to promote access to services at sustainable prices and prevent health from becoming a right for the few”. “In Italy – continued Colombani – by 2021, it is estimated that there will be 15.6 million people registered with health funds, assistance funds and mutual aid societies, for a total expenditure of 4.8 billion, which in 2023 rose to 5.2 billion, still a modest increase. Overall, the per capita expenditure, taking into account both public and private healthcare, is around 3 thousand euros. Since the intermediated expenditure is around 308 euros per capita, it is clear that there is great room for growth for supplementary healthcare. From this point of view, integrative bargaining and the role of the social partners are fundamental – concluded Colombani. “It would therefore be appropriate – continued the Fist Cisl secretariat – for Italy to equip itself with a national investment infrastructure capable, in the European logic of union of savings and investments, of channeling savings towards our productive fabric. The National Investment Fund in the real economy, which we proposed together with the CISL, provides for a partnership between public and private and the guarantee of invested capital, with precise time and amount limits. The direction would be entrusted – added Colombani – to Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, with the participation of insurance companies, banks, institutional investors and the managed savings industry. The central theme for the management of transitions is the involvement of workers through various forms of participation, as defined by the popular initiative law proposal presented by the CISL”. “An efficient insurance sector capable of supporting families and businesses is one of the factors that contributes to better addressing the ongoing transition – said Minister Urso in his message at the L event -. You are there and so are we. We can create an even more effective and efficient system together. The social role of insurance is acquiring ever greater importance”.