Ken research announced recent publication on, “Personal Accident and Health Insurance in Hungary, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2020”. The report provides a detailed outlook by product category for the Hungarian personal accident and health insurance segment, and a comparison of the Hungarian insurance industry with its regional counterparts. It provides key performance indicators such as written premium, incurred loss, loss ratio, commissions and expenses, combined ratio, total assets and total investment income during the review period (2011-2015) and forecast period (2015-2020). The report also gives a comprehensive overview of the Hungarian economy and demographics and provides detailed information on the competitive landscape in the country. The report brings togethers research, modelling and analysis expertise, giving insurers’ access to information on segment dynamics and competitive advantages, and profiles of insurers operating in the country. The report also includes details of insurance regulations, and recent changes in the regulatory structure.
Hungary provides publicly funded health insurance, meaning that health insurance is free for all its citizens. Its health insurance coverage extends to include those non-Hungarian citizens who are insured under the National Health Insurance Fund. The Hungarian personal accident and health insurance segment accounted for 3.9% of the industry’s gross written premium in 2015. The Insurance Companies and Insurance Activities Act was introduced in December 2014, and came into force on January 1, 2016. Personal accident insurance accounted for 66.7% of the segment’s gross written premium in 2015. Health insurance was the second-largest category, accounting for 27.5% of the segment’s gross written premium in 2015.
Factors such as a rise in road accidents, awareness of health insurance benefits and expansion of the tourism industry are expected to lead the segment’s growth over the forecast period. Hungary provides full medical coverage for residents. Foreigners who are resident and working or studying in Hungary, as well as refugees and their dependants, are considered insured and the National Health Insurance (OEP) issues them with a national health insurance card (TAJ kártya) and a health insurance number (TAJ szám). There are also private insurance companies in Hungary, which many people use for additional health insurance, and private hospitals are available. Most state-employed doctors and specialists also have private practices, which many Hungarians choose in order to receive a better and more comfortable treatment, especially in the case of dental treatment, gynaecology and childbirth. Doctors very often treat their private patients in the state hospitals where they practise. The healthcare system in Hungary is mainly provided to residents of the country by the government. However the healthcare industry has decentralized substantially since the fall of the Soviet Union (of which Hungary was a part), and private healthcare in the country is increasingly being chosen as the way that many Hungarians receive their medical services. In the modern world, the Hungarian healthcare system is heavily influenced by ideas from both Germany and France with social insurance playing a large role in the way that patients pay for their treatments. The Health Insurance Fund (or HIF) is in place to guarantee Hungarian nationals free access to all medically necessary treatments, and therefore there is a high usage of these facilities throughout the country. The HIF collects its revenue directly through the national tax system and spends approximately US$ 600 per capita annually, and is one of the key reasons that the Hungarian public sector deficit is running at approximately down at 4% in 2008.
While the Hungarian healthcare insurance and private accident system is able to provide a relatively high standard of care to its patients there have been some major criticisms of the services. One of the major concerns is the fact that Hungarians have the lowest average life expectancy in Europe. One of the major factors contributing to this is that there are large gaps in healthcare coverage throughout the country. Despite the so-called ‘free provision’ patients are required to pay out-of-pocket for dental treatments, pharmaceuticals, and provide ‘gratitude’ payments to any physician that they visit. In addition to this, specific ethnic groups throughout the country (namely individuals of Romanian origin) are provided services inferior to ethnic Magyars, leading to their having an average life expectancy 10 years lower than the rest of the nation.
Essentially Hungary is still recovering from its time as a member of the Soviet Union and during that period, the healthcare system became a slow, bureaucratic beast. This is a legacy that continues to this day, and patients will often have to wait for long periods and fill out copious amounts of paperwork before they are provided the treatment that they need. This is a contributing factor to many Hungarians becoming disillusioned with the service and simply choosing not to seek medical treatment at all. It is not all doom and gloom in Hungary however; the country is able to provide some extremely high quality health insurance services, mainly at the nation’s top private hospitals. These medical facilities however, are much more expensive than the average Hungarian citizen can afford, and as such, their use is mainly the province of wealthier citizens and foreign nationals.
Comparatively the top private hospitals in the country will charge treatment costs similar to those in the USA and other top tier European nations, making out-of-pocket payment seem a risky proposition indeed without a Hungary health insurance plan. The other option is to use the public health system, and despite the governments attempt to reform this service, the long waiting times and crowded facilities coupled with poorly trained staff lead to grim out look of this system. The only way to truly protect yourself and your loved ones, anywhere in the world, is with a quality international health insurance plan. International health insurance plans are typically globally portable and guaranteed renewable for life, giving you the assurance that no matter what happens you will always have access to the treatment that you deserve. Plans will typically afford you a number of additional coverage options including benefits for dental, maternity, outpatient treatment, specialist consultations, alternative therapies, complimentary medicines, and emergency evacuations. This sector is expected to grow manifold by 2020.