Inflation in Mexico, together with the effects of medical inflation derived from the pandemic, are causing an impact on the placement of medical insurance, which in 2023 is set to suffer a contraction.
Insurance for major medical expenses registered a growth of 9.7% in the second quarter of the current year, according to the most recent figures from the National Insurance and Surety Commission (CNSF). However, in the face of high inflation, this trend could change in 2023.
For some specialists in the sector, medical inflation aims to close the year above 17% and that, together with a low penetration of medical insurance, will cause an increase in the cost of these products.
“In the case of health services, it is very difficult for prices to drop because they reflect the economy of a country. If there were more insured, costs would drop due to competition. There is a great opportunity (for insurers) because health systems they are saturated causing us to go to private medical services,” said Jesús Hérnandez, CEO and founder of WeeCompany, a technology company that connects health services.
The specialist stressed that in the next two or three years he expects that there will continue to be high medical inflation, although in one digit instead of two.
The most recent data from Inegi show that more than 50% of spending by Mexican households is on medicines, while 14% is spent on medical consultations.
With these data, according to Hernández, insurers have an opportunity to offer lower medical expenses products such as consultations and laboratory services.
In the case of people who contract these products, there is the option of lowering coverage costs or eliminating some coverage, for example, women can request the elimination of coverage such as maternity.
Last August, Quálitas, the leading auto insurance company, announced that it had received authorization from its subsidiary Quálitas Salud with which it will venture into major medical expenses services.
This month, firms such as HDI (another leading auto insurance company) and Bupa announced a strategic alliance to offer medical insurance.
Both firms seek to take advantage of the commercial base they have with more than 8,000 agents in the five most important cities in the country. Through a scheme called Médica Vital, they seek to treat illnesses for up to 5 million pesos with zero deductible and no coinsurance.