Medical treatment costs due to flu rise by 90% in Q1: OP

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The amount paid out for basic treatment and examination costs related to flu symptoms in January–March 2023 increased by more than 90% compared to the stipulated period in 2022, according to the Pohjola Insurance of OP Financial Group.

The crisis in primary healthcare is reflected in a sharp rise in the popularity of health insurance and insurance claims, said OP in a recent press release, adding that life insurance is also taken out more often now than during the pandemic.

The use of private health insurance policies has increased particularly in the past few years. Pre-pandemic levels were reached in the spring of 2022, after which their popularity has soared.

“The effects of the pandemic can still be seen as people seek treatment more readily and resistance to infection is still at a poor level. The crisis in primary healthcare also increases the use of private health insurance policies,” said Jarkko Pärssinen, Director, Personal Insurance of Pohjola Insurance.

Congestion in the healthcare system is also reflected in the recipients of paid claims, as the share of private healthcare of all covered medical treatment expenses has been on the rise for a long time.

According to statistics by Finance Finland, at the end of last year, nearly 1.3 million people in Finland had a private medical expenses insurance. Interest in private health insurance continues to increase.

“The number of new health insurance contracts sold in the first few months of 2023 is about 20% higher than during the same time period in 2022. The situation is made more exceptional by the fact that this has happened in an uncertain economy at a time when households are looking to cut down on expenses. It would appear that people are looking to protect their health with private insurance where possible,” said Pärssinen.

Families with children have typically been active in securing access to healthcare. In the first few months of 2023, pensioners have purchased health insurance policies in greater numbers than the same time period in 2022.

The popularity of life insurance has also seen a sharp increase. The number of new life insurance policies sold in the first few months of 2023 was up by one fifth from the same time period in 2022. Life insurance policies were also popular in March 2020 at the outbreak of the pandemic.

“The surge in the early days of the pandemic is partly explained by the lack of information and concern felt by people. In March of this year, the number of new life insurance policies even exceeded the figure in March 2020. The need for voluntary insurance has clearly increased and continues to rise,” said Sari Heinonen, CEO of OP Life Assurance Company.

  •  Medical cost
  •  Flu
  •  Rises


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