The National Health Agency (ANS) and operators expect a readjustment of about 16% in health plans this year. The predictions were revealed at a public hearing of the House of Representatives Aged Rights Commission. The justification given was that the sector had a negative adjustment of -8% in 2021, and compensation will be necessary this year.
The executive supervisor of the Brazilian Association of Health Plans, Marcos Noves, says that the Covid-19 pandemic caused expenditures to cut in 2020, but costs grew again significantly in 2021. “This is an epidemic cycle. The pandemic has distorted our expenditures. Expenditures are falling,” he said. At some point, and at another time, which is the last year, they explode.
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The supervisor of studies and projects for the National Federation of Complementary Health, Sandro Leal Alves, added that the decline in activities was due to people’s fear of seeking health services in the worst moments of the pandemic. Therefore, according to him, there was a decrease in demand, mainly for consultations and examinations, but the search for such services grew again in proportion to the resumption of normal life. “It’s the so-called rebound effect: You keep all that demand being suppressed, and when people go back to their normal activities, it’s normal for that effect to happen,” he added.
For the chair of the Commission on the Rights of the Aged, Denis Bezerra (PSB-CE), the readjustment in health plans will punish the elderly population even more, mainly because Brazil is already going through a period of crisis, with inflation and public prices increasing.
Amendments to health plans are granted annually and serve to maintain the financial balance of the sector.
For Gerson Sanford Vieira Lima, of the OAB Consumer Protection Committee and representative of Supplemental Health Users with the Ceará State Health Commission, the amendment is unjustified. He claims that despite the increase in expenses, the operators’ revenues have a long history of growth.
“There is no sustainable argument to say that health plan operators, as a rule, are in a difficult situation in terms of economic and financial balance. On the contrary, they are in a very comfortable position. This is objectively shown,” he cautioned.
Frederico Mosch, a representative of the Department of Consumer Protection and Defense of the Ministry of Justice, noted that the Brazilian consumer has also faced difficulties in the outbreak of the epidemic, with job losses or reduced income. Even so, noting sector data, and data from the National Agency for Complementary Health, we did not identify significant fluctuations in delinquency in payments, in the number of beneficiaries. There was even an increase in the number of beneficiaries,” he wondered.
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