Retirees’ Healthcare Needs and Satisfaction with their Coverage

Kamila Bielawska, Krzysztof Lyskawa
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIV, Issue 2, 1007-1018, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/2169


Purpose: The main objective of the paper is to assess to what extent the health care needs of the retirees in Poland are satisfied and what role the private health insurance has and might have in satisfying these needs. Design/methodology/approach: We use the data from Household Budget Survey (HBS) conducted yearly by Central Statistical Office as well as own database created on the outcomes of the survey carried out in 2018 on the representative sample of Polish seniors aged 65+ for whose households’ the state old-age pension is the primary source of income. Findings: Health care expenditures, according to the HBS database, accounted for almost 9,5% of total expenditures in the years 2005-2016. Differentiation of these expenses is also observed depending on the sex, age of the main respondent and place of residence. In the households of people at the age of 85 and more, they established as much as 12,9% of total spending. It was also found that only 8,9% of retirees’ households had supplementary health insurance and most of them rarely use paid health-care services. At the same time, it should be noted that respondents most often indicated free access to medicines and supplementary health care services (rehabilitation) as the most valuable supplement to the health services system in Poland. Practical implications: The analysis of health expenditures of households of retirees can become a basis for building strategies for companies that offer health care services and for financial institutions (insurance companies) that can prepare long-term health insurance products on this basis. Originality value: The study showed the importance of spending on health by asking about the direction of spending a sudden cash inflow of 226.50 Euro (1000 PLN). It was found that the oldest seniors, those with lower education, widows and those from small towns were the most likely to spend the extra money on health, indicating a wide variation in demand for medical services.

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