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Health plans registered more than 49.5 million beneficiaries in May, ANS said

Still within the pandemic scenario, Brazil registered more than 49.5 million (49,584,238) people with health plans in May, an increase of 1.5 million (3.14%) beneficiaries compared to the same month last year.

The data was released this Wednesday (7) by the National Supplemental Health Agency (ANS) and, according to the survey, the high figure was driven by business hiring. Compared to April of this year, 240,096 users have increased.

According to M3BS Advogados partner and former ANS director Rogerio Scarabelli, there are two movements that make this increase in medical care significant.

The first could be linked to a drop in the country’s unemployment rate, which stood at 9.8% in the quarter ended in May, the lowest since 2015, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

“We’ve seen that employability has made positive progress, and adherence to health plans increases as this index increases. If we look at the history of beneficiary access, it is clear that these two factors go hand in hand. About 70% of the plans are corporate groups, so with the decrease in the unemployment rate, the number of users of the system increased,” he analyzes.

In May, of the 49.5 million beneficiaries, more than 34 million (34,290,044) correspond to business plans, while 8 million (8,971,767) belong to the category of individual or family contracts.

To give you an idea, out of 1 557 174 new beneficiaries registered within a year, 1 526 892 were included in business contracts.

The second point for Scarabel is related to public concern about the coronavirus pandemic. The lawyer says that while the public’s perception of the importance of having security in the health sector is not decreasing, the demand should be constant, even if it is in smaller fluctuations.

“Since the epidemic has not abated or cooled to the extent that everyone expected, having a health plan remains a priority for Brazilian families. The population continues to be concerned about providing aid during this troubled time. Therefore, these two movements lead to an increase in the number of people in the health programs of the country,” the former director of the National Health Service observes.

A health professional performs a Covid-19 test in a laboratory at Sao Paulo International Airport / 01/12/2022 REUTERS/Roosevelt Cassio

There were more than two million (2,464,567) beneficiaries in dental plans alone in one year, an increase of 8.32% over the period, to a total of 29,625,384 in May. This number exceeded 252,592 thousand in April of this year.

For Maria Cristina Amorim, a health economics researcher, there is no doubt that when employment increases, the number of users who have health insurance increases.

According to him, the healthcare sector is very important in the Brazilian economy, because all the companies that serve plans are in greater demand. However, Maria Cristina emphasizes that the prospects of economic growth in the country are not very high, which can endanger the ability to work.

“Health plans should not have an easy life in 2022 and 2023. Especially because the jobs being created are low-wage, which jeopardizes the type of health plan being marketed,” says the economist.

According to ANS, in the states, in May 2022 compared to the same month in 2021, the sector registered an evolution of the beneficiaries of health plans in 24 of them, among which are São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Santa Catarina. the biggest gain in absolute terms. Among dentists, 26 federal divisions experienced year-over-year growth, with São Paulo, Minas Gerais, and Santa Catarina also showing the highest absolute growth.

*Under the supervision of Pauline Almeida

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