OFand ten to fifteen years the strong years will reach the age when they will need help. The so-called Husák children born in the early 1970s will begin to retire and many of them will require social care, which is already in short supply. What with this? The upcoming problem was discussed by the participants of the discussion at the beginning of November at the headquarters of Hospodářské noviny.
“The demographic trend we have here is inexorable. We are already dealing with the fact that in the Czech Republic, a hundred thousand people a year need social services, but do not receive them. The vast majority of unsatisfied applicants are in social service residential facilities,” said Vojtěch Kubec, chairman of the Union of Social Services of the Czech Republic. These are, for example, homes for the elderly or homes for people with a special regime, for example for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
And the prospects for the future are not good. In the Czech Association of Insurance Companies, they looked at specific demographic forecasts, from which it follows that there will be 700,000 Czechs receiving an allowance in the event of loss of self-sufficiency in ten years, i.e. twice as many as today. In 2050, 1.1 million of these people will live in the Czech Republic. “These are numbers for which we cannot assume that the state budget will handle them to the same degree of quality. In addition, health and welfare homes already reject 30 to 40 percent of applicants. Waiting periods are a year, sometimes more. We already have the problem today, but it is clear that it will increase,” Jan Matoušek, executive director of the Czech Insurance Association, reminded in the debate.
Czechs should be able to take out insurance
According to Vladimír Bezděk, economist and chairman of the board of the investment company Avant, the current system of care for low self-sufficient or non-self-sufficient citizens is truly unsustainable. “The relative impact of demographics will be much sharper than in pensions or healthcare. At the same time, this topic is hardly discussed in public,” Bezděk was surprised in the discussion. He added that the money involved is roughly seventy to eighty billion crowns, if this amount includes the contribution to care or operating subsidies to providers of inpatient, field and social services.
“Even bigger problems than money are problems in families that are connected with this topic,” Bezděk pointed out, alluding to the fact that it is mainly women who take care of infirm loved ones. At the same time, they often have their own children at home and also take care of, for example, their elderly parents. Such a woman cannot then work fully, which of course affects the performance of the economy.
One of the solutions is the initiative of commercial insurance companies, which have been working on this topic for four years. According to her, Czechs should be able to voluntarily insure themselves against such a situation, and in the event that they have to take care of their loved ones, they would obtain the necessary finances for this. It would therefore be a commercial insurance system that would work alongside the public one. “This could help bring the demographic scissors back together,” Bezděk is convinced.
“To sum it up, those people basically need more money. Either so that they can pay extra for bed equipment, or to get a caregiver at home. Or simply for the money to go to those family members who only go to work part-time or had to leave their jobs to take care of a loved one,” explained Matoušek.
This insurance should work purely as a risk policy, and the insurance companies would pay it out as soon as the event happens, that is, as soon as the doctor recognizes that the family member is in the third or fourth degree of disability. In addition, insurance companies could assess the state of health themselves immediately after reporting the event and start paying out the policy.
“Today, we are waiting for an assessment and the allocation of a care allowance for more than half a year. Insurance companies would provide the funds significantly faster,” assumes Matoušek. He added that some insurance companies are considering this service in such a way that they will provide clients with home care directly, some insurance companies are even talking about guaranteeing a bed for a given loved one.
“What’s important, however, is that all insurance companies talk about this care as a product that will include a significant assistance service. Because almost no one who gets into such a situation knows where to turn, what they are entitled to and how to deal with it. The assistance companies of the insurance companies will explain everything to the clients and guide them through the entire process,” assured Matoušek.
The insurance would be for people aged 45 and over
Economists agreed in the debate that there will be interest in this type of insurance among the Czechs. “I’m optimistic about it. First of all, surveys that the Czech Association of Insurance Companies has been conducting on this topic for several years repeatedly show an unprecedentedly high level of public interest,” said Bezděk. Such insurance will be targeted at the category of people over 45 years of age. According to Bezděk, this is the age range when people are at the peak of their economic activity and income. At the same time, in many cases they are no longer dealing with housing as intensively and their children are older. “At this age, the household is catching a second wind economically, and the product gives a chance to cover the risk of losing that second wind again in five or seven years, if the parents become self-sufficient,” explained Bezděk.
Even Aleš Rod, economist and member of NERV (National Economic Council of the Government), thinks that such insurance will be successful among the Czechs. “And the state should do everything to support the product. It is a conduit for the flow of new money that will create new capacity. Inpatient and outpatient,” Rod mentioned.
Basically, people need more money. For example, to pay extra for a bed or a carer.
Jan Matoušek, director of ČAP
The state should do everything to support the insurance product for the care of a loved one.
Aleš Rod, member of NERV
Such a product could help bring the demographic scissors back together.
Vladimír Bezděk, Avant
One hundred thousand Czechs need social services every year, but they do not receive them.
Vojtěch Kubec, USSR