MAPFRE commits to the health sector
April 7 is World Health Day, an area that has gained particular relevance following the pandemic, in addition to other trends that can be seen across large parts of the world, such as aging or unhealthy lifestyles.
A significant part of MAPFRE’s activities are dedicated to the health sector, with a growing interest amongst users, the arrival of new countries and the adoption of new technologies by health services.
The gap in global health protection
The GFIA (Global Federation of Insurance Associations), in its global protection gap report, identifies health as one of the main gaps. Specifically, the global health protection gap was estimated as standing at US$ 800 billion in 2020. Mainly, this affected developing economies in Asia, Latin America and Africa. This figure accounts for 1.5% of global GDP, although the GFIA estimates that, if the current trend persists, it could increase by 4-5% by 2030, to a total of 6 trillion euros.
However, the organization asserts that Covid has seen governments place greater emphasis on this gap and make greater efforts to address it. To continue along this path, it believes that public and private stakeholders may need greater collaboration, “creating the appropriate frameworks and guaranteeing that health services can be provided to more people with higher quality.”
MAPFRE’s footprint in the health sector
MAPFRE has 4.2 million users with health insurance, boasting a presence in 21 countries across three continents: Malta, Spain and Portugal in Europe; Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Uruguay and Venezuela; as well as Turkey.
The company’s presence in Latin America is worth particular mention, where modular coverage is being successfully developed, as part of which the user selects the services that interest them instead of contracting a fixed package, thus reaching a larger population and adapting to the needs of different types of customers and purchasing powers.
Health plays an increasingly more important role, both to the MAPFRE Group and to the insurance industry as a whole. In Spain, over the past 15 years, the health line of business has practically doubled its volume of premiums to more than 10.5 billion euros, while the automobile line of business, for example, has remained mostly the same, last year standing at around 11.35 billion, according to figures from ICEA. For 2024, it is expected that the health line of business will overtake the automobile line of business as accounting for the biggest non-life volume in Spain. In 2022, MAPFRE’s premiums in the health line of business amounted to 1.569 billion euros, 14.2% up year on year; this growth has become a sustained trend over time.
Innovation and telemedicine
Technological progress has demonstrated that telemedicine is now the ideal option in many occasions. To this end, particular mention must be made of:
- Savia, MAPFRE’s digital health platform. It can be used to access consultations with the company’s health professionals from anywhere. As well as offering greater comfort, it represents an important advantage in certain cases. For example, a person suffering a psychological/psychiatric problem can access the best specialist in their field, who may be located hundreds of kilometers away, thus removing a significant barrier.
- Telemedicine on vacation. Most incidents that involve tourists requesting services under their travel insurance are related to a health problem. That’s why MAWDY, MAPFRE’s assistance unit entrusted with these circumstances, has rolled out a 24-hour video consultation service. When users are far away from home and suffer a medical problem, they can receive assistance immediately from a professional who speaks their language.
This year, MAPFRE has entered into an agreement with Bupa, Sanitas’ parent company, to jointly develop health services in Latin America. These will first be offered in Peru, and then in Uruguay and Paraguay, although the agreement also covers the Latin American region, meaning that joint opportunities are being studied in other countries, with the commitment of both companies to make it a solid and lasting relationship.
This is an alliance between the biggest insurer in the region, MAPFRE, and a world leader in health insurance, Bupa, allowing MAPFRE to go one step further in its commitment to this field, beginning by expanding its offer in a region where these services are in high demand.
Health promotion through Fundación MAPFRE
The importance of health at MAPFRE goes beyond the core of its business. One of the Foundation’s main areas of action is health, preventing noncommunicable diseases related to lifestyle. Fundación MAPFRE promotes healthy lifestyle habits by undertaking activities in collaboration with other public and private institutions, implementing educational programs in schools, health promotion actions in the workplace or activities aimed at the family.
Another important aspect is research work, which takes the form of a series of publications prepared in collaboration with prestigious institutions, on issues such as diet, digital health, emotional well-being and physical activity. For example, its recent study on how the pandemic has affected the Spanish population’s eating habits.
During the pandemic, Fundación MAPFRE mobilized its resources in the fight against Covid, with economic support across dozens of countries aimed at purchasing essential medical supplies, research and helping those affected.