Voted in early 2013, the law for “Sécurisation de l’emploi” (ANI) requires employers to provide group health insurance to all employees in the private sector. In addition, the law also defines the minimum level of benefits.
The new law applies to all companies, of which 700,000 mostly small firms currently have no additional health insurance plan. Following collective negotiations at industry level, companies are expected to conduct internal negotiations to define the shape of their future complementary health plans.
Such new – mandatory for employers – health plans need to be implemented by January 1, 2016. It is expected
- most of the 700,000 companies concerned will probably choose the legal minimum benefits for their employees.
- and most probably an optional third level of individual benefits will be the answer for those who want better health insurance cover.
- it will reshape the French health insurance market as it is also a big change for insurers specialized in individual medical coverage.
Another important law – law of “responsible” contracts – will also impact the French group medical contracts. Minimum and maximum levels of coverage will be introduced for all health insurance plans to contribute to the containment of medical costs. Health insurance contracts not compliant with these new benefit limitations will be called “ non-responsible “ contracts. They can still be offered but they will be taxed at a higher level, 14% instead of 7%.
Most current group health contracts are not compliant with the benefit limitation and will need to be modified. For employers, this means negotiations with staff representatives, new pricing and tariff negotiations with insurers.
While the deadline of the implementation of this new law is January 1, 2015, due to strong objections, health insurers and their clients can expect the implementation to be postponed. The definitive implementation date, and details concerning maximum and minimum coverages, should be announced this summer.
Major effects on corporate health plans
The obligation for and the standardization of additional group health insurance plans are a significant change for French companies and their employees. It will be harder to shape benefits in line with corporate social policies. Therefore non-insured benefits such as extent and quality of medical networks, risk prevention and absenteeism control will become more important.
Support from Swiss Life France
Immediately after the announcement of these changes, Swiss Life France adapted their offering to the new legal framework. Please contact us for more information about the new laws and how we can assist your company.