Pros and cons of directing contributions directly to a prepaid plan without going through a social work


When the draft regulation of DNU 70 on the deregulation of the social works systemBoth the Government and some prepaid companies highlighted that the elimination of the intermediation of social works to refer contributions directly to a prepaid company could mean a economic benefit for the people.

This is what he reported Clarion last Saturday. But that argument, as the hours passed and the appearance of new elements contained in the regulations, entered a cone of shadow. It was when the prepaid companies began to highlight another element of the norm that would charge them a new cost: Now they will have to deposit 20% of the total contribution received to the Solidarity Redistribution Fund, instead of the tax affecting only a part.

This Fund is the one that, in theory, is used for the higher cost drug treatments and coverage for the system. But in recent years, the destination of that money, as explained by the private health system, was largely absorbed by the demand of the disability expenses.

The owner of a medium-sized prepaid phone told Clarion the experience that Uruguay had in another era with this same problem, and the mantra that was later repeated: “Never put resources in an opaque fund that does not have protocols that say what funds are going to be spent on.” The same businessman added: “That Fund was always managed in a political and discretionary way”.

The Government affirms that this new responsibility that they assign to prepaid companies is nothing other than putting them in a equality cake with social works. That is, they pay taxes to the Fund for the entire contribution they receive and not just a part. Anyway, the point is that now the prepaid are providing relief that instead of the beneficiary seeing his fee reduced by contributing directly to the private system, probably the cost of the fee goes up when the new expenditure arises.

Patients will have the possibility of choosing whether they prefer to direct all their contributions to a prepaid plan or to a social work. Photo: Shutterstock

In this context,What will be the motivation? What will affiliates have to stop triangulating their contributions with a social work and send them directly to a prepaid one? The DNU enables this possibility, which will have a adaptation period to start working in a month. “The prepaid will have a greater supply of airplanes that will be made available to the beneficiary. The idea is that, that there is more supply. Lay the foundation to have a system more equitable, more supportive and with better competition“said a Clarion sources from the Superintendency of Health Services (SSS).

The question is Who will be able to choose? at a time of unleashed inflation, when the pocketbook is tighter than ever. The SSS source admitted that in the current economic context “there are going to be many people who will fall from the prepaidThat is a reality, but when the situation stabilizes, Argentines will have more and better offers.”

The Government also emphasizes that the system “is today completely unbalanced” and they ask themselves: “How can it be that the most expensive prepaid is also the one with the largest number of members?” -in reference to OSDE- to add that “what is normal in a balanced market is that those who charge more have a minority portion of that market.”

From the prepaid companies they will not finish clarifying whether with this regulation the Government the beneficiaries or the harmed. In fact, they tend to be more convinced of the second, while those from the union sector believe the same due to the fact that Argentine employees already They should not be captive of the social work to which he belongs today due to his activity. “If the criticism comes from both sides, the norm must not be so bad,” the Government ironically says.

“Rubber stamps” and real social works

On the other hand, we must distinguish between the so-called “rubber stamps”which are social works that do not provide any service and only serve for triangular contributions with a prepaid, and social works that have affiliates and provide both health and social services.

The Government calculates that the DNU regulations will end with a business of “5 billion pesos per month”, which is the money that – they claim – today those “rubber stamps” keep. But the prepaid companies don’t celebrate it as much: “Ending rubber stamps was a historical claim of union social works“, they remember.

From the unions, for their part, at least to the outside, they consider that the initiative is a political affront of the Government and one more chapter of a strained relationship from the beginning, the product of two antagonistic political paradigms. The paradox is that the crisis, with 57.4% poverty and the unprecedented phenomenon of the growing mass of poor wage earners, may end up transferring higher than low to social works.

With 57.4% poverty and poor wage earners, the freedom to choose is reduced. Photo: AP

Given this scenario, the only certainty from the publication of the DNU regulations in the Official Gazette is that the beneficiaries will have the choiceDepending on your personal finances and priorities, between continuing to triangulate your contributions or using them to directly contract a prepaid plan.

It is likely that those who triangulate with social works that do not provide services would find it convenient that this intermediation money go straight to prepaid, to choose the plan that best suits your needs and pocket. On the other hand, those whose intermediary is a social work with benefitsYou should consider whether they are useful: for example, coverage that prepaid companies are sometimes reluctant to provide and social work provides, or certain social and tourist advantages that can add up.

The beneficiaries will surely move within that margin more pragmatic. Then we will have to consider the most ideologized group of Argentines, on both sides of the rift. From those who pay allegiance to unionism to those related to the now classic official brawl that cheers for freedom.

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