Posted on Dec 16, 2019 2021 at 17:48Updated Dec 16, 2019 2021 at 19:20
Busy end of the year for civil servants’ unions. They have increased their meetings with the government in recent days to refine an essential component of the reform of their complementary social protection: that of health insurance for state employees.
The unions concerned hope to have in hand a draft agreement by the end of the year which would be put to a vote by their organizations in January. “The negotiations are progressing,” assures a trade unionist. “We are in the home stretch of discussions,” said another.
“There will be a new project in early January,” says one in the entourage of the Minister of Transformation and the Public Service, Amélie de Montchalin. We hope for a historic agreement. »Insurers are on the lookout, such as the General Mutual of National Education (MGEN) or the Mutual of Justice and Security Trades (MMJ).
The discussions carried out at this stage and a draft agreement consulted by “Les Echos” leave to expect a level of coverage of the care expenses of assets rather well seen by the unions. The negotiations should also lead to a regulation of the insurance premium for retired staff, a particularly sensitive subject.
Announced in the summer of 2020, the reform is supposed to strengthen the purchasing power of civil servants by putting an end to inequality between the public and private sectors. It provides for the State to assume, from 2024, 50% of the cost of supplementary health for its nearly 2.5 million agents. Today, this employer contribution, generalized in the private sector, is not compulsory in the ministries and can vary greatly between administrations.
Very closely watched by insurers
The site, supposed to be declined for hospitals and communities by 2026, is closely monitored by insurers of civil servants. It will indeed change the way they work by generalizing collective insurance contracts, that is to say, negotiated at the level of ministries for the benefit of agents.
Today, civil servants’ insurance contracts are distributed at the individual level. With the reform, insurers historically very present in certain ministries may therefore fear losing their precinct during future calls for tenders.
Because active civil servants should no longer have the choice of their insurer. “We need a compulsory collective contract at the interministerial level,” Amélie de Montchalin insisted on Wednesday, during an event organized by the media Acteurs Publics.
This obligation, which is not unanimous on the side of the unions, is essential, according to the minister. It should indeed allow insurers to pool their risks on a broad basis. And therefore also to offer complementary health at “rates that are not excessive” for retirees.
Capped contribution increases
As much as the base of insurance guarantees offered to active policyholders is well received by several trade unions, the coverage of retirees is a “hard point” in the negotiations. This subject is also key for the civil servants’ insurers, who have warned of the risk of an increase in contributions for this population if the reform is poorly put together.
To address concerns, the draft agreement provides that retired officials could benefit from the same guarantees as assets and would benefit from price controls. Insurers could increase contributions, but not the first year of the agent’s cessation of activity. The premium increase would be capped at 25% the second year and 50% for the third, fourth and fifth years, as the specialized media News Assurances Pro has already indicated.
The draft agreement also provides for a “scale of support for a part of the contributions of retired beneficiaries” fixed “taking into account the resources” of these former officials and financed by a levy on contributions from active workers. The question of foresight (cover for life accidents) will be discussed later.