The insurers were not heard. The French Insurance Federation (FFA), the French National Mutual Federation (FNMF) as well as the technical center of the provident institutes (CTIP) demanded the 6-month postponement of the reform allowing individuals to terminate at any time their collective or individual supplementary health contracts. However, the government submitted its draft decree to the Council of State, as argus de l’Assurance spotted, and which Capital procured. The latter specifies that the effective date of the reform is set for December 1, as agreed to the National Assembly and the Senate in summer 2019.

The document also specifies the modalities of application of the reform. First, it will only be possible to terminate after the first anniversary of the contract has passed. It will apply to all health contracts, current and future, covering natural persons outside their professional activities, concluded for the reimbursement or compensation of costs caused by illness, maternity or an accident. The only exception is contracts including “guarantees covering the risks of death, incapacity for work or invalidity”. Termination may take place if the insured person expressly requests it on “paper” or “any other durable medium” – understood in writing, such as an email – to the head office of the insurer or to its representative, or if the new insurance organization requests it from the current insurance company.

It will thus be considered that the cancellation request will be received by the new insurer the day after the date which appears on the seal of the registered letter. The organization must therefore inform the insured of the receipt of this termination request, specifying the date of termination of the contract. A minimum notice of one month is required for a termination request. The first changes to health insurance can therefore only be made on January 1, 2021.

An increase in the amount of premiums according to insurers

To understand the progress of a reform, it is necessary to look at the current termination modalities. Since the Chatel law of 2005, insurers have been required to send an annual notice of expiry, which contains the deadline for terminating the contract, generally set two months before the anniversary of the contract. Except that the insured’s request must be sent no later than 15 days before this due date. In other words, the slightest carelessness of the individual makes him re-stack for a year of contract. As such, the government decree aligns health contracts with the same regime as car or home, markets in which it is possible to terminate insurance at any time after one year of contract.

From last year, the Federal Union of Consumers (UFC-Que Choisir) supported such an initiative, arguing that it would allow purchasing power to gain 1.2 billion euros for the all policyholders. To which the complementary organizations replied that the measure would increase management costs – already amounting to 20% of the total contribution – due to the multiplication of termination files. And ultimately would necessarily increase the bill for policyholders.