Copay is a concept that is used in the field of medicine private to define the difference between the price of a service and the value of the same that covers a plan Health. It is, therefore, the amount that the member has to pay to access said service.
For example: “Home care requires a copayment of 10 euros per visit”, “The treatment you need is covered by social work, but requires a copayment”, “I don’t understand why I have to pay a copayment if I pay the corresponding fee every month”.
In Spain, the health co-payment has become a subject of controversy in recent years. And it is that, as a result of the deep economic crisis that the country has been suffering for some time, the Government has proceeded to establish the aforementioned copayment in several aspects. A decision that has raised the complaints of the population since this had never happened before.
Like Education, it is considered in the country that Health is free because Spaniards religiously pay an amount of their salaries and taxes to make it so. Hence, the new measures that the central government or those of some autonomies are trying to impose in this regard have been openly rejected.
Many are the autonomous communities that have manifested themselves against both this health copayment as well as the so-called pharmaceutical copayment that was promoted a few years ago. The latter system consists of citizens having to pay an amount for each medicine prescribed by the doctor.
This measure has also raised complaints against it, since the most affected by the measure are the elderly and people with chronic diseases. These are men and women who have an impaired state of health, who need to be treated with a high number of drugs that they cannot cope with with the copayment, since they tend to have very low pensions and even lack of income. . In some communities, the pharmaceutical copayment was imposed, but the judicial authorities have rejected it.
The copayment arises from the dynamics of the health industry. It is understood that the beneficiary (that is, the user, consumer or client) does not pay for each service since they have coverage provided by a social work or a prepaid medicine company, which, in turn, buys the service but does not consumes, since it is destined to the beneficiary. This generates a distortion in the contracting of healthcare services, which leads to Business to promote a co-financing of the service by the affiliate each time he needs to use it.
In this way, the copayment is a type of financing of health services that allows the cost of the same to be assumed by the prepaid medicine company or the social work and by the beneficiary. In practice, therefore, the copayment appears as an additional payment that the beneficiary must make to use the service, beyond the contributions made as a monthly fee.