SUPPLEMENTARY HEALTH-CARE BENEFITS AND WELFARE
ASSIDIM like other health-care funds operating in Italy, offer benefits plans supplementary or in replacement of the National Health Service (NHS) .
It is important to know that, in addition to the benefits ensured by the State to all citizens through general taxation, there is a second pillar, originating from national or decentralized collective contractual agreements which include a plurality of stakeholders: industry-wide funds, company sponsored funds, mutual societies, broker and insurance companies.
The second pillar, and in particular supplementary healthcare, are of great importance because they guarantee savings for the healthcare system, and provide a solution for the large cuts in public finances and offer a solution to manage the reduction of benefits provided by the public welfare.
HISTORY FRAME AND REGULATIONS
The first companies dedicated to mutual aid, formed by artisans and workers, are funded; these provided assistance to workers in the absence of any other coverage.
The 833 law establishes the National Health Service.
Tax advantages for healthcare funds are regulated by article 51 of T.U.I.R. – Italian Code on Income Taxation. Contributions paid by employers and employees to finance healthcare plans are not considered taxable income up to a limit equal to €3,615.20.
Through the 1992 Decree No. 502 and the 1993 decree No. 517, the spaces and opportuinities for healthcare funds, company sponsored funds and mutual societies are growing: there is a shift from “differentiated” to “supplementary” healthcare benefits; at the same time, the number of employees enrolled in healthcare is about 14 million.
Decree No. 229 (c.d. Bindi) defines the areas of intervention for the activity of supplementary health funds (c.d. funds “doc”).
The two ministerial decrees from 2008 (c.d. Turco) and 2009 (c.d. Sacconi) introduce two important innovations for funds activities: first, the establishment of a registry office at the Ministry of Health; Second, the obligation for funds to allocate 20% of resources to dental care and/or social healthcare for those who lack self-sufficiency.
The Budget Laws give an important boost to corporate welfare, enhancing tax breaks for companies that decide to convert productivity premiums into welfare services.
Over the last few years, employers are increasingly receiving demands for protection and social security from employees, generated by new needs not covered by public welfare.
Considering the changing regulatory environment, business decision-makers are finding themselves taking on increasing responsibilities to adequately respond to different needs across the employees population, regardless of age or gender and of the socio- demographical and economic characteristics: ranging from health care to supplementary pensions, social care services for the elderly and children, to meal vouchers, bonus transportation allowances, subscription to gyms, etc.
The Awareness of the opportunities and benefits of welfare plan is growing not only amongst employers but also amongst workers, since their implementation would harmonize the business and production needs with people wellbeing
Furthermore, recent surveys on welfare in small and medium-sized enterprises identify healthcareas the most desired benefit by employees.
Do you want to find out more about the advantages of corporate welfare?
“Corporate welfare is important because it is one of the elements that keeps a community alive”.