Slower growth in healthcare spending: broker Génération unveils its new barometer

In 2023, French healthcare spending will continue to rise in the second quarter (+7.2%), but at a much slower rate than in the first four months (+9.6% over the same period). This slowdown, which runs rather counter to expectations, does not concern alternative medicine, which is booming (osteopathy, psychology), as a reflection of an increasingly anxiety-provoking climate.


Slower overall recovery in care

The increase in average reimbursement between 2022 and 2023 is confirmed but slows down (€297.7 on average per beneficiary in 2023 compared with €277.7 in 2022). This slower growth is due more to an increase in the number of beneficiaries than to inflation in unit costs. This “over-consumption” can still be explained by a form of post-covid catch-up, but also by a more anxious society, more attentive to its well-being and to prevention (+11.1% growth for the alternative medicine category).


Posts affected by 100% Health are marking time

The increase in average consumption is slowing sharply for dental care (+4.5% for the first eight months of 2023 compared with +7.6% for the first four months). There has also been a slight fall in the consumption of hearing aids, which could be explained by both the loss of momentum of the 100% Santé scheme, which has enabled many French people to purchase hearing aids after giving up for a long time, and by the fact that social security reimbursement is limited to one fitting every 4 years. Optics remains the largest item, accounting for 23.2% of total reimbursements.


Increasing use of alternative medicine

The use of alternative medicine continues to grow strongly (+11.1% over the first eight months, compared with 12.2% in the first four months). Podiatry (+28.7%), chiropody (+19.1%) and dietetics (+15.4%) are all up sharply. The growth in psychology consultations continues to be more marked (+28.7%). This steady increase in psychologist consultations, a sign of greater attention being paid to mental health, will be something to watch in future barometers.

“The strong upturn in healthcare seems to have stalled, with a slowdown in healthcare services in the second quarter. However, the use of alternative medicine and psychology continues to rise sharply, a sign of a change in French habits and consumption patterns. For 2024, we will be keeping a close eye on the consequences of recent regulatory changes, which are likely to have a significant impact on complementary health insurance organisations,” says Matthieu Havy, Managing Director of Génération.