As seasons change, getting cold is inevitable for those, who fail to change for an attire more appropriate for the weather. But, the change of seasons reminds of itself not just by mere sore throat and running nose, it manifests also by severer illnesses – pneumonia or influenza. BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS (hereinafter BTA) emphasizes that employees getting sick during an outbreak of flu has a material effect on the operation of enterprises and is rather costly to employers and employees alike. According to data of the Latvian Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC), employers have lost 1.5 million working days in the flu season of 2017-2018 due to the flu effects, and, although the actual losses are much higher, the economic losses exceeded 50.5 million euros.
BTA estimates suggest that covering one person’s medical treatment and employee replacement for employer on average costs 290 euros. The majority of people spend a lot for purchasing medication, the costs of which in case of an illness are from 20 to 70 euros. But, the highest costs in cases of severer illnesses are the amounts spent on covering hospital services and visiting medical specialists, which may run up to 250 euros.
Data of CDPC indicate that in the flu season of 2017-2018, the spread of flu started considerably later than in other seasons. The largest number of flu patients was observed in the age group from 14 to 65 years, while the total number of registered cases reaches 110,789 thousand, which is by 4138 cases more than the previous year. It cost 4 million euros for the state for treatment in outpatient health care, and yet another 3 million euros approximately for hospitals.
The CDPC informs that the first signs of influenza are sudden, manifesting within up to 48 hours since the moment of getting infected with the virus. The major symptoms are hacking cough, headache, high temperature, muscle aches, fever. CDPC suggests conducting prophylactic measures prior to and during the flu epidemic, especially for children, – always thoroughly washing hands, choosing clothes appropriate for the weather, airing rooms and as much as possible avoiding places with many people.
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS Baltic Insurance Risks Underwriting Department Director Ivo Danče emphasizes that employers within last years have become a lot more responsible and mindful in considering a necessity for health insurance policies. “Employers, as an addition to standard cover insurance policies, often go for an option allowing compensating days of absence due to incapacity to work for employees also in case of more serious illnesses. Health insurance policy allows employees to feel secure and financially more protected – both in case of a flu outbreak, as well as a simple cold. Besides, all BTA standard cover insurance policies include a free of charge vaccination against the flue and tick-borne encephalitis. When selecting a BTA health insurance policy, it is at the employer’s discretion – what services to include in the cover, as well as to set a limit that the services included in the policy cover can be used,” says I. Danče.
BTA Baltic Insurance Company is one of the leading insurance companies in the Baltics, offering the broadest range of non-life insurance services in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. BTA employs more than 1,000 employees in the Baltics. The largest shareholder of BTA is Vienna Insurance Group AG with 200 years of experience in the insurance industry. More than 50 companies in 25 countries constitute the group, which employs 25,000 employees. Vienna Insurance Group AG is a clear leader in its core markets in Europe maintaining high rating of financial stability – Standard & Poor’s A+ (stable outlook), with a listing on the Vienna and the Prague Stock Exchange.
Marketing and Public Relations Department Director
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS