SESSION 08. Friendly Societies/Societies of Mutual Aid and health risk coverage

8. Friendly Societies/Societies of Mutual Aid and health risk coverage.

Pilar León-Sanz (University of Navarra). mpleon@unav.es


A comprehensive historical study of the Health Insurance sector requires us to examine the development and the functions of the Friendly Societies and Mutual Insurance Systems. In general, a health-care system has been defined as the means by which health care is financed, organized, delivered, and reimbursed for a given population. It includes considerations of access, expenditures, and resources (Gil-Sotres, 2010). From the nineteenth century, diverse health-care systems such as the Friendly Societies, Mutual aid societies and health insurance companies have been closely associated with the social and economic vulnerability of workers. The existence of these Mutual Insurance Systems coincided with other traditional charitable institutions (general hospitals, homes for the elderly, asylums, orphanages), and others organized at municipal or national levels. Private health insurance companies also began to offer medical-pharmaceutical services in urban centres. It is a time that reviewed the notion of a subsidiary role of the State in Health and Social care of the population.
Care and assistance to society arises as a result of the sum of all these systems and institutions. This idea serves as the impulse for the essays collected here. The study of Mutual Health Insurance in general has increased its presence in the agenda of world social and economic history.

The session will consider questions as the following:

  • Costs and Benefits of Friendly Societies/Mutual Insurance Systems.
  • Friendly Societies/Mutual Health Insurance Systems and the management of Health risks.
  • Contributions of Friendly Societies/Mutual Health Insurances to the Hospital care.
  • Relationship between Friendly Societies, Mutual Insurance and Private Health Insurances.