Improving the Lives of the Self-Employed: The Road to Effective Insurance

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Jul 2023
Current insurance schemes for the self-employed in Latin America are, in general, adaptations of the model created for salaried employees. These mechanisms need to respond better to their needs and characteristics to reflect better levels of insurance. The optimization of the schemes can be an optimal way to improve this situation. This document illustrates the path self-employed workers must follow to access and contribute to social security in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. Each case documents - from the user's experience - which steps must be followed to fulfil the obligations established in the current regulations, both for social security and tax payments. In each scheme, a significant variation in complexity is documented, and areas of improvement are identified in the procedures and the biases that hinder it (behavioral economics). Although there is no universal solution, there are common elements that could ease compliance with obligations to improve self-employed workers' insurance. These include electronic registration, aggregation of income from different sources, flexible insurance schemes with new products, automatic discounts, information exchange with the tax and the financial system, and, finally, tax incentives. These are areas of innovation that would allow for improving existing processes and products based on digital transformation.