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LOSS OF EFFECTIVE MEMBERSHIP DURING 1903 IN INCORPORATED MUTUAL
As was stated in the introduction to this part of the report, the primary function of these benefit societies consists in granting sick relief. In 1885, 99.4 per cent of all societies, and in 1904, 95.8 per cent were granting such relief. Societies organized exclusively for forms of mutual relief other than sick benefits are therefore very exceptional, though somewhat more common now than twenty years ago. But in addition to sick benefits a very large number of societies furnish many other forms of relief, which are shown in the following tabularstatement: NUMBER AND PER CENT OF MUTUAL BENEFIT SOCIETIES HAVING EACH KIND OF
BENEFIT AT END OF YEARS 1885, 1894, AND 1904. [Source: Le Società di Mutuo Soccorso, 1885, 1898, and 1904. Data are for 3.762 societies in 1885; 6,725
in 1894; and 1,548 incorporated and 4,987 unincorporated societies in 1904.)
To widows and orphans.
To widows and orphans..
ties in search of work..
or their children.... Subsidies to members in case of
death of member of family
or their families. Societies finding employment for
a Not reported. 6 Including benefits for chronic diseases and to widows and orphans. c Included in old-age benefits.
d For fatal accidents only, in 1885.
Though these other forms of relief are not altogether germane to the subject of sickness insurance, they are interesting, nevertheless, as characterizing the tendencies of voluntary mutual relief. These other forms of relief or other functions of the mutual benefit societies are very varied.
In addition to the main function of the mutual benefit societies, that of furnishing sick benefits, funeral benefits evidently constituted the most frequent feature, as nearly one-half of all enumerated societies furnished this form of assistance. Less common are the various forms of continuous payments in case of old age and invalidity, the payments which approach a system of pensions and for which, as was explained above, the mutual benefit societies are seldom prepared financially. About one-fourth of all societies in 1904 granted aid in form of continuous payments in case of old age, and nearly one-third in case of chronic diseases, which may be taken as an equivalent of invalidity. During the last twenty years, the proportion of societies granting such quasi pensions has considerably decreased (from 41.1 per cent to 24.8 per cent for old age, and from 47.9 to 30.1 per cent for invalidity). Similarly, the granting of continuous benefits in case of invalidity due to industrial accidents is a function which is being slowly eliminated (if the reports of 1885 and 1904 are compared) under the influence of the law of 1898. In many societies single-payment benefits are granted in case of old age or invalidity instead of continuous payments.
The same change from pensions or pension-like payments to lumpsum payments is found in relation to widows and orphans, the number of societies promising widows pensions having decreased from 520 to 292, while the number of those giving single-payment benefits has increased from 1,176 to 1,897. In view of the special interest displayed in Italy in the problem of maternity aid, it is interesting to observe that only about 10 per cent of the societies granted such aid in 1885, and that by 1904 the proportion had decreased to 8.8 per cent. On the other hand there has been a slight increase in the granting of unemployment benefits. Unfortunately there is very little information to be obtained as to the amount of aid granted under these many forms. Still less information is there in connection with other forms of activities of these mutual benefit societies, outside of the field of benefits for temporary or permanent disability, such as the cooperative and educational efforts.
The statistics of 1894, quite deficient in other respects, give more information about these secondary activities than do those of other years. There is, therefore, no way of gauging the growth of cooperative stores, schools, or employment offices supported by these mutual benefit societies.
A comparison of the data for incorporated and unincorporated societies for 1904 indicates that the secondary functions are more
frequent among the former, stronger societies, and that in a few forms of relief the incorporated societies are much more strongly represented. This is especially true, as appears from the table, for old-age, chronic disease, and invalidity benefits.
Sick BENEFITS.-As the sick benefit is the most popular form of benefits paid by these mutual associations, they require a more detailed analysis. The constitutional provisions of 1,377 incorporated societies, concerning the conditions of payment and the amount of sick benefits, are presented in tabular form in the following table: CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS OF INCORPORATED MUTUAL BENEFIT SOCIETIES
CONCERNING PAYMENT OF SICK BENEFITS, 1904.
Almost all societies require a certain length of membership before the right to receive sick benefits is acquired. In 76 per cent of the societies this limit is from 1 month to 12 months. In addition to this minimum membership duration there is also in most cases a certain period at the beginning of illness for which benefits are not paid, but this is not very long, only 1 to 3 days in 60.4 per cent of the societies, and in about one-fourth the benefits are paid from the beginning of illness.
Much variety is found in the maximum limits for payment of the benefits. In 207 societies no such constitutional limit exists. The most frequent limits are from 61 to 120 days, about one-third of the societies paying benefits for this time; and in 309 the maximum is 60 days and under. The amount of daily benefit paid by 71.8 per cent of these societies does not exceed 1 lira (19 cents). Less than 21 per cent of them pay over 1 lira (19 cents) per day.
In case of industrial accidents, most societies grant benefits equal to those for ordinary sickness.
The number of members of mutual benefit societies who received sick benefits and the number of days for which benefits were paid are shown in the following table for the years 1873, 1878, 1885, and 1903. The data for 1903 are for the incorporated societies only and include 69,029 cases of illness, an average of 29.1 cases per 100 members. These societies paid out $265,295 as sick benefits during the year 1903, an average of $1.09 per member, $3.84 per case of illness, and $4.32 per member receiving benefits.
NUMBER OF PERSONS RECEIVING SICK BENEFITS AND NUMBER OF DAYS FOR
WHICH BENEFITS WERE PAID, 1873, 1878, 1885, AND 1903.
(Source: Le Società di Mutuo Soccorso, 1878, 1885, and 1904.]
The report for 1895 does not contain any statement concerning the financial status of the mutual benefit societies, and for 1862 the data are quite incomplete and therefore of little value. For the remaining years for which reports were made the data are reproduced in the few tables which follow. Not all societies furnished financial statements, but the number of societies which did furnish them is sufficiently large to make the data representative, if not accurate as to totals.
During the period of 31 years the proportion of revenue received from each source has not changed very much, though the total income has increased from $619,110 in 1873 to $2,804,758 in 1904. The regular contributions of the active members still represent by far the most important source of revenue, nearly two-thirds of the total. Voluntary contributions and dues of honorary members, which also partake of the nature of a voluntary assistance, increased about 4 per cent between 1885 and 1904. The remainder of the revenue is derived from investments and business enterprises, and this has not changed much, amounting to about 30 per cent of the total. In 1904 a considerable difference is found in the per cent of revenue from each source in the incorporated and unincorporated societies. The income from other sources, which includes income from investments, constitutes 37.8 per cent of the total revenues of incorporated societies, while in the case of the unincorporated societies this income amounts to 23.4 per cent of the total.
REVENUE OF THE MUTUAL BENEFIT SOCIETIES, 1873, 1878, 1885, AND 1904. (Source: Le Società di Mutuo Soccorso, 1885 and 1904. Data are for 1,101 societies in 1873, 1,940 in 1878,
and 3,566 in 1885; for 1904 the number is not reported.)
For the year 1903 more detailed information as to the various sources of revenue is available, but it includes only the incorporated societies.
Of the total revenues, amounting to $1,542,275, over one-third, namely $531,045, represents gross revenues of the cooperative stores and other enterprises. It is impossible from the data available to determine what proportion of these gross revenues represented profits.
The expenditures of the mutual benefit societies are available in detail for 1873, 1878, and 1885, and also of the incorporated societies for 1903. For 1904 only the total expenditures for benefits and the cost of administration, which includes all other expenditures, are