Beware of PKV lock offers

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Better exchange conditions: Beware of PKV lock offers

Since the beginning of the year, it has been possible for employees to switch to private health insurance (PKV) much easier. Numerous insurers offer low-cost entry tariffs. But those tariffs can quickly turn into a cost trap.

In the course of the health care reform, the switch to private health insurance has been considerably simplified. Employees who exceed a defined income limit of EUR 49,500 annually (or EUR 4,125 gross per month) can now choose to take out private insurance instead of the law. The Association of Private Health Insurance (PKV) anticipates a slight wave of bills. Numerous private health insurance providers lure with so-called entry premiums, which are often less than 100 euros per month. But in retrospect, those low tariffs can quickly turn out to be a cost trap. The industry is primarily targeting young and healthy new customers who are not currently very concerned about the future.

It is not clear to many who want to change that cheap lure offers do not apply for the entire term of the contract. Also, many are not aware that it is no longer possible to return to the statutory health insurance after a change. Therefore, the federal government recently warned for insured persons: “The step into private health insurance (PKV) is the beginning of a lifelong commitment. There is hardly anyone going back to legal regulations. ”At first glance, switching to private health insurance appears to be an advantage because the premiums are cheap and health services are better, but in the long term the disadvantages outweigh the disadvantages. "There is a risk of adversity if you only see the short-term savings and do not really know what the long-term consequences are," said association chairman Thorsten Rudnik.

Partly massive premium increases
The Confederation of Insureds receives numerous letters from private insured persons almost every day, some of which complain about massive increases in premiums. "Many premiums are in double digits, some at 33 or 35 percent," said BdV chairman Rudnik. The older an insured person gets, the higher the expenses for benefits. In addition, spending on pharmaceuticals, medical fees and new medical developments is increasing across society. Interested parties cannot see how long the advertised tariff has existed and how high the premium increases have been in recent years. Before a tariff is concluded, potential new customers should insist that the price development of the tariff be presented. The services offered should also be closely examined. Because many lure offers offer far less health services than the statutory health insurance companies.

No family insurance with the PKV
Anyone who still thinks about moving to the private sector should be aware that, unlike the law, social benefits do not exist at the PKV. This means that children cannot be insured free of charge, but that an individual contract must be concluded for each child. Spouses who are not gainfully employed can also not be insured. In contrast to the statutory health insurance contributions are independent of income. This means that the contributions are based on the chosen tariff and not on income.

A change is therefore only advisable to those who want better overall services such as chief physician treatment, naturopaths and naturopathy treatments as well as single room occupancy in the hospital. The choice of tariff should be decided according to the service catalog and not necessarily according to the contribution. (sb)

Also read:
Federal agency disregards PKV judgment in Hartz IV
Basic PKV tariff: Doctors refuse treatment

Image: Gerd Altmann /

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