Half a million changed health insurance

Additional contributions from the health insurance companies: Around half a million insured changed health insurance companies in the first half of the year.

(30.07.2010) Since the beginning of the year, numerous health insurance companies have been charging an additional contribution. As a result, around 500,000 people changed their health insurance. The health insurers, which do not charge any additional contributions, benefited above all. The trend continues to rise.

The alternating movements have continued to skyrocket. Due to the introduced additional contributions from the statutory health insurance companies, more and more insured people are turning their backs on their health insurance. 16 health insurance companies are currently charging additional contributions. This is based on information from industry circles that were available to the dpa news agency. Here is an overview of the health insurance companies where most of the insured changed.

By the beginning of July, around 241,000 members had left the German Employee Health Insurance Fund (DAK). If you include the non-contributory co-insured, around 307,000 people even left the DAK. As a spokeswoman for the health insurance company points out, the DAK would have lost 60,000 insured persons due to deaths or switching to non-contributory family insurance. The rest made use of his special right of termination and switched to another health insurance company after collecting the additional contributions.

BKK Gesundheit, which wanted to merge with the DAK a few days ago, lost a whopping 20 percent of its members. The BKK also sees the reason for the emigration with the additional contributions. A spokeswoman said: "We can clearly attribute this to the additional contribution, now the emigration is decreasing". The company health insurance company had canceled the merger with the DAK last week, as it was said, the two insurance companies would not go together.

The KKH alliance also lost 147,000 health insured, including 116,000 contributors. The KKH alliance also made an interesting observation. For the first time, many pensioners and Hartz IV recipients had left the health insurance. A while ago, only high-earners and younger people would have left the till to get cheaper insurance. The reason: Hartz-IV recipients are not paid the additional contributions by the employment agencies. You are, so to speak, asked to change from one of the official channels.

The health insurance companies, which (as yet) do not charge any additional contributions, have benefited from the migration movements. Above all, the general local health insurance (AOK). All AOK health insurance companies were able to record a strong increase in members. AOK's 14 health insurers have gained more than 521,000 insured since the beginning of the year. The Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) also benefited greatly, with more than 238,000 people switching to this fund. 69,000 insured switched to the largest health insurance company "Barmer GEK". Obtaining no additional contributions has obviously paid off for the health insurance companies mentioned.

However, it is unclear whether and when the health insurers also collect additional contributions. However, the KKH alliance expressed optimism that in future there would be no additional contributions. However, it was still too early to make forecasts, as a DAK spokesman countered. Politicians assume that the "jump in the economy" will also have a positive impact on the statutory health insurance. Deputy Union leader Johannes Singhammer (CSU) said he expected "relief for statutory health insurance" in the coming year.

However, the situation of smaller health insurers in particular is likely to remain tense in 2011/2012. Because the differences in the membership structure within the health insurance companies are simply too great, as the health economist Jürgen Wasem confirmed to the dpa. Because from 2011, the health insurance companies can determine the currently capped additional contributions themselves. If insured persons have to pay higher premiums, there will be large changes again. And that is also what the coalition wanted, as Federal Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwelle (FDP) confirmed to RTL. Westerwelle calls it "competition among statutory health insurers".

In order to withstand this race for members, many health insurance companies are planning mergers. The current number of cash registers will probably decrease from 163 to a maximum of 100. Others will have to go bankrupt because not all health insurance companies can find suitable partners. Three health insurance funds had already reported an impending bankruptcy to the Federal Insurance Office.

After the summer break, Health Minister Philipp Rösler (FDP) wants to present a bill to reform health insurance companies. The additional contributions, which were previously limited to one percent of gross income, should then be allowed to rise indefinitely. A so-called social compensation is intended to prevent low income groups from having to spend excessively on their health insurance. But the replacement funds warn of a new social injustice. With increased additional contributions, high earners are less burdened. In addition, access to private health insurance is to be relaxed. In this way, the funds would lose the high contributions of the better earners, which would further exacerbate the situation of the statutory funds.

Criticism also comes from the social organizations: "The collection of non-income-related additional contributions effectively represents the introduction of a flat-rate head allowance system," criticizes the social association "People's Solidarity" in a paper. "The additional contributions initially increase the burden on lower and middle-income earners, especially pensioners, the unemployed, low-wage earners, trainees and students, as well as for young families." This would lead to a real reduction in net income. In addition, Rösler's health care reform would also violate the constitution.

Special right of termination for additional contributions

If health insurers charge an additional contribution from their insured members, members can make use of their special right of termination through the changes. The notice period for a special cancellation is two months to the end of the month. The insured person does not have to pay the additional premium or the increased additional premium during the notice period. However, there is a health insurance obligation, which means that you have to look for a new health insurance within the notice period. But be careful, you should take a close look at which health insurance companies have not already announced an additional contribution, otherwise you have to change again after only a short time. If a fund merges, however, you cannot exercise your special right of termination. (sb, dd, gr)

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