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550 million loss from contributors to private health insurance
The discussion about the enormous losses of private health insurance (PKV) by contributors does not stop. Due to the compulsory insurance introduced in 2009, defaulting payers can no longer be simply canceled. The government has now drawn up an emergency tariff to cushion the losses of more than 550 million euros. In addition, some of the private health insurance companies have changed their tariff structure and will therefore no longer offer cheap enticing offers, as these are one reason for the high number of contributors.
Compulsory insurance prevents termination of non-payers Dirk Lullies, spokesman for the Association of Private Health Insurance told the newspaper "Die Welt": "At the end of September 2011 there were a total of 144,000 non-payers in private health insurance." The association was entitled to benefits. The background to this is the compulsory insurance introduced in 2009 as part of the health care reform, through which the private health insurance company is not allowed to cancel its members due to arrears in payment. "Those who can no longer pay their contributions are accumulating debts," say consumer advocates and immediately call for legal regulations. Because the way back to the statutory health insurance is denied to most privately insured. "The problem is homemade", because so-called lure tariffs attracted many people to private insurance who could not afford it because of their income situation. The insurance industry also saw this, which is why most of the large providers abolished the "discount tariffs" at the beginning of the year.
New tariff planned for non-payers
Due to the contributors, private health insurance companies lacked around 554 million euros. In order to cushion these losses and to avoid them in the future, the Federal Government plans to introduce a so-called “non-paying tariff” (you also: new private health insurance tariff for non-paying persons). This should be around 100 euros per month and include only the most necessary health services. In plain language, this tariff means that insured persons can only seek medical help in acute emergencies or because of pregnancy, unless they pay for the treatment themselves. The Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Ministry of Justice are currently preparing the necessary changes, reports Die Die Welt.
The problem of non-payers is homemade What is often kept silent in the discussion about the high losses of private health insurance are the homemade reasons. Many PKV attracted new customers with cheap offers, but then offered a higher tariff. As part of the compulsory insurance introduced in 2009, many customers felt addressed and took out private health insurance, although they would be better off in statutory insurance. Insurance companies in particular are now suffering from non-payers, who had attracted many new customers through such cheap offers. These include Generali subsidiary Central and Ergo subsidiary DKV. Both have now revised their tariff structure and discontinued cheap lure offers. Another reason for the high losses of the private health insurance are the constantly increasing broker commissions. These are now significantly minimized. Some private health insurance companies have already responded and taken various measures, but there will be massive increases in premiums in any case. The PKV Central, for example, announced that it would raise premiums in individual tariffs by up to 40 percent. First and foremost customers are suffering.
Changing tariffs often makes no sense There is hardly any way to escape the tariff increase. Although privately insured could switch to a new provider, this poses various problems. For one thing, the old provider will refuse to hand over the accumulated retirement provisions, so that the insured will lose them. On the other hand, the new provider will also request a health check, which may be worse than that which the insured person did at the old provider at an early stage. As is well known, the risk of illness increases with age. Since the result of the health check is decisive for the new tariff, it may be as high or higher than the increase in contributions from the old provider. The industry consciously uses these methods to keep customers from switching providers.
In total, almost nine million people in Germany are fully privately insured. In comparison, around 70 million citizens are compulsorily insured in the statutory health insurance. (ag)
Read about PKV:
Complaints about an increase in private health insurance contributions
New PKV tariff for non-payers
Contributor: PKV increases tariffs massively
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