Health insurance companies abolish additional contributions



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Almost all health insurance companies will abolish the additional contribution next year

The DAK started with the announcement to abolish the additional contribution, which is equally unpopular with health insurance companies and insured persons. Now the last health insurers, which have an additional fee, have announced that they will abolish the surcharge in the second quarter of 2012 at the latest. At least that is what the "Nürnberger Nachrichten" reports, referring to the cash register.

In the course of the health care reform, the black and yellow federal government had decided that statutory health insurance companies should compensate for financial bottlenecks with so-called additional contributions. Since 2010, the health insurers have been able to determine the amount of the additional contributions themselves. The additional contributions were also intended to promote competition on the till market. Two health insurance companies have already fallen victim to the race for members and had to close. Because only a minority of the health insurance companies used the means of the additional contributions, the competition was clearly decided for the insurance companies that did not do so. Now almost all health insurance companies want to abolish the additional contributions in the coming year.

According to its own reports, the BKK Phoenix wants to abolish the additional contribution on April 1, 2012. For this there is already a resolution proposed by the board. BKK advita also wants to abolish the additional contribution, as the contribution will cease to apply from the second quarter of 2012. The company health insurance fund, BKK Hoesch, wants to promptly decide whether the additional contribution will only be significantly reduced or canceled entirely. The only cash register that has not yet taken a decision is the BKK Publik. Industry experts, however, assume that the additional contribution will also be abolished here.

The German employee health insurance (DAK) and the BKK health will merge from next year. After the merger, the additional contribution of formerly eight euros will also be canceled here. After the merger, the cash register will be called "DAK Gesundheit". The KKH alliance and the German BKK also want to join in. Here, too, the surcharge should no longer apply in 2012 at the latest.

If the health insurers are unable to make use of the health fund's allocations, the insured members of the health insurers must collect additional contributions. Due to the good labor market situation and some savings effects, the situation of the health insurance companies has improved significantly compared to the previous year. In the first nine months of this year, the health insurance companies were able to generate an increase of 3.9 billion euros.

The experiences so far are bitter. Health insurance companies that made such a contribution suddenly lost thousands of solvent members. They had made use of their special right of termination and were looking for a new health insurance company. Therefore, the health insurers now want to promote competition by means of an individual catalog of services. A spokesman for the General Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (GKV) said: "We want more individual freedom of contribution for each individual health insurance fund, regardless of whether a percentage or a euro contribution is the legal requirement". This allows more freedom of choice to be invested in investments in new care concepts.

The tide could turn for the following years. Some experts assume that by 2015 at the latest all health insurance companies will be dependent on an additional contribution. A study by the German Federation of Trade Unions recently predicted an additional contribution of around 100 euros per month. This could be a reality in five to ten years. It is already becoming clear that the EU and banking crisis will significantly weaken the economy. Statutory health insurance will also feel this at a later time. (sb)

Image: Claudia Hautumm / pixelio.de

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