DAK: Additional contributions are to blame for the financial problem



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DAK boss: Additional contributions main reason for financial problems

The German employee health insurance (DAK) faced financial problems, but was even able to generate a first surplus for 2011, according to its own statements. In March, however, the Federal Insurance Office (BVA) asked the DAK to reduce the administrative costs, since last year the fund paid out numerous members through additional contributions. Similar to the CSU politician Max Staubinger, the chairman of the DAK now called for the abolition of the health fund. In addition, the DAK boss believes that a high-risk pool should be introduced that enables financial compensation for particularly cost-intensive patients.

The additional contributions introduced with the health fund are in the opinion of Dr. Herbert Rebscher, the main reason for the financial difficulties of the DAK. After the health insurance company introduced an additional contribution of eight euros in February 2010, hundreds of thousands of insured left the DAK. This further aggravated the financial situation and in March the BVA was forced to recommend far-reaching savings to the DAK in order to ensure the long-term solvency of the health insurance.

Hundreds of thousands leave the DAK because of the additional contribution The chairman of the DAK, Dr. Herbert Rebscher, now made the financial requirements of the health fund and the introduction of additional contributions responsible for the problems of the DAK. The third largest German health insurance company with around six million members is one of the few large statutory health insurers that has so far made an additional contribution. Since February 2010, insured persons have had to pay eight euros out of their own pocket as an additional contribution. As a result, hundreds of thousands of DAK customers decided to switch insurance, which caused further structural problems at DAK. The administrative apparatus could not be dismantled at the same pace as the members were dwindling. Although the DAK decided to cut around 800 jobs this year after the BVA's savings requests, the financial problems of the insurance company are not over.

Abolition of the health fund demanded To become competitive again, the DAK CEO Dr. Herbert Rebscher therefore returns to the complete financial independence of the statutory health insurance companies. Above all, the health insurance companies should be able to decide independently on the amount of their contribution rates, said Rebscher, thus advocating the abolition of the health fund. Compared to the "Handelsblatt", the DAK boss further emphasized: "Financial autonomy should go back to the cash registers". In addition, Rebscher criticized the previous risk structure adjustment, which insurance for particularly cost-intensive members receive. This is not enough to cover the real costs of patient care, explained Dr. Rebscher. According to the CEO of the DAK, "at least a high-risk pool should be created to offset the costs of particularly expensive patients".

Further closings and emergency mergers of health insurers possible The current regulations of the health fund lead according to Dr. Rebscher also makes it so that in such critical situations as the current bankruptcy of City BKK, the other statutory health insurance companies are hesitant to take over the insured from a purely business point of view. They are also based on the legal framework with regard to costs. Although the attempts at clearing away, with which some statutory health insurance companies tried to prevent former City BKK customers from applying for admission, are in principle shameful, "but the crocodile tears of politics are hypocritical," emphasized Dr. Because the health insurance companies would actually only follow the business logic of the new legal framework. If the politicians do not decide to make improvements at this point, "further closings or emergency mergers to avoid bankruptcy cannot be ruled out," explained the DAK boss. (fp)

Also read:
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DAK crisis: Dismantling of staff threatens
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DAK: Job cuts through additional contributions
Is the DAK health insurance bankrupt?

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