Change: less and less inflow to private health insurance

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The number of insurance changes towards private health insurance declines significantly

Private health insurance is apparently increasingly unattractive for insured people. In 2013, significantly fewer people switched from statutory health insurance (GKV) to private health insurance (PKV), reports the "WirtschaftsWoche", citing the figures from the Association of Alternative Health Insurance Funds (vdek). Although the causes of the declining influx towards private health insurance have not yet been examined in more detail, the drastic increases in premiums in individual private health insurance tariffs may have played a major role here.

According to the vdek, fewer and fewer people have switched to private health insurance in the past ten years, reports the “WirtschaftsWoche”. This is despite the fact that some measures have been implemented to make the change easier. According to current reports, the number of GKV disposals towards private insurance companies has decreased from 360,000 to 160,000. In the years 2009 to 2013, the number of changes to private health insurance at the three largest statutory health insurers (TK, Barmer GEK and DAK) halved from 88,000 to 44,000, writes the "WirtschaftsWoche". In addition to the enormous increase in contributions to private health insurance, the expansion of the voluntary range of services offered by the statutory health insurers may also be seen here in connection with the reduced willingness to change.

More and more people want to switch from private health insurance back to statutory health insurance According to the current newspaper report, more formerly privately insured people are now trying to return to the statutory health insurance funds than customers are migrating, which could lead to existential problems for the private health insurance industry, as these are dependent on younger newcomers . In addition, the chairman of the board of the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), Jens Baas, predicted to “WirtschaftsWoche” that the number of changers will continue to decrease. Many would register with the SHI as voluntary insured. It should also be observed that more and more people want to switch from private to statutory health insurance. "Above all, parents with small children are trying to come back to us, and people aged 45 and over, whose contributions to the private sector are increasing sharply," quotes the "WirtschaftsWoche", the TK CEO.

Contribution increases Cause of the waning willingness to switch Recently, the tariffs of many private tariffs have risen in the double-digit percentage range, which has caused corresponding outrage among the insured and has further put pressure on the private health insurance system, Baas told the newspaper. In his opinion, with the current development, the division of the insurance market in two is also in question. This would definitely become an issue in the second half of the parliamentary term, Baas predicted. The "WirtschaftsWoche" documents the development based on the figures from TK, Barmer GEK and DAK. Of the approximately 8.7 million insured at TK, only 26,781 had recently switched to private health insurance, compared to around 45,000 in 2009 and almost 50,000 in 2011. In 2013, 83,866 customers returned from the PKV to the TK, more than three times as many as were gone.

Criticism of the health insurance system divided into two At Barmer GEK and DAK, the numbers of departures towards private health insurance have developed in a comparable manner, according to the WirtschaftsWoche report. The DAK (8.6 million insured) lost just over 11,000 members to the PKV in 2013, compared to 28,480 in 2009. In 2013, 6,514 people moved from the DAK (6.3 million insured) to PKV, in 2009 the number was just under 15,000. It remains to be seen what consequences this shrinkage will have on the private health insurance industry, but the current figures are currently acting like water on the millers of the critics of the two-part health insurance system. (fp)

Image: Gerd Altmann / Gerold Meiners /

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