Health insurance companies should check sick reports

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Minister of Health Bahr: Health insurance companies have to examine sick reports carefully

The statutory health insurance companies tried to send people on sick leave back to work last year. Health Minister Bahr wants to make this more difficult for the health insurance companies in the future. Health insurance companies are also criticized for saving money on pension provision.

Health Minister criticizes health insurance funds Federal Health Minister Daniel Bahr (FDP) wants to make it more difficult for statutory health insurance companies to send sick people back to their workplaces in the future. "Of course, the health insurance companies have to check whether there is really an illness behind a sick report," Bahr told Die Welt (Monday). "If sick leave is rejected on a blanket basis, in large numbers and only after having checked the files, then that is not okay." The Minister advocated making detailed examinations compulsory in cases of doubt. "Every single case must be appreciated."

1.5 million cases examined Last year, the statutory health insurance companies asked the medical service of the health insurance companies (MDK) nationwide in around 1.5 million cases to medically check an incapacity for work ascertained by a doctor. In more than 234,000 cases, the experts judged that from a medical point of view there was no reason for the incapacity to continue and that this could therefore be ended within two weeks. Overall, the number of sick leave examined by the MDK fell slightly from 1.54 million cases in the previous year to 1.47 million, but the decision to revoke a certificate ultimately falls to the cash register. According to the umbrella organization of statutory health insurance (GKV), data was missing.

Health care savings are made According to a report by the news magazine Spiegel, the statutory health insurance companies save massively on health insurance expenditures for their insured. The magazine announced on Sunday in advance that the health insurance funds had reduced spending on anti-stress measures and health promotion by around 30 percent between 2008 and 2012. Downgraded to the insured, this is an average of 3.41 euros per year. This means that the value is only slightly above the statutory benchmark of EUR 2.94. So-called individual measures, i.e. courses such as spinal gymnastics or burnout prevention, are mainly affected by the cuts. According to the prevention law planned by the federal government, the health insurers should actually spend more money on preventing diseases.

More privately insured dissatisfied More and more private patients are suffering from changing insurance circumstances. According to a study, increasing contributions to private health insurance are becoming noticeable. Der Spiegel reports that a study by the AOK scientific institute (WidO) states that the premiums "have risen sharply for years due to high expenditure increases" and thus mean "a considerable burden for a growing number of private insured persons" fourth privately insured pensioner regrets his decision, and the report says more and more people would switch to cheaper, higher-risk plans to save money. (ad)

Image: Matthias Preisinger /

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