Statutory health insurance: Protection abroad has to be paid for from 2013
In the area of statutory health insurance, the next important change is pending from January 1, 2013: From this day on, the health insurance funds are no longer allowed to offer their members free, worldwide, private health protection. How many insured people would have to take over their travel protection themselves in the future is not yet clear, but according to the assumptions of the ADAC, members of the company health insurance companies in particular are affected.
But not everything will be new: In the new year, however, nothing would change in the legal benefits for trips within Europe or to countries that fall under social security agreements with Germany. Here, however, the ADAC expressly warns against inadequate benefits: in the worst case, travelers without privately concluded additional health insurance abroad could experience a financial disaster. Because within Europe the health insurance companies would often only cover part of the costs, in countries outside Europe the statutory health insurers generally do not pay anything in the event of illness. Accordingly, according to the ADAC, one of the most cost-intensive services is not covered: the return transport back home, which would be particularly necessary from Spain, Italy and Turkey. This can quickly add up to tens of thousands of euros, which means that the ADAC strongly recommends that you carefully check your insurance cover before you travel.
The ADAC figures underline the urgency of adequate protection: 50,000 sick or injured holidaymakers are looked after every year by the automobile club's ambulance service. For about a third, the vacation ends with a return transport to a home clinic. And it has to be particularly quick for around 4,500 travelers - and a return transport must be organized with ADAC special flight or scheduled aircraft.
Additional health insurance abroad can provide travelers with adequate cover - in the form of a family policy, e.g. this protection is available from 20 euros. (sb)
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