On average, health insurance patients spend an additional € 380 per year on services
According to a survey study, statutory health insurers spend an additional € 380 on health services because the health insurance companies do not take on certain services such as osteopathy, hedgehog services at the doctor, additional payments in the pharmacy or additional services in the clinic. However, many health insurance patients cannot afford certain health services, so certain treatments are either postponed or left out.
Insured persons of the statutory health insurance companies spend an average of around 380 euros in addition to their health insurance contributions at the doctor, in the pharmacy or in the hospital. According to the representative survey by the polling institute "TNS Infratest" on behalf of Continentale Versicherung, women with 440 euros per year spend slightly more than men with around 300 euros for services that are not included in the service catalog of the statutory health insurance funds. About one in three said that due to the additional costs, therapies, additional diagnostic options or vaccinations had already been postponed and refrained from.
The most common additional costs were practice fees that are payable each quarter, additional payments for medicines in the pharmacy, medical diagnoses or treatments, physiotherapy or manual procedures such as massages. “Orthodontist treatments and visual aids such as glasses were expressly excluded,” said a spokesman for the private health insurance company Continentale. In addition, the information provided by the survey participants is a simple estimate.
Low earners cannot afford additional benefits
In particular, groups of people such as low earners and Hartz IV recipients stated that they had given up health services for financial reasons. Around 80 percent of the participants took the view that the German health system was “too expensive”. When evaluating the last question, the answers of around 1100 insured persons from the health insurance companies and 167 private patients were evaluated.
Despite the additional expenses and the development of premiums, the absolute majority (90 percent) regards the current basic medical care as positive. 82 percent find medical therapies effective. However, four out of five (78 percent) said they were “concerned that they would no longer benefit from medical progress in the future”.
A majority of those surveyed also believed that the dissolution of the dual health insurance system in favor of a common citizens' insurance could eliminate all differences between rich and poor. Only 37 percent think that higher-income earners would no longer be able to afford better care from a citizen's insurance scheme. "On the other hand," 86 percent of the population think that the German healthcare system is one of the most efficient in the world ".
Overall, the study aims to improve the image of private health insurance. The key statements of the study are that the majority of the insured are more satisfied with the private and that the insured have mixed feelings about the future. For example, the participants approve of the “benefits of private health insurance compared to statutory health insurance on the benefit side”. However, a study by the health insurance companies recently came to the conclusion that numerous PKV tariffs even offer fewer services than the GKV. (sb)
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Image: Ronny Richert / pixelio.de