AOK resists premium reimbursement

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AOK health insurance company refuses to distribute the surpluses in the form of premiums

The AOK refuses to use existing surpluses to distribute premiums to the insured. Instead, the money should be used to ensure long-term supply, Jürgen Graalmann, CEO of the AOK Federal Association, told the Rheinische Post.

The dispute over the use of billions of surpluses in statutory health insurance (SHI) continues. After the Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr (FDP) had spoken repeatedly in February for a distribution of the surpluses in the form of premium repayments to the insured and the Federal Insurance Office (BVA) asked some health insurance companies to at least check the reimbursement of premiums, the head of the AOK holds -Bundesverband against it now. The AOK does not want to distribute premiums but instead uses the money to secure and improve the range of services.

Just two years ago, it was hardly conceivable that within a very short time some statutory health insurance companies would be so positive that the use of surpluses can be discussed. However, at the end of 2011, the health insurance funds actually had reserves of almost 10 billion euros. Numerous health insurances had reserves that were significantly higher than the 1.5-month expenditure prescribed by law. These excesses of the maximum reserve arouse desire. The Federal Minister of Health calls for the contributions to be reimbursed to the insured in the form of premiums. The Federal Insurance Office expects the health insurance companies with the largest surpluses to provide information about the use of the funds and has asked at least to review a premium repayment. In fact, the BVA estimates that a distribution of at least 60 euros per insured would be possible.

The AOK Federal Association has now given a clear rejection of the demands for a surplus distribution to the insured. The chairman of the AOK federal association emphasized to the "Rheinische Post" that the "AOK will invest the surpluses in the long-term security of supply and will not distribute any premiums". The money is also to be used to further improve the range of services, Graalmann continues. Just under three weeks ago, the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds had already stressed the demands of the Federal Minister of Health and the BVA that "in view of the rising spending on hospitals, medicines and doctor's fees and the government's simultaneous announcement that the federal subsidy would be reduced, the government was reluctant to pay premiums." the health insurers have great understanding. ”In addition, the year 2011 was by no means a good year for all statutory health insurers, as the bankruptcy of the City BKK and the BKK for health care professions illustrate in a sobering way. Building up reserves in order to be prepared for the financial uncertainties of the future therefore seems entirely plausible. Especially since the premium distribution would only have a short-term effect in the wallets of the individual insured. "I think it is wiser to deal sustainably with finances," said Jürgen Graalmann's somewhat snappy comment. (fp)

Read on:
AOK study: premium increases of 2700 euros
Private patients flee to the health insurance companies
Health insurance: additional contributions will come again
Complaints about an increase in private health insurance contributions
Health insurance: what will change in 2012

Image: Sara Hegewald /

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