Health insurance companies should repay contributions

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Premium reimbursement requested from the health insurance companies

After the Federal Minister of Health had already advocated in the past month in view of the massive surpluses with some statutory health insurance companies that the insured should be repaid part of the premiums, the Federal Insurance Office (BVA) has now asked individual health insurance companies to review a premium repayment, according to media reports.

According to the Federal Insurance Office, premiums of at least 60 euros per year could be repaid to the insured, reports the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (FAZ), referring to the cover letter of the BVA to several health insurance companies. The amount of the reserves laid down in the social law is clearly exceeded, so the Federal Insurance Office's reason for the request for the premium repayment. The registered health insurance companies now have until the beginning of June to respond to the letter from the BVA.

Premium reimbursement to the insured is required The surpluses at numerous statutory health insurance funds and the reserves in the health fund have opened up scope for previously almost unknown discussions. While the lack of financial reserves and the closure of health insurance funds have been the focus of public debate in recent years, there is now debate about how to deal with the excess funds. The Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr (FDP) had already commented on this in February and demanded that the surplus be distributed in the form of premium repayments to the insured. According to the reports of the "FAZ", the demands in the current letter from the Federal Insurance Office go in the same direction. The health insurance companies with particularly high surpluses should check whether a premium repayment is possible, since in recent years the amount of “financial assets” that was not to be expected has occurred, BVA President Maximilian Gassner said in letters to the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), the Hanseatische Krankenkasse (HEK) and the IKK Gesund plus.

At least 60 euros per year should be reimbursed. With the three health insurance companies that were contacted, the amount of the reserves of 1.5 months' expenditure stipulated by the social law was "clearly" exceeded, so that reimbursement of the premiums had to be considered, the BVA justified its claims in the cover letter quoted by the "FAZ". According to the letter from the BVA, the health insurance companies should repay at least five euros per month or 60 euros per year to their members. The health insurance companies were given a period of notice until the beginning of June. So far, however, there is no official statement from the BVA.

Different reactions to the demands of the Federal Insurance Office The CDU was satisfied with the procedure of the Federal Insurance Office and the health policy spokesman for the CDU parliamentary group, Jens Spahn, emphasized: “It is true that the BVA puts more pressure on the health insurers, surpluses finally as bonuses to be returned to the insured. ”Because“ health insurance companies are not savings banks, ”Spahn continued. However, it should not be neglected that the health insurance companies were forced to undertake far-reaching austerity measures due to the massive financial difficulties in the past. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that only few people think of a premium repayment. The BVA's current demand from health insurers met with criticism, and a spokesman for the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds emphasized that its association "in view of the rising expenditure on hospitals, medicines and doctor's fees, while at the same time announcing the government to cut the federal subsidy." Withholding premiums from health insurance companies have great understanding ”.

All health insurers with corresponding surpluses should pay out premiums In view of the current letter from the BVA, the Federal Ministry of Health pointed out that a possible premium repayment should not only affect the three health insurers contacted, but "all health insurers that meet the criteria laid down by the Federal Insurance Office" According to the "FAZ", the spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health referred to this statement to local health insurance companies such as the AOK Plus, which, however, are not subject to federal supervision, but to state supervision. The respective countries should therefore become active here.

Billions of financial reserves with the statutory health insurance companies The financial reserves that the health insurance companies actually have can be guessed from the surpluses at the individual health insurance companies and the buffer in the health fund. The statutory health insurance companies had a surplus of four billion euros last year and, according to the Federal Ministry of Health, were able to increase their financial reserves to just under ten billion euros. In addition, there are reserves of 9.5 billion euros in the health fund, so that the statutory health insurers currently have a financial cushion of almost 20 billion euros. (fp)

Read also about health insurance:
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Dispute over high surpluses of the health insurance companies
Dispute over billions in surplus in the health fund

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