Closure of the BKK inevitable for health professionals

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Closure of the BKK inevitable for health professionals

The health insurance company BKK for health professions is expected to close on January 1st, 2012. In the opinion of the managing director of the BKK board of directors Heinz Kaltenbach, the health insurance company concerned is “no longer viable”.

The additional contributions were introduced in the course of the health care reform. Since the beginning of the year, the health insurance companies have been able to determine the amount of the flat-rate contributions in contrast to the regular contribution rates. According to the legislator, the statutory health insurance should balance financial difficulties if the allocations from the health fund are no longer sufficient. These additional contributions have maneuvered numerous health insurances into massive distress. Because only a minority of the health insurers levy an additional contribution. The result: Young and high-income health insurers in particular made use of their special right of termination and changed providers. Due to the massive decline in membership and the changed membership structure, the fewest additional health insurance companies were able to revise their financial needs. The BKK for health professions, for example, which insured over 400,000 people just a few years ago. Only 80,000 insured members remained from the former membership. Among them were a disproportionately large number of seriously ill, old and chronically ill people who cost more than contribution rates, allocations and additional contributions.

Cash register closure inevitable in the absence of a merger
The BKK for health professions is likely to suffer the same fate as the already closed City BKK. Since the introduction of the health fund, the second health insurance fund is now facing the final end. A closure can no longer be avoided, the managing director of the Federal Association of Company Health Insurance Funds Heinz Kaltenbach commented on the situation of the BKK for health professions. "The cash register is no longer viable in itself." The Federal Chairman named January 1, 2012 as a possible closing date. At the beginning of November, the Federal Insurance Office, as the supreme health insurer, will decide on the future of the health insurance fund. In the hearing process, the board of directors must explain which measures are taken to prevent insolvency and to ensure liquidation. Experts believe that the only way is to form a union with a solvent competitor. Talks to date have repeatedly failed. Only the AOK Hamburg / Rhineland signaled the cautious willingness to hold talks. For this, the BKK must disclose all structural problems for health professionals, as a spokesman for the AOK emphasized. If the threatened cash register does not find an adequate merger partner by then, the end is practically sealed. Then the remaining members have to find a new health insurance company.

Conditions such as after the City BKK was closed should be avoided
The BKK CEO emphasized, "Conditions like when the City BKK was closed in the middle of the year should be avoided". Chronically ill people and the elderly in particular had great problems finding a new fund and, despite legal regulations, have often been rejected by phone. The reason: The health insurers feared themselves into financial difficulties if the membership structure changed unfavorably. From an economic point of view, it would be better to "distribute all insured persons to all other health insurances in the event of closure," said the BKK association chairman, Kaltenbach.

Additional contribution health insurance companies in distress
As long as there are no nationwide additional contributions, the health insurance companies are in dire straits. On the one hand, they rely on the additional contributions to compensate for structural problems, and on the other hand, the members run away from them. At the turn of the year, DAK and BKK Gesundheit want to join forces to form a common health insurance company in order to better assert themselves on the health insurance market with a stronger number of members. Health insurance companies that are denied the merger path are left behind and run the risk of bankruptcy. If the BKK is closed for health professions, the approximately 150 employees will also lose their jobs. (sb)

Read on:
Merger between AOK and BKK for health care professionals?
Impending closure of the BKK for healthcare professions
BKK for health professions: merger or bankruptcy?
BKK for healthcare professions faces bankruptcy
Membership loss in health insurance

Image: Gerd Altmann,

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