Private health insurance tariffs before going out?

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Private health insurance tariffs before the end: Central health insurance sets its tariff

Off for cheap tariffs in private health insurance (PKV). Central Health Insurance will take its "Ecoline" discount rate off the market on August 1st. Although the health insurance company was able to win around 40,000 new customers with the low-cost offers last year, the overall tariffs are uneconomical and do not meet the requirements that the insured have for private health insurance. In addition, a particularly large number of insured persons in the segment had not paid their premiums, so that substantial premium increases were unavoidable in the discount tariff, the rating agency Assekurata commented on the current decision.

With Central Health Insurance, another private insurer is saying goodbye to the controversial discount tariffs. After the DKV announced in June that it would no longer offer its discount tariff from December 1, 2011, the Central Health Insurance followed the example and set the "Ecoline" tariff on August 1st. The strategy to win new customers with the help of the cheap offers, in the hope that sooner or later they would switch to a more expensive tariff from the health insurance company, had failed, Heinz Teuscher, CEO of Generali Deutschland's Central Health Insurance, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ".

No discount tariffs with Central Health Insurance From August 1st, the Central Health Insurance discount tariffs will no longer be offered, according to a current message from the health insurance company. The insurance company actually hoped that the cheap offers would give it a significant competitive advantage and increase the acquisition of new customers. But while tens of thousands of new members could actually be lured by the cheap tariffs, the Central Health Insurance obviously did not benefit from this. The strategy of attracting new customers with the help of the particularly tightly calculated offers, in the hope that they would subsequently switch to a more expensive tariff, did not work, according to the CEO of Central Health Insurance. In fact, the quota of customers who switched from the low-cost tariffs to a higher-value tariff was almost zero, explained Heinz Teuscher. In addition, in the "Ecoline", a particularly large number of customers would not have paid their premiums, which resulted in significantly higher premium increases for the paying customers than in the more expensive tariffs. According to the CEO of Generali Germany, Dietmar Meister, it is only logical that the Central Health Insurance, unlike the Ergo Group, which DKV belongs to the Ergo Group, will immediately drop its discount tariff and not wait until the end of the year. "Why wait another four months when the decision is clear?" Commented Meister on the immediate exit from the cheap offers.

Financial charges due to lock tariffs Industry experts consider the immediate discontinuation of the low tariffs as a kind of emergency brake due to the development of costs for the "Ecoline". Although a large proportion of the growth in Central Health Insurance in the past three years is due to the new deals in the low-cost tariffs, this did not really improve the health insurance company's competitive position. On the contrary: the discount tariff has become an increasing burden. The expert Abdul Kadir Cebi, from the rating agency Assekurata, said in this regard: "Cheap became a problem because there is a high risk that premiums will not be paid." In addition, the scope of benefits often does not correspond to the insured person's claim to private health insurance. Because the low tariffs were only possible by excluding certain services. For example, outpatient psychotherapy, artificial insemination, rehabilitation measures, cures, alternative practitioner treatments and outpatient transport are often not included in the low tariffs. "Perhaps we should have looked at this model more critically," concluded the CEO of Generali Germany. Central Health Insurance, however, vigorously rejected speculation that the problems with the low-cost tariffs could even lead to a slanted situation for Central. "The Central has a rock solid balance and is definitely not in financial difficulties," said the health insurance company.

Others continue to rely on the new customer acquisition model
Unlike the DKV and the Central Health Insurance, other private health insurance companies plan to continue their business with the low tariffs. A spokesman for the health insurance company Hanse Merkur said, “The brokers don't talk to customers about anything. They know what they are doing when they buy a tariff without protection from psychotherapy. ”Hanse Merkur is using the discount tariffs particularly intensively for the acquisition of new customers, but has said it has had mostly positive experiences and plans the share of the discount tariffs in the future even expand it. The emerging criticism of the business model of cheap offers is only due to the success that some insurance companies have with it, said the position of Hanse Merkur. "We have been growing faster than the market for nine years, and some don't like that," a company spokesman told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. However, the reasoning with regard to Central Health Insurance and DKV cannot be quite as simple, because thanks to the cheap tariffs they were also able to grow faster than the rest of the industry. (fp)

Also read:
Many insured dissatisfied with the private health insurance
Consumer advocates warn of low tariffs for private health insurance
Health insurance companies block insurance bills
PKV: No return for students in the SHI

Image: Ronny Richert /

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