DKV stops PKV discount tariffs



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Deutsche Krankenversicherung AG stops private health insurance tariffs

As of December 1st, 2011, Deutsche Krankenversicherung AG (DKV) no longer wants to participate in the entry-level tariff game. Entry-level tariffs of this kind are usually very inexpensive and therefore increase more rapidly at a later age. In some cases, discounted tariffs are offered for less than 100 euros, which hardly contain any health care benefits, but instead contain a high cost share. According to a press report, they want to say goodbye to the low-cost segment in the future and instead concentrate on premium and comfort tariffs.

Exit logical consequence
The step is a "logical consequence of experience" with such PKV tariffs. The “Financial Times Deutschland” quotes the PKV boss in its current edition that such tariffs would sometimes attract insured persons who, according to DKV chairman Clemens Muth, do not belong in private health insurance. Now they want to "sharpen the profile towards comfort and premium tariffs". DKV, based in Düsseldorf, is part of the ERGO Group.

It was only in April this year that Dr. Muth called for a clear limitation of brokerage commissions on full insurance. Because in some cases customers are literally asked by their insurance brokers to switch providers again after some time. The brokers can collect another four-digit commission on the sale.

When the low-cost entry-level tariffs started, the insurance company had hoped that the insured persons concerned would subsequently opt for higher-value tariffs. But this hope has hardly been confirmed, says Muth. All sales partners have already been informed in writing about this far-reaching step. From the first of December 2011, cheap entry tariffs will no longer be offered.

Step should be trend-setting
This makes DKV one of the first private insurers to recognize that the entire industry is not doing itself a favor by selling tariffs at ridiculous prices. In some cases, such tariffs involve very high commissions for the brokers, provide less health services than the statutory health insurers and even produce dissatisfied customers afterwards because they are later confronted with high premium payments. Accordingly, this step is a correct one and should be trend-setting for other private health insurance companies. The DKV currently has around 800,000 civil servants, the self-employed, freelancers and employees with private health insurance. This makes the DKV the second largest PKV provider on the German market. (sb)

Also read:
Special right to terminate a PKV tariff increase
DKV merges with Victoria Health Insurance
Lautenschläger becomes a new DKV board member
PKV sales methods are dubious in places

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