United IKK: No merger, now additional contribution?

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Fusion burst, what now? Vereinigte IKK advises about its own future

The merger between the ailing United IKK and the IKK Classic has broken. Now, at the current current meeting of the Board of Directors of the United IKK, we are looking for a new course to strengthen our position and to avoid additional contributions in the future.

Despite the failed merger, additional contributions to the United IKK are not on the agenda for today's regular strategy meeting of the Board of Directors, a spokesman for the insurance company said. However, strategic options would be examined to avoid additional contributions in the long term. The merger of the two statutory health insurers failed due to the poor financial situation of the United IKK, a spokesman for the board of IKK Classic reported.

Financial situation of the United IKK tense
After the merger of IKK Classic and United IKK into one of the largest German health insurance companies failed, yesterday's and yesterday's meeting of the United IKK had to face some difficult decisions. It was also a matter of deciding on a loan offer in the amount of 50 million euros that the IKK Classic had made according to reports from the "Handelsbatt" of the ailing United IKK. So far, however, it is not clear whether the United IKK will accept this offer. However, with a shortfall of 140 million euros in the past year, the financial situation of the United IKK can be described as tense. According to media reports, the five members of the umbrella organization IKK e.V. have already had their first talks about the options for supporting the ailing United IKK. It cannot therefore be ruled out whether long-term additional contributions might be threatened for the insured of the United IKK. The United IKK only emerged in July 2010 from the merger between IKK North Rhine and Signal Iduna IKK.

Positive financial situation at IKK Classic
In contrast to the relatively difficult financial situation of the United IKK, the financial situation of the IKK Classic has so far been much more relaxed. In 2010, IKK Classic generated a surplus of 49 million euros, whereby it benefited from a cheaper insurance structure compared to United IKK, said IKK Classic spokesman Michael Förster. The insurance spokesman categorically excluded the collection of additional premiums not only for this year but also for 2012 due to the better structural starting conditions. In addition, the IKK Classic hopes to protect its insured from additional contributions for an even longer period than until 2012. In January 2010, the IKK Baden-Württemberg and Hessen, the IKK Hamburg and the IKK Saxony and Thuringia merged to form the IKK Classic.

Rejection of the merger is economically understandable
From the business point of view, the fact that the IKK Classic did not go head over heels into a merger with the United IKK is only understandable from a business point of view and is a first sign of the general trend of mergers among statutory health insurers. In the opinion of critical experts such as Rolf Stuppardt from the Federal Association of the Guild Funds, this trend has "little to do with health economic goals" anyway. Some health insurers had only used the mergers to achieve a systemically important size and thus be saved from the state in the event of possible bankruptcy, the expert criticized last year. The United IKK and the IKK Classic, however, have long reached this size. Several million members could not easily be accommodated in the other health insurance companies. Therefore, the current voluntary offers of help towards the United IKK seem more like compulsory services, because the financial difficulties of the ailing health insurance company must be overcome as quickly as possible in the interest of the entire industry. (fp)

Image: Chris Beck / pixelio.de

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