Special right of termination for additional contributions

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Special right of termination for additional contributions from the statutory health insurance funds

Consumer protection: If the health insurance company charges an additional contribution, insured persons can exercise the special right of termination. But not only additional contributions, but also the health services offered should be a priority when changing.

Special cancellation for additional contributions
Statutory health insurers have been introducing additional contributions almost nationwide for a year because the allocations from the health fund will no longer be sufficient. The rising health costs are therefore passed on directly to the insured. The only option for the consumer is to make use of the special termination option. This right applies when a health insurance company introduces a new contribution or increases an existing one. If you want to change then you should keep an eye on the contractual clauses. Because the right to early termination exists after announcement of the additional contribution for just eight weeks. During this notice period, changers do not have to pay an additional contribution. Once the time has passed, the insured can only exercise the regular right to cancel. Here, however, further special features of contract law must be observed.

Compare additional contribution, service and health benefits
If you are thinking about leaving the fund due to the additional contribution burden, you should not only pay attention to the amount of the additional contributions when choosing the new health insurance. The Consumer Protection Center Saxony-Anhalt currently points out that additional services are essential factors that have to be considered. Even if a health insurance company requires an additional contribution, the range of services can still have a saving effect. In addition, there are fears that all health insurance companies will in future raise additional contributions anyway. According to an analysis by the Institute for Health Economics at the University of Cologne, all insured persons will have to pay an additional contribution from 2012 at the latest. After that, according to the scientists, the flat-rate contributions will increase continuously. From 2025, they forecast a nationwide additional contribution of a whopping 97 euros per month. "That would be an additional head allowance of € 1164 per year" for each patient subject to contributions.

BKK Hoesch with additional contributions since the beginning of the year
14 of the 156 health insurers are currently charging an additional contribution of around eight euros. Around eight million insured persons in Germany are affected by the additional burden. Those affected also have to spend between 96 and 180 euros a year on their health care. The additional contribution funds include heavyweights such as the German employee health insurance DAK. The company health insurance fund BKK Hoesch was the only health insurance fund to introduce the additional contribution at the beginning of the year. Insured members of the company fund have the opportunity to exercise their non-regular termination right by March 25th at the latest. Anyone who submitted their notice by the cut-off date does not have to pay any additional contribution. Those who stay have to transfer the additional contribution of 45 euros for the first three months. The BKK Hoesch demands the additional contribution per quarter.

Social compensation for low earners
In order to relieve low-income earners like Hartz IV recipients, the black and yellow coalition has introduced social compensation as part of the health care reform. Insured who have to spend more than two percent of their income on additional contributions can claim compensation. Experts complain that social compensation is currently ineffective because the amount of compensation is based on the average additional contribution of all health insurers. Since only a minority of health insurers levy an additional contribution, the average compensation is currently zero euros. This means that no social compensation is actually being paid for at least this year.

No capping of additional contributions By removing the capping of the additional contributions, health insurance companies can determine the amount of the additional contributions themselves. The Federal Government hopes this will create competition between the health insurers, since the regular insurance contributions are set uniformly. Over the years, more health insurance companies will enter into or close mergers, so the number of health insurers should be reduced overall. For consumers, it means comparing health insurance benefits and additional contributions as the health reform begins. Not only the additional contribution should be decisive when choosing the cash register, but also services, as the Saxony-Anhalt consumer center in Halle warned. Because there are differences between the cash registers. For example, some health insurance providers offer alternative treatment methods for naturopathy, while others are much more cost-effective when it comes to vaccinations. Customer care and service should also be crucial. Direct contacts on site ensure customer proximity and simplified processes. Consumer advocates therefore advise an intensive comparison before you commit yourself. If the contract was concluded, the insured must stay at the health insurance fund for at least eighteen months, unless the new health insurance company also charges an additional contribution. Then the special right of termination applies again.

Development of additional contributions In the future, more and more health insurers will have to introduce an additional lump sum. Experts believe that in the coming years almost every fund will have to rely on the additional income. The reason for this is the rising costs in the health system and the demographic change in the population. (sb)

Also read:
DAK: Job cuts through additional contributions
Change health insurance or stay?
AOK Nordost starts without additional contributions
Separation of PKV and GKV a phase-out model?

Image: Barbara Eckholdt / pixelio.de

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