DAK: Job cuts through additional contributions

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Loss of members through additional contributions: DAK health insurance company announces job cuts

The collection of additional contributions was the last resort for the German Employee Health Insurance Fund (DAK) last year to avert the impending financial imbalance. Since January 2010, DAK insured persons have had to pay eight euros a month out of their own pockets. But the result was different than hoped.

Around half a million insured have left the DAK due to the additional contributions. Although 200,000 new customers were won at the same time, the end result was a loss of members of more than 300,000 insured. The desired reorganization of the finances could not be achieved with the help of the additional contributions. Due to subsequent corrections to the disease-oriented financial equalization, the DAK had a deficit of 79 million euros in 2010 instead of a regular surplus of 62 million euros.

Closure of offices and job cuts at DAK Since the DAK has over 300,000 fewer members than last year, DAK boss Herbert Rebscher says there is now a significant job loss to the “Berliner Zeitung”. According to Rebscher, individual branches may also have to be closed. Since 2004, around 3,000 jobs at the DAK have been "cut socially acceptable" and this year, too, personnel will be saved further, explained the DAK boss. Rebscher did not want to give any concrete figures, however, he was optimistic and announced an expected surplus of almost 200 million euros in the current year. That the DAK is in financial need is probably also one of the reasons that collection proceedings have been initiated against insureds who have not yet paid their additional contributions. The DAK has passed on the data of around 220,000 members who are more than six months late with their additional contributions to the main customs offices so that they can collect the money from customers. In the worst case scenario, those affected may face garnishment. However, Rebscher emphasized that this was common practice and that the defaulters were charged an amount of at least 20 euros. In addition, "the main customs offices, which we have commissioned with the collection procedures, (...) also bill the offending members for their efforts," explained Rebscher.

Vicious circle of additional contributions The current announcements about job cuts at the DAK make it clear which vicious circle can develop through the collection of the additional contributions. Hundreds of thousands of members leave the corresponding health insurance schemes, and the health insurance companies can then no longer keep their existing staff and offices due to the reduced income. This is followed by staff cuts and the closure of offices. As a result, the service for the members of the affected health insurers becomes significantly worse and there is a risk of further loss of members and a renewed financial deficit, which can only be compensated for by collecting additional contributions. This means that the corresponding health insurance companies are on a downward trend that is difficult to break. If, in addition, other incalculable factors such as the subsequent corrections to the disease-based financial equalization further exacerbate the financial situation of the health insurance companies, very few will be able to remedy themselves on their own. (fp)

Read on this topic:
Billing fraud: DAK demands two million euros
DAK is also demanding an additional contribution in 2011
Change health insurance or stay?
Is the DAK health insurance bankrupt?

Image: Gerd Altmann / pixelio.de

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  1. Dave

    I am sorry, that has interfered... At me a similar situation. Write here or in PM.

  2. Kayden

    What luck!

  3. Condon

    Not in it the matter.

  4. Nall

    And what should you do in this case?

  5. Sagis

    Today I specially registered to participate in the discussion.

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