Health insurance companies demand outstanding additional contributions

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Health insurance companies claim outstanding additional contributions and threaten to refuse payment with a garnishment

Additional contributions are currently levied by around one in ten statutory health insurers, but hundreds of thousands of members have so far simply refused to pay. According to the wishes of the health insurance companies, this should now be the end. In the worst case, the defaulting payers have to seize their salaries.

Due to the high administrative effort, the health insurance companies have so far not enforced the additional contributions. In the end, those who did not pay the additional contribution were better off than the honest insured because there were no impending sanctions. That is now the end. The first statutory health insurance companies, such as the German Employee Health Insurance Fund (DAK), passed on the data of offending customers to the main customs offices. The customs offices are now supposed to collect the outstanding debts that have been due for months and, if necessary, seize the salaries or pensions of the debtors

Hundreds of thousands of legally insured persons refuse to pay additional contributions Hundreds of thousands of insured persons have so far refused to pay additional contributions. According to the DAK alone, 220,000 members are still behind with the payment. This means that around five percent of the 4.5 million DAK customers have not yet paid the additional contribution of eight euros per month since January 2010, despite several requests. The DAK has therefore decided to pass on the data of the defaulting insured to the main customs offices so that they can collect the outstanding contributions. The Social Code (SGB) also regulates the attachment of salary or pension as the final consequence of refusal to pay. A DAK spokesman emphasized that the health insurance company did not take the easy step, because “nobody likes to turn on the main customs office.” However, given the high number of refusers, the DAK hardly remained any other option. Now those affected are written to again before a garnishment of the salary and asked to pay the outstanding amounts. If the defaulting customers still do not pay, the final step is to seize their salary or pension, the DAK spokesman warned.

Additional contributions required due to the deficit of the health insurance companies. In general, the DAK continued to support the additional contributions, but the system first had to get used to it, the DAK spokesman told Spiegel Online. After all, 95 percent of the customers had already paid this time. In view of the deficits from the past few years, the DAK cannot do without additional contributions, since these are one of the few options for statutory health insurance companies to generate additional income. Last year, however, the DAK slipped into the red despite the additional contributions of eight euros - due to subsequent corrections to the disease-based financial equalization. Before the corrections to the cash balance, the DAK had a surplus of 62 million for 2010, which subsequently turned into a deficit of 79 million euros, reports the DAK spokesman. The figures show how urgently the DAK is dependent on the additional contributions collected. The fact that over 220,000 members refuse to pay is unacceptable and unacceptable in the long run, otherwise the honest contributors would end up being the stupid ones. They pay their additional contribution, but since others do not do so, the deficit cannot be made good and the additional contributions will be higher next year. Statutory insurance companies, such as DAK or City BKK, now want to put a stop to this development with the help of the main customs offices.

Refusal to pay the additional premiums is unacceptable. It should be noted that even with a general rejection of the additional premium model, a refusal to pay is not solidarity with the other members of the corresponding insurance company. Because if you do not want to pay any additional contributions, you can change your health insurance at any time while observing the notice periods. There are a number of statutory health insurances available that have so far not made any additional contributions. Simply not paying the additional contributions required is not a viable option, even if the health insurance companies have so far done little to counter them. With the involvement of the main customs offices and the impending seizure of wages, the previous refusal to pay should now become aware that the additional contributions will have to be paid in any case in the future. The only way to get around this is to change insurance.

Additional contributions will become an integral part of the system in the future Up to now, around ten percent of the approximately 150 existing statutory health insurance schemes have made an additional contribution, so that the insured can easily switch to insurance without an additional contribution. In the future, however, significantly more health insurance companies may need to collect an additional contribution. Because, as the “Handelsblatt” reported at the end of last week, numerous statutory health insurance companies had to accept a significant deficit last year. The AOK alone recorded a decrease of more than half a billion euros in 2010. The Barmer GEK also had a financial deficit of almost 300 million, according to the report by the "Handelsblatt". The fact that even the major German health insurance funds have a massive deficit and that they are already beginning to speculate about additional contributions is, according to experts, a clear sign that long-term contributions are likely to be the standard in the statutory health insurance system. (fp)

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