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The insured run away from the health insurance companies with additional contributions. Many members of the health insurance fund exercised their special right of termination.
The past year has been a bitter setback for some statutory health insurance companies. Due to an uncertain financial situation, some health insurance companies requested an additional contribution from their insured. Above all, the German employee health insurance DAK and the KKH alliance. Both health insurers have been levying a lump sum of eight euros per month and contributors since 2010. Since the introduction of the additional contribution, the DAK has had to experience the policyholder's willingness to change firsthand. Around 460,000 members exercised their right of termination and changed the cash register. The situation with the KKH alliance is no better either. The fund has lost around 190000 insured since its introduction. A spokesman for the KKH alliance said to the Volkszeitung in Leipzig: "A large part of the terminations is due to the special right of termination after the introduction of the additional contribution." With this, the cash register spokesman confirmed the cause and effect of the additional contributions.
Health insurance companies that do not require an additional contribution have benefited from the change in health insurance. The Barmer GEK recorded a membership increase of around 100,000 insured in the same period of the year. Almost 400,000 people switched to the Techniker Krankenkasse. In total, over 600,000 people have turned their backs on their health insurance due to additional contributions and have joined another health insurance scheme.
In the course of the health care reform, the legislator has created new opportunities for health insurance companies to determine the amount of additional contributions themselves from 2011. Health insurance companies can thus react more quickly to their internal economic situation. As the evaluation now shows, additional contributions can further worsen the situation dramatically. Employees who are liable to pay contributions change their cash register to save on expenses. As long as no flat-rate lump sums are charged by all statutory health insurance companies, the insured will run away from the additional contribution health insurance companies. In addition to the special termination right, which only applies immediately after the additional contributions have been collected, there is also the option of regular termination for insured persons. So it can be assumed that the alternating wave will continue. 13 health insurers are currently charging an average additional contribution of 8 euros.
Failures due to Hartz IV burden the health insurers
Last year, recipients of Hartz IV benefits also had to pay the additional contribution. Job centers and social courts largely refused to assume the costs. Those receiving basic security had to pay the additional contribution from the standard benefits. According to cash representatives, around 60 percent of those affected are said to have refused to pay. The health insurers decided against later collection procedures, since the administrative effort would be disproportionately greater in relation to the costs. The fact that the promised social compensation for low-income groups does not work is also causing new trouble. Since only a minority of health insurance companies require additional contributions, the calculated average value for compensation is zero euros. If a health insurance company changes its statutes, ALG II recipients have to pay the additional contribution despite the exemption. About half of all health insurers with additional contributions have announced that they will make a corresponding change to the statutes. (sb)
From 2011: higher health costs
DAK is also demanding an additional contribution in 2011
Change health insurance or stay?
Image: Gerd Altmann, pixelio.de