Impending premium shock for millions of privately insured in Germany: Significantly higher contributions to the private health insurance in 2011
Despite massive concessions in the course of the current decisions on health care reform, private health insurance (PKV) raised an average of seven percent higher premiums in 2011. This means that "(above all, civil servants and pensioners who are insured in the private health insurance without a large income") will have considerably more difficulties in paying their contributions, Johannes Singhammer, Deputy Chairman of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group told the daily newspaper " The world"
The analysis company Morgen & Morgen has calculated the expected premium increases in private and statutory health insurance for 2011. The basis for this was the development of the contributions when a new contract was concluded. The result: Private patients will have to pay an average of seven percent higher contributions in 2011, and the statutory insured will also have to pay around four percent higher payments, according to the newspaper Die Welt.
Private health insurance contributions increase by an average of seven percent The black and yellow government coalition had taken several measures in the course of the health care reform to reduce the costs of private health insurance and to strengthen its competitive position. In the future, the private health insurance will be able to take over the pharmaceutical discounts previously reserved for statutory insurances, the change from the statutory health insurance in the direction of private health insurance has been made considerably easier and the additional insurance with the statutory health insurance has been banned, so that from now on only the private health insurance can offer supplementary insurance. However, private health insurers are apparently still unable to get their cost increases under control, so that numerous private insurers will increase their premiums significantly in the coming year - often by more than 10 percent, with individual tariffs even up to 34 percent, according to the calculations by Morgen & Morgen . With the letters from the private health insurance company, which at the end of the year inform their members about the contributions for the coming year, many of the roughly nine million privately insured people face a real premium shock.
Statutory insured persons also pay higher premiums The approximately 50 million legally insured persons also have to accept higher premiums and also make additional contributions, but the expected premium increase here is relatively small in relation to private health insurance. The President of the Federal Insurance Office, Maximilian Gaßner, also described the financial development of the statutory funds in 2011 as “relatively stable”. Although the 13 nationwide health insurance companies, which already require an additional contribution from their insured persons, will probably also collect this annually and "there will also be occasional additions", as Gassner emphasized to the dpa news agency, overall, however, the increases in premiums for statutory insurance companies are right clear.
The fact that the individual SHI have to collect additional contributions is due to the fact that the expenses of the health insurers are only covered on average with the 178.9 billion euros allocated from the health fund in 2011, explained Gassner. According to the BVA President, "individual health insurers can" exceed their expenditures "and therefore have to raise additional contributions to cover their costs. For the approximately 50 million people insured by law, the general contribution rate will increase from 14.9 to 15.5 percent next year, which means that the GKV will generate around six billion euros more, according to the experts' calculations. However, the impending deficit of around nine billion euros could only be avoided through additional measures in the health reform, such as higher tax subsidies and savings in medicines, doctors and clinics. In order to limit the financial burden on the statutory insured persons through the possible collection of the additional contributions, compensation payments from tax resources will also flow in the future if the additional contributions exceed two percent of the insured person's income.
Private health insurance companies do not get their costs under control The experts cite the significantly higher increase in costs as the reason for the significantly higher premium increases for private health insurance companies. Unlike the statutory insurers, the private health insurance companies do not receive any tax subsidies and are unable to cut any of the contractually agreed benefits for their approximately nine million customers who have full health insurance. However, private insurers have considerably more leeway than statutory health insurers when it comes to adjusting premiums and selecting their customers. So it should actually be possible for them to “get their income and expenses under control,” emphasized Johannes Singhammer and added: “That's why it's a private health insurance.” While the individual private health insurance companies warn of possible existential problems, there are the statutory insurance companies are already in a kind of accelerated market concentration process.
The number of statutory health insurances has dropped to a new record low and the trend continues to decline. "We will still have around 150 health insurers at the beginning of 2011", but there were still around 200 at the start of the health fund in 2009, explained the BVA president. Today, 32 cash registers already cover around 90 percent of the market “and there are still more mergers pending. By the end of 2011, we will have 150 cash registers, ”Gassner predicted. It remains to be seen what consequences this will have for the insured. (fp)
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