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Warning about switching to private health insurance: The conditions for switching to private health insurance will be relaxed considerably for employees from 2011 onwards. However, the Federal Insurance Office and the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection warn against a rash and premature change. In the course of this, the disproportionate advertising practice of the PKV is also criticized.
From the turn of the year, the path for a large number of employees into private health insurance will be simplified. However, switching to private health insurance should be considered carefully, because compared to statutory health insurance, private health insurance, for example, does not offer family co-insurance. In the course of this, the Federal Insurance Office is now warning of a rash and premature change. Consumers should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of a change.
Switching to private health insurance is made easier for employees
According to estimates by the PKV association, switching from statutory health insurance to private health insurance will be easier for around 20,000 employees from the turn of the year. This makes it possible to change the mandatory insurance limit by 450 euros. There is also a special regulation until the turn of the year, which should make it easier to change the private health insurance. The special regulation states that employees can switch to private health insurance after the turn of the year if they earn from the compulsory insurance limit with their gross income. The waiting period has also been significantly reduced: instead of three years, employees must now have earned at least 49,500 euros in just one year in order to be able to switch from SHI to PKV. The insurance industry is already exulting in new train profits. This is made possible by the positive influence of the black and yellow federal government. Critics complain that private health insurance is strongly favored by the coalition to the disadvantage of statutory health insurance based on solidarity. Because the statutory health insurance companies could lose a number of good contributors, which in turn increases the deficit in the health fund. The result: further additional contributions and higher health insurance contributions for health insurance patients.
PKV attracts high premiums for new customers
However, the Federal Insurance Office is now confirming that switching to private health insurance not only brings advantages, for example when it comes to family planning. The Federal Ministry of Consumer Affairs also followed this assessment. The main criticism here was that many private health insurance providers lure disproportionately high premiums to attract new customers. Most PKV insurance companies pay horrendous sums for advertising new customers.
Such premiums are not possible at all for statutory health insurers and are increasingly consuming competition between these two types of health insurance. The new competition rules limit the advertising costs for the statutory health insurance companies extraordinarily. The statutory health insurers may only pay a premium of EUR 76.65 per new customer. In contrast, private providers usually pay insurance brokers over one thousand euros per new customer. That alone allows the assumption that many insurance brokers recommend the consumer to a private health insurance rather than to advertise the health services of the statutory health insurance. The only way would be to align the competition rules for both types of health insurance. The Federal Ministry of Consumer Affairs therefore suggests that a limitation of spending on new customer education for private health insurance could create more equal opportunities. Instead of the high premiums, the money should rather be invested in the health care of the insured. This criticism from the Ministry of Consumer Protection also includes Dr. Maximilian Gaßner, President of the Federal Insurance Office, and points out that this excessive advertising practice is not possible at all for the SHI.
Switching to private health insurance should be considered carefully
Switching to private health insurance should be considered carefully. Young people in particular often forget to include future family planning in their considerations. But that aspect is one of the main arguments for statutory health insurance. Because while the GKV knows a family health insurance in which children and unemployed partners can be insured free of charge, in the PKV an extra health insurance must be taken out for each individual family member. This also applies if, for example, the child's mother is legally insured, but the father earns more and everyone is insured in the private health insurance. Then the children must also be privately insured. Those who find out later and prefer to be covered by statutory health insurance again have extremely bad cards. It is hardly possible to go back to the SHI.
Conclusion: If you still want to switch, you should make an in-depth comparison beforehand. A change could actually be financially advantageous for the unbound. Consumers should therefore compare all private health insurance tariffs in detail and obtain independent and individual information. In addition, the legislator should limit the horrendous advertising premiums of the private health insurance so that insurance brokers are not tempted to make a private health insurance more palatable to their customers, although statutory health insurance might make more sense. (sb, Nov 7, 2010)
Change to private health insurance from 2011
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