PKV tariffs often offer less than GKV: Beginner tariffs of private health insurance companies could later turn out to be cost traps, even though they offer less health services than the statutory health insurers (GKV).
Private health insurance companies often lure their new members with so-called entry tariffs. These tariffs are very affordable and young people like to accept them. But caution is advised here: later such tariffs could turn out to be real cost traps. In addition, many private health insurance providers often offer significantly less health services than the statutory health insurance companies.
Check the health benefits of the PKV carefully
Those who are still young are not particularly worried about the future. The money earned should be spent now and if possible today. Since private health insurance is mostly very inexpensive, it can be taken out quickly. It is then hardly possible to return to the statutory funds. At the beginning, most new insureds expect all basic benefits to be part of the PKV contract. Cures, rehabilitation measures (rehab) and psychotherapy should always be included in the package. However, such "principles" are often not part of the tariffs, even though the statutory health insurance company provides such services. For this reason, consumers should pay very close attention to what services are offered and what was actually stated in the contract. Sometimes it comes down to the precise wording that is difficult for non-lawyers to understand.
PKV entry-level tariffs are very cheap and should attract new customers
In the beginning, the tariff is still very cheap and unbeatable compared to the contributions of the statutory health insurers. However, because many private health insurance companies hardly pack aside money for the retirement provision at the beginning, many insured parties experience a nasty surprise. The tariff will later be closed to new members, so that the members of the tariff remain virtually alone. However, health complaints increase with age, which increases the cost of health care. The result: the tariffs experience extreme price increases. Some PKV tariffs experience price increases of over 300 percent. Suddenly, the insurance policy no longer costs 150 euros a month, but 500 to 800 euros and on the same terms and conditions. A change in another tariff with the same insurance is not welcome by the providers. Numerous insurance companies try to use a variety of means to prevent customers from switching. Some insurers even asked for horrendous "exchange fees". At least these are a thing of the past, as courts deny such exchange fees.
Many private health insurers only provide health care benefits that are reimbursable for entry-level tariffs. With normal tariffs, the focus is more on the exclusions from performance. Young and inexperienced people do not yet see through these different offers and can therefore hardly decide which tariff is actually important and correct. Many new customers wonder if the services that are offered to me are sufficient. In the case of entry-level tariffs, medical progress is sometimes left out.
Cheap entry-level tariffs can also have other disadvantages. It is sometimes stated that the insurance does not cover the full private fee for treatments with doctors. This means that the insured person has to pay the difference between the benefits eligible for insurance and the total bill out of their own pocket. Even the PKV insured can face very high additional costs.
Change hardly possible
Once the tariffs have become really expensive, it is hardly possible for the insured person to switch to another insurance policy. Because a change has numerous disadvantages for the insured. Insured persons cannot take the accumulated retirement provision with them when changing. As a result, the insured person essentially loses the provisions for old age. In addition, the new insurer often also requires a new health check according to which a new tariff is based. If you are older, the test is very likely to be more negative than at a young age. So it can happen that the new tariff after the change is even more expensive than before. This means that switching to another provider is hardly possible without high losses. A return to the statutory health insurance is also not possible because the path remains blocked here.
For the reasons mentioned, you should carefully study the contracts and seek independent advice before taking out private health insurance. The consumer advice centers are a good starting point for this. In addition, one should be aware that the statutory health insurance company offers many services that are not available in private health insurance. Once you have turned your back on the SHI, the path is blocked forever. (sb, 10/12/2010)
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