PKV: Services and quality a reason for changing?

Private health insurance: benefits and quality: a reason for changing?

(09/21/2010) The discussion about the reorganization of health insurance does not leave. Private health insurers (PKV) have recently been claiming more and more entitlement to state support for their savings efforts. So it stood B. recently the expansion of drug discounts in the focus of public discussion. This approach is damaging to the industry, explained Christoph Helmich of the Executive Board of Continentale Krankenversicherung and therefore calls for a return to the classic advantages and benefits in private health insurance.

Discount and price discussion harmful for private health insurance. If the private health insurance companies want to continue to win customers through performance and quality in the future, the Continentale board believes that they should not define themselves through discounts and prices. That is, they have to be careful not to be noticed in the public discussion not only with their savings efforts and low prices, because statutory health insurance schemes are provided for low-cost basic healthcare services. With the present statements, the PKV take away their own right to exist in the opinion of the Continental Executive Board. So far, private insurers have stood for high quality and additional benefits, but the cost-cutting measures that are always emphasized are at the expense of quality and additional benefits. "We have to talk more about the performance side again - about where we are better," explained Christoph Helmich.

Equal treatment of PKV and GKV inappropriate. The Continental Executive Board also criticized the fact that private health insurance companies are aiming to reduce costs, but that they do not reach the insured through reduced premiums or additional benefits: "More money without more benefits is not fair."

In particular, equality with the SHI in terms of drug discounts is another thorn in Christoph Helmich's eye. That of all the PKV, which have always emphasized their differences to the statutory health insurance, now require equal treatment borders on an oath of disclosure. According to some experts, the fact that the black and yellow federal government has paved the way for private health insurance at this point, contrary to all emphasis on liberal market forces, is also a sign of the bad situation in private health insurance. The CDU / CSU and FDP are therefore simply trying to protect private health insurance from bankruptcy - if necessary also at the expense of statutory insurance. Because they have recently been feeling increasing competitive pressure from private insurers.

Stronger cooperation despite clear distinction between SHI and PKV. However, whoever demands the same advantages should also have the same disadvantages. However, none of the private health insurance companies would even dream of taking in every patient, as is the case with the GKV standard. In the opinion of the Continental Executive Board, the direction currently being taken is clearly the wrong way. Rather, a clear distinction between private health insurance and statutory health insurance should be sought in the future through special quality and additional services. However, closer cooperation between the two insurance systems is also desirable from Christoph Helmich's point of view.

Tailor additional policies specifically to the SHI. According to this, the PKV should work more closely with the statutory health insurers, for example in the area of ​​supplementary insurance, and coordinate their supplementary policies specifically with the SHI and the needs of those insured by law. In addition, from the point of view of the Continentale board of directors, better cooperation is also conceivable in the area of ​​sales. In the future, an expansion of cooperation, for example in the form of shared doctor or hospital networks, would also be desirable for the services, explained Christoph Helmich.

Cooperation as a lucrative business area. Many private health insurance providers see closer cooperation with statutory insurance companies as a lucrative business area for the future. In the view of the Continentale Executive Board, completely new perspectives are opening up, particularly with regard to the conditions of medical service provision. In addition, according to Christoph Helmich, there is still a considerable need for expansion, particularly in terms of services - such as emergency help, around-the-clock emergency help, medical and psychological care for sick and injured people abroad or medical care during a trip.

70 percent see better performance with the PKV, 32 percent would change the insurance. In his statements, Christoph Helmich refers you to a current study that the opinion research institute TNS Infratest has carried out on behalf of the Continental Health Insurance. Among other things, the study comes to the conclusion that over 70 percent of those surveyed hope that private health insurance will offer more comprehensive benefits than statutory ones, and that 32 percent of those insured would switch if they had the opportunity. Therefore, the regulations now adopted to simplify switching to private health insurance were also welcomed by the Continental Executive Board.

Switching insurance to PKV easier from 2011. While insured persons have so far only been able to switch to private health insurance with a minimum income above the so-called compulsory insurance limit for three years, from 2011 it will be possible to take out private health insurance once the annual income reaches at least 49,950 euros. It remains to be seen whether this will trigger the alternating wave expected by the private health insurance. Because the reservations of the insured towards private health insurance are growing. In particular, the costs, which are difficult to calculate and which the patient has to deal with as a result of a chronic illness or in the course of increasing old age, are a deterrent.

56 percent consider treatment by a doctor to be unnecessary. In the context of the Continentale Study, for example, two thirds of the insured indicated that changing insurance is not an option for them. Accordingly, only 40 percent of those surveyed are convinced that private insurers can secure affordable prices on a permanent basis, but only 56 percent assume that this is also the case with statutory health insurers. In the study, TNS Infratest also asked the insured about the private health insurance benefits that they are most likely to dispense with. For example, 56 percent of the insured consider the treatment of a chief physician to be dispensable, 54 percent the preventive health care, 53 percent the accommodation in a two-bed room in the hospital and 53 percent the services of naturopathy. If you only look at the answers of the privately insured, 60 percent of them consider the treatment of the chief physician to be unnecessary, 63 percent the prevention, 50 percent the shorter waiting times for private patients and 49 percent the support in finding a doctor. (fp)

Also read:
Pharmacist lobby & FDP: together against competition?
Federal government: Billions package for the PKV
Rösler wants to protect the pharmaceutical lobby
Government showered PKV with gifts

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