FDP wants to strengthen private health insurance. Is the principle of solidarity endangered? The Federal Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (BPI) criticizes the planned expansion of the mandatory discounts to private health insurance PKV.
(08/31/2010) The discussion about a restructuring of the statutory health insurance (GKV) in Germany does not leave. While strengthening private health insurance (PKV) is a declared goal of the Federal Government, the statutory health insurance funds have been largely negatively affected by the measures taken to date. The ban on optional tariffs for statutory insurance, the plans to simplify the switch between SHI and PKV, as well as the now loud and massively supported request by the FDP to extend the compulsory legal discounts for medication to the PKV clearly have a strengthening of private ones As a result, health insurance companies usually pay the bill in the end.
Solidarity principle in danger.
Statutory health insurance companies are barely able to cope with the growing competitive pressure from the private health insurance sector, as they suffer much more than private individuals from the consequences of demographic change. In doing so, they cannot make a selection of their customers based on their age, state of health, etc. in order to minimize costs. For many, the question arises why the federal government supports the private health insurance, which only around 10 percent of the citizens insure, so massively, while the statutory health insurance - which the remaining 90 percent of the population lives in - is dismantled so negligently. In particular, the claim to an economic or profit-oriented way of working for insurance companies can have long-term unpleasant consequences for the insured. While the solidarity principle has so far taken effect in statutory insurance and financially weak patients who cause high costs are being borne by the healthy high-earners, this will no longer be guaranteed in the future. Because the healthy, well-earning members are increasingly switching to private health insurance due to the planned changes and, in case of doubt, will return to statutory insurance as a cost factor in old age - with a large number of ailments. This creates a steadily growing coverage gap in the healthcare system, which experts have already estimated at around EUR 11 billion for the coming year.
Health insurance additional contributions no solution.
Since the health fund does not provide enough funds to cover the costs, the SHI only has additional contributions as an additional source of finance. However, additional contributions are a real thorn in the side of many insured. They refuse to pay or switch insurance directly. For example, the Bild newspaper reports that about ten percent of the 4.6 million members of the German Employee Health Insurance Fund (DAK), and about 30 percent of the members of the BKK Health and BKK Health Care Professions, have not yet paid their additional contribution. The possibility of being able to impose a kind of fine of at least 30 euros in the case of refusals to pay is of little help to the SHI.
Extension of the mandatory compulsory discounts for medication to private health insurance: "The clientele policy continues".
With the expansion of the compulsory legal discounts for medication to private health insurance, one of the last competitive advantages of statutory health insurance would be lost. This is the criticism of the CEO of the Federal Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (BPI), Dr. Bernd Wegener, quite justified even if the BPI is more likely to express this out of self-interest. "For years, the PKV has rightly been fighting against being legally aligned with the SHI. Now it ridicules its own policy and, where it serves its own profits, demands exactly that" - legal equality, explained Dr. Wegener Market and competitiveness of private health insurance: the legislator should now get what the private health insurance company, profit-oriented - often listed stock corporation - is not able to do. The principles of the pretended grail knights of the market in health insurance go overboard, "said the CEO of the GDP and emphasized that "just as well (...) a compulsory discount on motor vehicles could be introduced". In his eyes, the demand for compulsory statutory discounts is a clear sign that the cost effectiveness of private health insurance, which has always been emphasized in the past, is no longer guaranteed. The fact that the FDP, as a market economy party, joined the PKV's demands annoys Dr. Wegener especially. His conclusion: "The clientele policy continues." (Fp)
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