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The health insurance companies DAK and BKK Gesundheit want to merge.
(01.07.2010) More and more statutory health insurance companies want to merge. Now the second largest health insurance company in Germany could be created, because the German employee health insurance company (DAK) and the company health insurance company BKK Gesundheit want to join together to form one health insurance fund.
The financial pressure on the health insurance companies is increasing. It seems that many health insurers are now looking for salvation in mergers. And that's a good thing, because as a large health insurance company, financial obstacles can be better balanced. After the Barmer and Gmünder Ersatzkasse merged into a large health insurance company at the beginning of the year, the DAK and the BKK Gesundheit are now trying their luck in the merger. The new health insurance company will then be called "DAK Gesundheit" and would be the second largest health insurance fund in the Federal Republic after the merger.
DAK chairman Herbert Rebscher told the Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) that a new large health insurance company could go into negotiations with the drug manufacturers stronger. Just yesterday, the Federal Ministry of Health presented a new draft law. Accordingly, pharmaceutical companies will have to negotiate the prices of pharmaceuticals with the health insurance companies in the future. If no agreement is reached, a state arbitration board decides. As a large health insurance company, the negotiation can be conducted more at eye level. Rebscher also made it clear that a large health insurance company can respond better to the growing economic challenges. A large health insurance company has a balanced insurance structure. Small GKVs can quickly get into trouble, even if only a few "risk patients" are insured in the fund.
It is not yet clear when exactly the merger will take place. According to the DAK boss, the negotiations have been going on for over a year. The management should be taken over by both funds in equal proportions. At this point, it cannot be ruled out whether there will be a downsizing in the course of the merger. Only after the negotiations will detailed plans for the merger be published. The financial cushion, however, should be balanced at both health insurers, since the beginning of the year DAK and BKK Gesundheit have made a flat-rate additional contribution from their insured. In the event of a merger, the benefits for the insured do not change. (sb)
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Image: S. Hofschlaeger / pixelio.de