No additional contributions to Hartz IV

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The additional contributions collected by some health insurance companies are only occasionally taken over by the Hartz IV authorities.

(04/19/2010) The additional contributions collected by some statutory health insurance companies are only occasionally taken over by Hartz IV authorities in "hardship cases". The job centers only agree to accept the additional contributions if they are "particularly harsh". The job centers are currently requesting recipients of Hartz IV benefits to change their health insurance if additional contributions are levied. If the premiums increase, the insured can change health insurance without any problems. This emerges from a small question from the group "Alliance 90, The Greens".

Since the beginning of this year, numerous health insurance companies have made so-called additional contributions. As a rule, a flat fee of eight euros per month is charged in addition to the insurance premium. Flat rate because the additional contribution from the health insurance company is levied regardless of income.

The additional contributions for unemployment benefit II (ALG II) recipients are only taken over in so-called "hardship cases". The Federal Government presented the following examples to see when a "hardship case" applies: It is recognized as a "hardship case" if an ALG II beneficiary or a family-insured member experiences significant losses in the benefits provided by the health insurance through the change in health insurance. This could be the case, for example, if existing medical peculiarities are not likely to be granted by other health insurers or are not granted to the existing extent. This also includes so-called special care programs or forms, such as the family doctor model, special outpatient medical care forms, structured treatment programs for chronic diseases or integrated medical care.

Hardship cases can also be justified in the following cases: If the current statutory health insurance company has already carried out extensive examinations for certain medical services or has already approved certain services (e.g. continuation / start of a rehabilitation measure or cure approved by the health insurance company, as well as continuation of one due to of a treatment and cost plan approved treatment). When Hartz IV recipients have obtained permanent or specific forms of treatment from their health insurance company in court. If larger aids "made available in kind" had to be returned for severely disabled people (e.g. a wheelchair or a special sick bed). Or if the accessibility of another statutory health insurance for the insured would not be given in the same way as with the previous health insurance that charges the additional contribution (e.g. personal advice needed for the severely disabled, the elderly or chronically ill).

It should be noted, however, that the terms "hardship" or "special hardship" have no specific legal claim. The examples listed are intended as a guide. The federal government points out that there is no legal entitlement. (sb)

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Image: Andreas Morlok /

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