Techniker Krankenkasse pays premiums



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The Techniker Krankenkasse wants to be the first health insurer to pay out surpluses

The statutory health insurance companies have produced a billion surplus in recent years. Politicians have been asking the health insurers to pay surpluses to the insured for months. The Techniker health insurance company now uses the reserves for distributions to the contributors. If you also want to benefit from the payouts, you can switch to the cash register in October. However, the Board of Directors has not yet decided when the payments will be made. In addition, it cannot be assumed that the premiums will now be paid every year.

The Techniker health insurance company plans to pay out part of the reserves in the form of premiums to the insured as of 2013. The approximately six million members could currently benefit from the so far unique program on the till market. On October 12, the board of directors of the second largest health insurance company in Germany, half of which consists of representatives of the employers and the insured, will decide on the exact amount, as the CEO of the TK health insurance company, Jens Baas, explained in Berlin.

More than 100 euros annual premium Industry experts believe that the premium could be around 100 euros or even more. According to the cash register, everyone would receive the distribution "who will be insured in the technician cash register from 2013". Accordingly, not only existing customers, but also new customers would benefit from the premium payment. Newly insured persons must be insured in the TC from January 1 of the coming year at the latest. "If you want to switch from your old cash register to TK, you should quit your cash register by October at the latest," reports Klaus Bernhard, an insurance expert from Hanover. The self-employed, "who are voluntarily insured by law, are usually subject to a 24-month contract period". Here should be checked again at the cash register, says Bernhard.

The federal government asked the health insurers to pay the surpluses
Health insurers, politicians and health experts have been discussing the accumulated surpluses for months. While the umbrella organization of statutory health insurance (GKV) wants to save the money "for the future", the Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr (FDP) demands that the surpluses be paid out to the contributors, which are not absolutely necessary for the ongoing health insurance operations. According to the current status, all health insurers collectively have an accumulated reserve of more than 20 billion euros.

Technician health insurance has particularly high reserves In addition to the general local health insurance (AOK) and some other health insurance, the TK has a particularly high increase in additional income. According to the CEO, the fund had already exceeded the statutory reserve of two monthly expenses at the beginning of the current year. Even then, the surpluses amounted to 2.8 billion euros. The head of the cash register expects a surplus of around 800 million euros for the current year. The prospects for the next year are still good despite the euro crisis, so that the TK "can also expect additional income for 2013". Baas wanted to name the premium amount, however. This will only be determined in the board of directors.

Despite the increasing spending in the healthcare sector, the health insurance fund is expected to be available for around one billion euros for additional bonus and health offers. At the end of 2011, the health insurance fund was the first statutory health insurance company to make natural health and osteopathy services possible for health insurance patients. With the new offer more members could come and obviously the cash register speculates. According to industry experts, the premium could even be over 100 or even 130 euros per contributor.

In the ongoing debate, the Federal Insurance Office even threatened to transfer funds to the insured through coercive measures if the health insurance companies did not take adequate measures. However, the health insurance companies refused, after all they are currently in a dispute with the medical profession, which has even threatened to close practices in the past week if they do not receive higher fees. In the ongoing disputes, the health insurers therefore used their financial scope and offered doctors more increases of 900 million euros in annual fee payments.

The Federal Minister of Health was positive about the announcement by the TK to distribute funds to the insured, compared to the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung". After all, the surpluses are money for the insured and patients, Bahr said. “I welcome the fact that Techniker Krankenkasse is contributing to the good financial situation of its insured. In this way, the insured can compare the health insurances and their benefits in euros and cents. ”The health policy spokesman for the CDU / CSU of the German Bundestag, Jens Spahn, also commented positively. In his opinion, the project was "welcome and a courageous step". Spahn sees this as a "good sign for competition in the healthcare sector".

However, premiums are already paid out by smaller funds. These are mostly bonus payments and are between 60 and 80 euros per contributor. Some closed company cash registers, which are only accessible to employees, the bonus payments amount to around 120 euros.

Health insurance company wants to make health recommendations The health insurance manager Baas announced that his health insurance company will combine the payment with a health recommendation. At the same time, preventive measures for maintaining health such as sports and fitness seminars, dental care or anti-stress programs are offered to members. Corresponding brochures are to be filled in and distributed. However, the insured do not have to accept these offers. "Anyone who wants can have the money paid out without taking advantage of the offers." However, the additional income must be declared and taxed at the tax office. The amount distributed will therefore "reduce the deductible social security costs".

"The bonus was not the first choice," emphasizes Baas. Instead, the Techniker health insurance company would have preferred to waive the patient's practice fees. But that was associated with too much bureaucratic effort. Alternatives such as additional programs such as the osteoporosis offer were also rejected. On the one hand, the TK already offers its insured a range of useful offers that are fully financed, on the other hand, there are hardly any adequate additional offers that would actually make sense from a medical point of view. If the financial situation of the health insurance company deteriorates, the additional offers could hardly be withdrawn. According to the CEO, the health insurance company's good financial position will not last long. Therefore, the members cannot assume that the premiums will now be paid for years. Independent studies had also determined that contributions would increase in the coming years. For this reason, too, the GKV umbrella association preferred to invest the surpluses. (sb)

Read on:
Dispute over high surpluses of the health insurance companies
Health insurance companies should repay contributions
AOK resists premium reimbursement
Health politicians: The health insurance companies burn money

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