Replacement cash registers do not exclude additional contributions



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Substitute health insurers do not rule out additional premiums for 2011: health insurers are already preparing insured persons for additional premiums. The Ministry of Health dismisses: "The statutory health insurance would be financed by".

(05.11.2010) The increases in the statutory health insurance premiums will apparently not be sufficient to prevent further additional contributions. In any case, the health insurance companies do not want to promise that the insured will not receive any further flat-rate additional contributions. Because despite the good economic situation, numerous additional funds are threatening additional contributions. At the third largest health insurance company in Germany, the DAK, it has already become known through insiders that it will not be possible to do without the additional income in the coming year either. Now the Association of Substitute Funds (VDEK) has announced that additional income from the higher contributions will not go to the funds. "Higher premium income only flows into the health fund and does not reach us," said VDEK Chairman Thomas Ballast to the Berlin "Tagesspiegel" on Friday. At the same time, medical fees for resident dentists, general practitioners and hospitals are increasing. As a result, more and even higher additional premiums will now come to the insured: Ballast said: The additional expenses will likely lead to "that the health insurance funds will have to ask for more additional premiums in 2011 than before".

So far, the Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) has always said that the higher health insurance contributions will prevent additional contributions from 2011. At the moment, nine health insurance companies (e.g. DAK and KKH-Allianz) are demanding an additional eight euros per month from their insured. For the insured, this means additional expenses of 100 euros per year. Three other health insurance companies require a percentage additional contribution of one percent of the average gross wage. Instead of finding a uniform regulation, the Federal Ministry of Health increases the pressure on the health insurers. It was explained that the insured "look very carefully at which health insurance companies behave and how". This is because they want to create artificial competition and force the cash registers to act “economically”. Nevertheless, the argument remains that the health system of statutory health insurance is "financed by". No additional contribution is actually necessary, as the ministry said.

As of 2011, doctors and clinics will receive even more money than previously expected. The replacement health insurers complain above all that the federal government has made further changes to the planned health care reform. The fees for doctors and clinics increase many times more than was previously agreed. The resident doctors receive a surcharge of a whopping 120 million euros for the actually agreed higher fees. A premium of 27 million euros was agreed once again for the dentists and the hospitals received an additional 400 million euros. The premiums would now have to be paid by the health insurance companies themselves and do not receive higher budgets from the health fund. Conversely, this means that the higher expenses are passed on directly to the insured.

Local health insurance companies in a poor financial position? According to further information from the newspaper, it could be financially tight for some AOK health insurance companies next year. "We are going into 2011 without additional contributions, but we cannot promise to get by without the whole year," commented a spokeswoman for AOK Bayern. This shows how careful the health insurers are at the moment so as not to scare the insured. The AOK Berlin-Brandenburg, which wants to join forces with the AOK Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to form the “AOK Nordost” coffers at the beginning of the year, is keeping a low profile. No guarantee can yet be given that there will be no further burdens on the health insurance patients in the coming year. First you want to see how the reforms are implemented. For this reason, there is no "all-year guarantee". Two health insurance companies, the Barmer GEK and the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), on the other hand, categorically exclude additional contributions for 2011. Many cash registers are currently trying to drive mergers to get financially stronger.

Insured persons who are affected by additional contributions have a special right to cancel. As soon as the health fund announces an additional contribution to the members, those affected can change the health insurance company. However, this should be done within six weeks of the announcement. (sb)

Also read:
DAK is also demanding an additional contribution in 2011
Hartz IV: Additional contribution 2011 deleted
Health insurance companies criticize medical fees

Photo credit: Chris Beck / pixelio.de

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