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Health insurance companies: More and more insured people are refusing to pay additional premiums. A possible merger of the two stricken health insurance companies "GBK" and "BKK for health care professions" was "well on the way".
(06/18/2010) The financial situation of most statutory health insurance companies is bad. In addition, the health insurance funds complain about the poor payment behavior of their members when it comes to the additional contributions charged. The defaulting members do not have to reckon with possible debt collection procedures for the time being, the effort would be too high compared to the small additional contributions. However, health services could be reduced, as a spokeswoman for the Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Companies said.
In the meantime, three health insurance companies have reported impending insolvency to the Federal Insurance Office. More and more health insurance companies are raising so-called additional premiums from their insured to escape the risk of insolvency. A total of thirteen health insurers are now collecting additional contributions from their members. Five of these health insurers report mediocre payment practices when it comes to paying the additional contributions. This means that about one in five refuses to pay. The poor payment behavior should exacerbate the financial situation of the health insurance companies. In total, the health insurance companies have the right to charge an additional contribution of 37.50 euros, most of the insurance companies only charge eight euros per month and member. However, many other health insurance companies benefit from the additional contributions from others because many have changed health insurance companies.
More and more refuse the additional contributions.
According to a survey by the newspaper "Thüringer Allgemeine", every fifth member of the DAK, BKK Gesundheit and BKK for health professions did not pay the additional contribution. At the City BKK, about a quarter of the health insured did not pay the additional contributions; at the KKH, over 30 percent of the insured even refused. This situation is intolerable for the health insurers BKK and City BKK, as both health insurers have already reported impending insolvency. But what happens if the insured do not pay the premium? First of all, not much, as the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Companies (GKV) explains. Because collection procedures are generally not worthwhile in order to get the missing additional contributions from the insured. Due to the low contribution of currently eight euros, a collection procedure is not worthwhile. However, the health insurance companies could reduce the benefits. A GKV spokeswoman said: "If necessary, the health insurances could in return, however, shut down their benefits, granting the defaulting member only a claim to emergency care." However, what is regular care and what is emergency care remains open.
Possible merger of health insurers threatened with bankruptcy.
But the health insurance companies are dependent on the additional contributions. "The health insurance funds may only expect their members to pay the additional payment if, despite all the savings measures and restructuring measures, there is still a funding gap," said the GKV spokeswoman. If there is no additional income, the health insurance company will be in a very difficult financial situation. However, many members turned their backs on the health insurance companies due to the additional contributions and switched to another health insurance company. There are said to have been 400,000 people willing to change since the beginning of the year.
There may be a solution for two out of three health insurers threatened with bankruptcy. The heads of the company health insurance funds (BKK) met on Thursday. A spokeswoman for the radio station MDR Info confirmed a possible merger of the joint company health insurance company Cologne GBK and BKK health professions. A merger of the cash registers is on the right track. (sb)
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Image: Harry Hautumm / pixelio.de.