New e-health card: a photo is compulsory and constitutional
Just in time for the turn of the year, all health insurers must present the new electronic health card to the doctor if they want to be treated. As of January 1, 2014, all health cards issued by health insurers since 1995 will no longer be valid.
However, the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) disagrees with this statement. "It is not the case that the old card can no longer be used after January 1, 2014," said KBV spokesman Roland Stahl. This was repeated once more by the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds. "Doctors can work with the old card until October 1, 2014, and also bill," said a spokesman. Patients could also submit a valid insurance certificate within ten days of treatment should problems arise in one or the other doctor's office .
At the moment, 95 percent of the insured already have the new electronic health card. However, everyone else should endeavor to submit a photo to their health insurers by the end of the year to prevent any delays. So far, the new card has provided information about the name, address and gender. The photo is intended to better identify the owner. Of course, everything only in the interests of the insured.
A complaint by a man against the introduction of the so-called new eGK has already been dismissed by the Berlin Social Court. Without sending the personal data and a photo, the health insurance company would not be able to issue his card and there would be no obligation for medical professionals to receive medical treatment without this card. The plaintiff must accept the associated "interference with the right to informational self-determination," the court's statement stated.
The introduction to 2006, which was announced by the then Minister of Health at the time, Ulla Schmidt, met with vigorous criticism not only from doctors. The opponents argued that the introduction would take another step towards becoming a “transparent citizen” and that data protection guidelines would be overridden. For years there was disagreement about technical and organizational standards. Concerned patients do not have to fear any violation of their data protection rights as a result of using the new card. According to the law, an expansion of the technical use of the new cards should only be permitted with the corresponding consent of the insured, said the judges. (fr)