Health insurance companies may not advertise new members with discounts
As the Berlin Social Court has now ruled, health insurance companies may not use discounts for furniture stores or leisure activities when advertising for new members. The court gave reasons for its decision, in which it expressly referred to the interests of the health insurance funds, which were primarily directed towards the health of its members.
Health insurance funds may only advertise “health-related” In the present case, six alternative health insurance funds had sued because a competing health insurance company had used discounts and special conditions to advertise new members, for example for clothing or furniture. The replacement health insurers saw this as a violation of competition. The defendant health insurance company, however, saw the advertising measures as justified due to increased competition between the insurance companies.
The social court also judged the advertising activities as a violation of competition. "With the advertising measures, the defendant uses a means that competing statutory health insurers cannot use, which comply with the limits set by Section 30 (1) SGB IV. The defendant is thus gaining an advantage over other health insurance companies that is not permissible in the competition of the statutory health insurance funds, ”says the reasoning of the judgment. Health insurers are limited by law to provide their members with health care. The advertising measures should therefore also have a clear connection to health. Case number: S 81 KR 1280/11. (ag)