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Contributor: PKV increases tariffs massively

Contributor: PKV increases tariffs massively

Private health insurance contributions in 2011 will be massively increased: this should be due to non-payers

In the coming year, private health insurance premiums will continue to rise sharply. Some providers want to increase their contributions by 30 to 40 percent. According to the Association of Private Health Insurance (PKV), more than 140,000 private patients would not pay their contributions. The loss of premium would be one of the reasons for the increase in premium. The industry has kept silent that the problem arose in particular from lure offers.

Nonpayers almost doubled
Losses due to defaulting private insurers have almost doubled since 2010. In mid-2011, the 40 German private health insurers counted around 142,800 non-payers. This group includes private patients who have no longer paid contributions for at least three months. A spokesman for the Association of Private Health Insurance estimated the financial loss of all private health insurance that had occurred up to that point at around 500 million euros. The largest private health insurance company Debeka is currently forecasting a loss of revenue of around 554 million euros. In the last year of 2010 (June 30), the industry had around 120,800 defaulting members. According to the association, the damage amounted to approximately 289 million euros. In Germany, almost nine million people are fully privately insured. In contrast, about 70 million citizens are compulsorily insured in a statutory health insurance.

Late payers have not only been a problem for private insurance companies since today. When compulsory health insurance was introduced for all people living in Germany in 2009, non-solvent small business owners also had to take out health insurance. For private insurers, this meant that they could no longer cancel or reject private customers, even if the premiums were not paid. This means that even if the debtor no longer pays premiums, at least basic and emergency care for the non-payer remains.

Low tariffs caused large group of non-payers The problem is also homemade. Numerous providers advertised excessively with so-called cheap and enticing tariffs, some of which offered contribution payments of less than one hundred euros. For example, many concluded a discount rate, even though they would actually be better off in the legal system. This is also noticeable in the comparison. Companies that aggressively flooded the insurance market with lure offers in the past year suffer comparatively badly. Many non-payers can therefore be found at the Generali subsidiary Central or the Ergo subsidiary DKV. Both insurance companies have learned from the past and said goodbye to the low price segment. The new customer model of recruiting new members with private health insurance tariffs and then offering higher-value tariffs did not work, as many insurers complain about today. To make matters worse, the brokerage commissions reached ever higher dimensions. The commissions as part of the problem are now significantly minimized.

Tariff increases of up to 40 percent However, the old and existing customers are lagging behind, because at the end of the year they have to expect substantial increases in their contributions in the individual tariffs. For example, the PKV Central announced that the premiums would be increased by up to 40 percent in individual tariffs. Other providers such as ARAG health insurance announce an increase of up to 30 percent. This affects above all the so-called “E tariff”. But other providers will also follow suit with a similar delay.

Hardly any way to escape the premium increases Those affected have little opportunity to escape the price increases. The industry tries to prevent customers from switching with different methods. The main argument against the change of provider is the refusal of the old provider to hand over the accumulated provisions for old age. This is the first thing that the insured person “gets knocked over” when he announces a change. The insured person therefore essentially loses the provisions for old age. Anyone who is not afraid to make a change will face another problem. The new provider also requires a health check. The new tariff is based on this. If you are already middle or older age, the exam is very likely to be more negative than a few years ago. So it can happen that the new tariff is even more expensive than the one you actually wanted to escape. A change is virtually impossible without the result of high losses. Critics claim that such a system has secured private health insurance to avoid large member migrations. The only option is then only a change of tariff with significantly less health benefits and / or higher deductibles. This decision can also be costly, especially in old age, since doctor visits and hospital stays add up with age. If a provider persistently refuses to agree to a tariff change, the ombudsman specially appointed for the PKV should be called. The latter tries to reach an agreement between the parties before the judicial authority. Most of the time, the statutory provisions are very restrictive, so that those affected often have to live with the higher contributions. (sb)

Also read:
Private health insurance: is it worth changing?
PKV entry tariffs often offer less than GKV
PKV new business is booming: at the expense of the GKV
Lower PKV commissions planned

Image: Ronny Richert / pixelio.de

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