Hartz IV: 13 health insurance companies charge an additional contribution
Despite the health care reform: A total of 13 health insurance companies could demand so-called additional contributions from Hartz IV recipients. Some health insurance companies plan to change the statutes and require the difference to the average additional contribution. However, since the federal government currently calculates the average additional contribution at zero euros, those affected have to pay the full amount of the additional contribution as a difference.
The health reform of the black and yellow federal government has been in force since January 1, 2011. It was announced that recipients of social assistance and unemployment benefit II would be exempted from the additional contributions from the beginning of the year. But if you look at the new regulations in detail, it quickly becomes clear that the exemption initially only applies on paper, but does not fully correspond to reality. According to the statement by the Federal Ministry of Labor: "If the health insurance fund is higher than the average additional contribution, the health insurance fund can stipulate in its statutes that the member has to pay the difference. The same procedure applies to so-called top-ups ”.
Average additional contributions versus difference
Now it is the case that by increasing the regular health insurance contributions from 14.9 to 15.5 percent, most health insurance companies do not want to collect additional contributions. A total of 13 health insurance companies, including the member strong DAK, still want to collect additional contributions. The "average additional contribution" is based on all statutory health insurance companies in Germany. The federal government uses this to calculate an average additional contribution of “zero euros”. That means in plain language: If a health insurance company changes its statutes, Hartz IV recipients must pay the full additional contribution from the unemployment benefit II standard rate. Because the average calculated additional contribution is currently zero euros. Three of the 13 funds that currently charge flat-rate additional contributions have announced that they will change their statutes accordingly. The rest have not yet said anything or are not planning to change their articles of association individually. Without an amendment to the articles of association, a claim for the difference between (lower) average and (higher) actual additional contribution cannot be requested from an ALG II recipient.
Special right of termination does not apply, only the regular right of termination
There is currently no special right of termination for those affected, since this right only applies if the health fund immediately announces the establishment of an additional contribution or increases the existing additional contributions. However, those affected by Hartz IV can exercise their regular right of termination. Insured persons can therefore terminate their membership in the health insurance with two months' notice to the end of the calendar month. It should be borne in mind that the decision of the new health insurance company will then be valid for 18 months. You can only switch to a new cash register after this period. (sb)
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