Easy change to private health insurance?

Easy change to private health insurance?

Better access to private health insurance soon? The Federal Ministry of Health wants to shorten the three-year rule and thus burden the statutory health insurers.

(07/19/2010) According to reports of the same name, the Federal Ministry of Health is currently reviewing the access requirements for private health insurance (PKV). The so-called three-year time limit currently applies. This means that "high earners" can only switch from statutory health insurance to private health insurance if they are consistently above the minimum income for employees for more than three years. The compulsory gross income for a change is currently 49950 euros per year for employees subject to social security contributions. An employee must earn this sum in succession for three years in order to be able to switch to private health insurance.

This three-year period was introduced in order to protect the community of solidarity against an excessive number of “willing people” who want to turn their backs on the statutory health insurance companies in order to take out private insurance. Now that the Federal Government has increased the contributions of the statutory health insurance funds from 14.9 to 15.5 percent, it is now being examined whether the admission requirements for switching to private health insurance will be made easier. The beneficiaries of such a regulation would be private health insurers at the expense of the solidarity of the statutory health insurance funds. If the Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) prevailed, there would be a rapid increase in the "willingness to change".

Rösler now favors reducing the three-year period to one year. Other reports even claim that the health minister is not even planning to set a deadline for switching. According to calculations by the IGES institute, the statutory health insurance companies face an additional burden of around 750 million euros per year. This additional burden would then have to be paid by those who remained in the SHI and for whom an easy change is not possible. The health policy spokesman for the SPD Lauterbach accuses the FDP of a "tough clientele policy". Because this debate is actually initiated after the contributions for the SHI are considered a matter of decision. While the SHI is a compulsory statutory insurance that every member can take up regardless of their health and earnings, the private can choose their insured. If the three-year rule were to be abolished, the private sector could accept new, financially strong members and make a big plus.

What happens then can be calculated with three fingers. This change in the law continues the trend towards "two-class medicine". While the legal system works according to the principle of a community of solidarity, the principle of economy applies to the private sector when new members are admitted. In order to compensate for the costs for chronically ill people and families, high-income young insured persons are vital for the statutory health insurance companies. However, the high-income insured would change if the conditions for access to private health insurance changed in order to spend less on health insurance costs. The result: the statutory health care providers can offer fewer and fewer health services and have to introduce additional contributions and premium increases. Private health insurance companies, on the other hand, can reject the chronically ill or push the basic tariff.

In the next few weeks, it will be decided whether Rössler's plans can also prevail within the coalition. For "higher earners" who are subject to social security contributions, switching to private health insurance would be a financial relief. For those with statutory health insurance, abolishing the three-year period would be a debacle. You will then have to be prepared for further benefit restrictions and massive increases in the premiums for insured members. (sb)

Also read:
Switching to private health insurance now?
Health insurance companies: Are premiums increased again?
PKV: Allianz has to pay back additional contributions
PKV Allianz increases its contributions

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