A few health insurance companies want to reimburse contributions

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Health insurance companies want to repay insured persons

The first health insurance companies have started to pay out their billion surpluses to the insured. Above all, the Techniker Krankenkasse plans to distribute at least 100 euros to the contributors at the turn of the year. According to a small survey by the news magazine "Focus", one in three health insurance companies is considering a premium. Others rely on a wider range of healthcare services.

In addition to the Hanseatic and the Techniker Krankenkasse, other statutory health insurers are now planning to pay out part of the surpluses generated to the insured. Because the contribution rate rose to 15.5 percent at the beginning of 2011, expenditure in the pharmaceutical sector, in particular, decreased in relation to revenue, and the employment rate rose, the health insurance companies were able to amass a surplus of at least 20 billion euros. Politicians have repeatedly asked the health insurers to use the additional income to repay contributions. According to the magazine, 81 of the 146 cash registers on the market were interviewed. One in three of the respondents stated on record that they saw “scope for premium repayments”. Nineteen health insurers even said they were already working on specific models that could make reimbursement possible. The majority of the "willing health insurance funds" were, according to the survey, company health insurance funds (BKK).

Rewards between 50 and 100 euros per year and contributor According to the magazine, 74 percent want to make a distribution for 2012 between 50 and a maximum of 100 euros. The payments would be made in the coming year. 10 percent stated that they would realize the low payout, 16 percent saw opportunities for a bonus beyond the 100 euro limit. Co-insured and children do not receive a premium, but only insured who pay a health insurance contribution themselves.

Funds tend to rely on additional offers However, most health insurance companies are rather critical of paying contributions. Rather, they want to rely on more health services. According to this, 84 percent of the survey participants said that they want to design more membership benefits. This should include naturopathy, osteopathy, tooth cleaning, sports courses, health prevention and special courses. The funds want to finance the fees for such offers at least for the coming year.

38 percent of the surveyed health insurers are pushing to release the legally binding standard rate of 15.5 percent. Before the health reform of Ulla Schmidt, the health insurance companies were able to determine the contribution rate themselves and thus compete directly with the competition. Other cash representatives believe that the rate should "at least be lowered again" according to the income.

Company health insurance companies pay an average of 30 euros. The magazine "Wirtschaftswoche" reports that, in addition to the TK and the Hanseatische, the company funds "G + V BKK" as well as the BKK Wirtschaft und Finanz want to pay a fee. However, the exact amount has not yet been determined. The BKK "A.T.U." announced that it would "pay each member of the till 30 euros at the beginning of 2012". The newspaper had interviewed the ten largest health insurance companies with a membership of around 35 million insured.

No abolition of the practice fee Although the practice fee means a considerable administrative effort, above all for the doctor's office and does not fulfill its actual purpose of minimizing the "unnecessary doctor visits", the majority of the health insurers maintain the quarterly fee for doctor's consultations. Only every fifth fund would be willing to abolish the practice fee again. After all, the statutory health insurance alone earns around two billion euros each year due to the extra fee.

The umbrella association of health insurance companies (GKV) had recently vehemently spoken against a refund of the contributions. "The health fund could slip back into the red in the next year," as it was said. Due to the "unpredictability of the health fund" there is no scope for extra payments. Rather, the money could be used for an expanded range of services. (sb)

Read on:
Bavaria: More money for doctors and clinics
Second health insurance company decides premium
Techniker Krankenkasse pays premiums
Dispute over high surpluses of the health insurance companies
Health insurance companies should repay contributions
AOK resists premium reimbursement
Health politicians: The health insurance companies burn money
Coalition wants bonus payments from the health insurers

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