Discontinued model private health insurance (PKV)

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Private health insurance is an end of life in Germany

Private health insurance (PKV) is still heavily criticized in Germany. Excessive premiums, tempting offers with cheap tariffs and horrendous commissions for insurance brokers lead to a constant loss of image. More and more privately insured people are fleeing statutory health insurance (GKV). Politicians are also less and less of the private health insurance model. Jens Spahn, health expert at the CDU, has spoken out in favor of abolishing private health insurance.

Ever-increasing costs for private health insurance For some time now, private health insurance companies have been exposed to increasingly louder criticism. Due to the demographic change and the associated rising costs for medical care, insurers have to constantly adjust their premiums. At the turn of the year, insured persons had to accept tariff increases of up to 60 percent. However, while the industry keeps on sealing off and the criticism as a campaign against private health is weakening, the figures show a different picture. In 2000, insurance companies spent around 13.6 billion euros on medical and other services. By 2010, the cost of € 22 billion had almost doubled.

On average, the private health insurers have older and older insured persons, because people are getting older and older due to good medical care and a rich diet. For insurers, however, this also means that companies have to spend more and more money on innovative medical services. The once propagated advantage of private health insurance companies turns out to be a real cost engine, because with the PKV, the insured can submit almost any invoice from the doctor or the clinic and get a refund.

PKV is a phase-out model In order to stimulate new customer business, many private insurers have begun to lure with so-called discount tariffs. The customer is advertised with monthly contributions well below 100 euros. However, such lure offers often result in a bad awakening for those affected. Customers have to accept price increases of between 10 and 30 percent annually. Industry experts recently even calculated 40 percent. Affected people who then want to switch back to the statutory health insurance fund have often been unlucky because a new admission to the SHI is only possible in exceptional cases. As a result, more and more people get into debt every year because they can no longer pay the constantly increasing, non-income-related insurance contributions.

In Germany, however, the defaulting payer may not be terminated, since the health care reform has required insurance. The PKV is now working together with the Federal Ministry of Health on a so-called “non-paying tariff”, which should only include emergency treatment for 100 euros per month. However, it remains questionable whether this can be the right solution to the largely homemade problem.

For all of these reasons, experts no longer consider PKV to be sustainable. More and more people are advocating citizens' insurance. Jens Spahn, health expert of the CDU, is in favor of lifting the separation between private and statutory health insurance companies. Because there is no way around reform in the long term, he reported. (ag)

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