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AOK threaten additional contributions due to loss of millions?
Numerous statutory health insurances (GKV) lost millions in the past year. According to reports by the "Handelsblatt", the general local health insurance funds (AOK) alone have accumulated a deficit of around 500 million euros. Industry experts now fear additional contributions to the AOK.
Several statutory health insurers suffered a substantial loss last year as a result of corrections to the disease-related financial equalization. With a deficit of more than half a billion euros, the AOKs are particularly affected, the "Handeslsblatt" reported, citing information from the insurance companies. In view of the loss of millions, initial speculation about further additional contributions is now being made.
Billions of losses in statutory health insurance companies According to the “Handelsblatt”, several statutory health insurance companies suffered significant financial deficits last year. Surprisingly, the AOKs were particularly badly affected. While the twelve general local health insurers still recorded the best result of all statutory health insurances in 2009 with a surplus of 771 million euros, the AOKs have now slipped most sharply with a deficit of around half a billion euros. Since the statutory health insurance companies can only cover their deficits by charging additional contributions, speculation is already being made about the introduction of corresponding additional contributions. However, the AOK had previously ruled out additional contributions for 2011 and confirmed its stance even after the deficit became known. How the AOKs want to get the deficit of 500 million euros under control in another way is questionable.
Speculation about additional contributions at AOK Bayern According to the figures in the “Handelsblatt”, the financial situation at AOK Bayern is particularly critical. The AOK Bayern had to repay contributions of 91 million euros to the health fund for 2009 and another 55 million, which the local health insurance company had said had been granted for 2010, had not even been paid out. With this, AOK Bayern has piled up a considerable mountain of debt, which experts believe makes the introduction of an additional contribution almost inevitable. The "Südwest Presse" reports that an additional contribution of eight euros per month is already being discussed for the approximately three million members of AOK Bayern who are subject to contributions. According to the media reports, this could come in 2011. The AOK has so far denied such reports and did not want to know anything about the introduction of an additional contribution. There have been rumors several times in the past that some AOKs want to raise additional contributions. For example, in spring 2010 there was speculation at AOK Saarland and AOK Rheinland-Pfalz. However, all AOKs have so far refrained from introducing additional contributions and have thus been able to gain additional members of health insurance companies who are already collecting additional contributions.
Corrections to disease-based financial equalization cause deficit According to the “Handelsblatt”, the main reason for the considerable deficit of several health insurance funds are corrections to the disease-oriented financial equalization that was introduced two years ago. Here, the Federal Insurance Office has subsequently significantly reduced the payments stipulated in compensation for 2009. For example, the twelve AOKs, which had achieved a slightly balanced result without any corrections, have slipped significantly into the red, reports the "Handelsblatt". The situation at DAK is comparable. For example, the DAK and its over four million insured have financially caught up with an additional contribution of eight euros since the beginning of 2010 and reported an operating surplus of 62 million euros, which, however, resulted in a financial deficit of 79 million due to the subsequent cuts in financial equalization Euro turned. In addition, according to “Handelsblatt”, the Barmer GEK had to cope with a minus of 298 million in 2010.
AOK Bavaria particularly affected by the convergence rule Due to the convergence rule, AOK Bavaria is particularly affected by the repayments. The convergence rule was originally negotiated in 2008 by the then Bavarian Prime Minister to avoid disproportionate burdens on Bavaria through the health fund. AOK Bayern also received substantial sums based on the convergence rule, but was subsequently asked to repay overpaid funds. With a lawsuit against the repayment, the AOK could not assert itself before the responsible state social court of North Rhine-Westphalia and therefore had to reimburse the corresponding sums. In the verdict, the State Social Court described the AOK's reasoning that "previously received monthly allocations pursuant to Section 272 of the Social Code Book V should never be repaid" as "absurd and not understandable". The chairman of the AOK Bayern, Helmut Platzer, had already criticized the judgment of the state social court several times and also pointed out in view of the subsequent corrections to the disease-oriented financial compensation that "nobody (...) is able (seriously) to plan a household if you can only find out at the end of 2010 how much funds you would actually have had in 2009. ”In addition, the convergence regulation has become so watered down that there is hardly any financial relief for Bavaria, Platzer continued with his criticism.
Additional contributions unavoidable in the long term? In contrast to the AOK, DAK and Barmer GEK, the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) was able to present a very pleasing result last year. According to the “Handelsblatt”, the TK achieved a record result with the surplus of 558 million euros that the other health insurance companies can only dream of. But this should not be seen as a general all-clear signal. The “Handelsblatt” report reveals that numerous statutory health insurance companies are under considerable financial pressure. So far, the measures of the health care reform have apparently not been able to provide any relief. If even one of the largest German health insurance companies runs into a massive deficit and there are already initial speculations about additional premiums, experts believe that long-term additional premiums are likely to become the standard in the statutory health insurance system. However, what is particularly unsatisfactory about the current situation for health insurance companies is that they have little planning security if such payments are threatened afterwards. Additional contributions are of little help here, as the example of the DAK shows. Despite additional contributions, the DAK had slipped into deficit last year due to the repayments of the disease-based financial equalization. (fp)
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