Health insurance companies exempt from contribution debts

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Affected persons should contact their cash register by December 31st

People who do not currently have a valid health insurance and debts with their health insurance company should report to their health insurance fund by December 31 at the latest. Because then there is a chance that the open payments will be canceled. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the period without insurance was longer than three months and no subsequent payment of treatment costs is made.

140,000 people officially without health insurance More than 140,000 people in Germany officially do not have health insurance, including many small business owners and low-wage earners who have so far been unable to pay their monthly contributions and have therefore quickly accumulated thousands of euros in debt. General health insurance has been compulsory since 2007. The problem with this: If you were not previously insured, you had to pay additional contributions and late payment surcharges for the time without insurance cover when entering a statutory health insurance fund - one of the main reasons why many people have so far avoided going to a health insurance company.

Adult children must also insure themselves without gaps What many do not know: Even adult children who are no longer insured by a parent due to their age or after completing their vocational training must insure themselves without interruption in order to continue to be entitled to all benefits from the health insurance company . If this does not happen, large debts will quickly accumulate, especially because all uninsured months must also be paid as soon as you want to insure yourself again. Since 2009, this regulation has also applied to privately insured persons, which means that self-employed persons without health insurance have had to pay large amounts.

"Law to Eliminate Social Excessive Demand" in force since August
But now there is a new opportunity for those affected, because as the Consumer Advice Center North Rhine-Westphalia informs, anyone who is not currently insured can either take out new insurance without debt or resume their old membership. The basis for this is the "Law on the Elimination of Social Overloading of Contribution Debt in Health Insurance", which came into force in August 2013 and which, according to the former Minister of Health Daniel Bahr (FDP), is an important step "to alleviate the problem of social overworking of defaulting debtors. “The prerequisite here, however, is that the people affected have to take out new insurance or register again with their old health insurance company by December 31st. In addition, you must have been without insurance for at least three months beforehand and not have to pay the treatment costs retrospectively.

Assumption of all contributions and the resulting late payment surcharges If this is the case, according to the NRW Consumer Center, insured persons who are legally insured would waive “all contributions and the late payment surcharges due on them for their uninsured period. This also applies to those who are already insured and who have arrears in premiums from the period without insurance. registers, can still count on "a reasonable discount and waiver of late payment surcharges". In addition, the default surcharge for unpaid contributions would be reduced retrospectively and in the future from five to one percent.

We insure privately insured "premium surcharge" Who insures himself in a private health insurance until the end of the year gets the so-called "premium surcharge" for the time without insurance. The same applies to those who are already insured but still have arrears from premium surcharges from the Have past. Those who have to take out private insurance but are unable to pay the contributions now pay an "emergency tariff" in accordance with the new law - since this is also possible retrospectively, financially weaker private insurers can reduce their debts.

Due payment of missed contributions due again in 2014
However, those affected should urgently keep an eye on December 31, because after that the chance to waive missed contributions lapses again: "From the new year, if you go to a health insurance fund, contributions will become due retrospectively for the uninsured period," said Regine Behrendt's warning (VZ) to the news agency "dpa". (Nr)

Image: GG-Berlin /

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