Sharp increase in private health insurance contributions

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Federal government gives new figures on the contribution development of the PKV

Private health insurance (PKV) contributions have risen significantly more strongly on average in recent years than previously assumed. According to the Federal Government's answer to a request from the left, the privately insured had to raise just about five percent more per year for their insurance contributions.

In response to the parliamentary question from the left, the Federal Ministry of Finance described the contribution development of private health insurance from 2000 to 2010. It was based on the figures from the Bafin financial regulator. The response from the Ministry of Finance shows that, contrary to what has always been said, contributions to private health insurance have risen by an impressive five percent per year on average. The PKV association had announced on Wednesday that the annual premium increase in PKV was just under 3.3 percent and this was only slightly more than 3.1 percent of statutory health insurance (GKV).

Premium increase of five percent per year in private health insurance The communication from the Federal Ministry of Finance, however, now comes to a significantly different result. At an average of five percent per year, the premium increases for private health insurance in the years 2000 to 2010 were significantly higher than the increases in statutory health insurance. However, this did not harm the influx of insured persons. The PKV now insures more customers than ever before. Almost nine million people are fully insured in the private health insurance. There are also around 23 million people with private supplementary insurance. The individual private insured are affected by the increase in premiums to the greatest possible extent. The individual increases in contributions depend on the structure of the more than 5,000 individual tariffs, according to the Ministry.

Private health insurance contribution development Criticism of the health care system The drastic increases in private health insurance contributions had recently sparked a fierce debate about the future of bipartite health care, in the course of which some politicians and chairmen of the statutory health insurance funds discussed abolishing private health insurance. The annual increase in contributions by the Federal Ministry of Finance, which has now increased by an average of five percent, should act like water on the mill of the critics. Especially since the expenses of the private health insurance with 4.3 percent recently increased significantly less than the contributions. In principle, the Federal Government's answer leaves open whether individual groups of privately insured persons such as retirees may be disproportionately burdened. However, it is pointed out that insurers use numerous legal instruments to limit the contribution burden of the privately insured in old age.

Private health insurances record membership growth According to the Federal Government, no further consequences for the health insurance of employees who are in a public service and loyalty relationship are planned. Official health insurance from subsidies and private insurance should not be changed. This system has proven itself. Officials make up 47.5 percent of total private insurance, and restructuring could quickly lead to significant membership losses in private health insurance. At the moment, however, the PKV continues to record growth among the insured. According to Reinhold Schulte, Chairman of the Association of Private Health Insurance, the net new addition to private full insurance was 80,800 last year. In the previous year, the PKV was able to attract 84,700 fully insured.

Increased market share of private health insurance Overall, the market share of private health insurance has continued to increase and 11.3 percent of Germans are fully covered by private health insurance today, Reinhold Schulte reported in the press release on Wednesday. However, it must be taken into account that the options for switching to private health insurance were considerably facilitated by the federal government in the same period, so that significantly more people have access to private health insurance at all. When considering the share of private health insurance members in the total population over the past five years, the changes are rather moderate with an increase of 0.6 percent (10.7 to 11.3 percent). However, many of these 8.98 million privately insured people now seem to pay more for their insurance than expected. Because with an annual premium increase of five percent, as assumed by the Federal Ministry of Finance, considerable sums quickly fall due. The most recently reached top rates of over 1,000 euros per month for private insurance may therefore not remain exceptional in the future. (fp)

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Health insurance: What will change in 2016351a2cc0b08c03 /> Image: Ronny Richert /

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