Additional contribution: Health insurance change is worthwhile

Additional contribution: Health insurance change is worthwhile

Make a checkout by changing health insurance

Statutory health insurance (GKV) has had new tariffs since the beginning of the year. The general contribution rate has been reduced, but it will become more expensive for some members of the health insurance fund due to additional contributions. With a change of health insurance, some insured persons can sometimes save a few hundred euros.

20 million insured will pay less As of January 1, the general contribution rate to the SHI was reduced from 15.5 percent to 14.6 percent. However, due to additional contributions that health insurance companies may charge, it becomes significantly more expensive for some insured. According to Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe (CDU), around 20 million Germans will initially pay a lower contribution rate. This has to do with the fact that their health insurers charge no or a lower additional contribution than 0.9 percent. For the members of other insurers, it can therefore be worthwhile to change the fund. This can save some of them several hundred euros a year.

Special right of termination due to additional contribution In principle, insured persons can change their health insurance without special reason if they have been a member for at least 18 months. In addition, there is also a special right of termination if the health fund introduces or increases an additional contribution. As the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" (SZ) reports, according to an analysis by the Consumer Advice Center North Rhine-Westphalia, a total of 65 health insurances remain below the previous rate of 15.5 percent, so they either raise no additional contribution or at least less than 0.9 percentage points. The bottom line is that with 50 other insurances nothing changes, with eight health insurances the protection becomes more expensive. Providers must inform their insured about this at the latest in the month before the planned introduction or increase of an additional contribution and also about the special right of termination. According to the SZ, this applies until the end of the month in which the new or higher additional contribution is due for the first time.

Written termination If insured persons decide to switch, they must first terminate their membership in writing at their previous health insurance fund. Sample letters for this can be found on the Internet, among other things. The confirmation of termination from the old provider must be submitted to the new cash register together with the application for membership. In principle, no provider may reject those insured by law. The new health insurance company will issue a membership certificate within the notice period, which the insured person must hand over to the employer. The change will take effect at the end of the two-month notice period at the old fund. Anyone who quits by the end of January is insured with the new health insurer from April.

Taking health care benefits into account at the beginning of the year, Health Minister Gröhe warned against a quick change of health insurance. He pointed out that insurers' benefits are also important. Other experts see it similarly. The Federal Insurance Office also advises that when choosing a health insurance company you should not only pay attention to the differences in the additional contribution, but also factors such as advice, service, special benefits or the presence of a local office. If you want to compare how much the various health insurers charge and how much could be saved, you will find numerous websites. A change can be particularly worthwhile for employees with a high gross income.

No disadvantages due to changing the health insurance fund In principle, insured persons face no disadvantages by changing the health insurance fund, since all statutory health insurance companies offer the same prescribed range of services. However, it should be taken into account that some health insurers offer additional services such as certain vaccinations, alternative healing methods, the approval of domestic help in the event of illness or special care models for the chronically ill, and thus also provide more for the insured. Thanks to the special right of termination, however, you can look for a different fund every time the additional contribution is raised if you are not satisfied with the choice of the new provider. And such increases are expected anyway by experts for the coming years. The chairman of the Barmer GEK, for example, said a few weeks ago that the contributions for 2015 had been measured very cautiously. For 2016, he expects an average statutory health insurance contribution rate of over 16 percent, and further increases are also to be expected in 2017. (ad)

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