With 1.5 billion euros, the insured are in chalk with health insurance companies
More than 600,000 insured persons owe membership fees to the statutory health insurance companies. In total, a mountain of debt of 1.5 billion euros has arisen. However, many of those affected are not financially able to pay the outstanding contributions. Many only have the path to personal bankruptcy.
Delinquent health insurance payers are mostly poor The German health care system seems to be doing well with reserves of just under 20 billion euros. Statutory health insurance generated a surplus of around four billion euros last year alone. At the moment, more than 600,000 insured persons have a good 1.5 billion euros in debt at the health insurers, as the umbrella organization for statutory health insurance (GKV) announced today.
According to the Kassenverband, outstanding debts have increased dramatically in the past few months. While in August 2011 there were still 638,000 insured arrears of over a billion, at the end of the year it was 1.2 billion euros. In February 2012, the receivables rose again massively. The main reason for the high number of defaulting payers was the introduction of compulsory insurance in 2007. A large number of those affected had therefore returned to statutory health insurance. The social security office had previously paid for their contributions. This group of debtors alone is at the cash register with around 466 million euros in chalk. "The introduction of compulsory insurance did not mean that members can also pay their contributions," reports Ann Marini, spokeswoman for the GKV. Among the defaulters, there are also many self-employed people who are voluntarily insured, but for example due to a poor order situation, their insured contributions are not can pay.
Most debtors are poor. Many are simply unable to pay the outstanding contributions. As a rule, the health insurers have a staggered dunning procedure in which the defaulters are contacted several times before the main customs offices, as collection agencies of the federal government and other public law institutions, begin to collect the money. The health insurance companies report that even law enforcement officers are often unable to collect anything because many of those affected have so little funds and there is therefore nothing to get. However, because there is an obligation to take out insurance, those affected cannot be terminated by the health insurers.
Non-paying tariff planned for privately insured private health insurance is also aware of the problem. As became known in January of this year, the private insurance sector shows an ever increasing financial gap. According to the umbrella organization of private health insurance (PKV), the total loss last year was around 500,000 euros. At the end of 2011, according to unconfirmed media reports, around 145,000 privately insured could no longer pay their contributions. The Federal Ministry of Health is now working with insurers on the introduction of an "emergency tariff", which only includes "emergency benefits" such as care during pregnancy and acute health problems. This should relieve the PKV at the expense of the sufferer.
What to do with contribution debts?
Anyone who has accumulated contribution debts must pay the contributions retrospectively in any case. If you cannot pay the debts all at once, you can usually arrange payment in installments with the health insurers. In addition, it is advisable to ask the health insurance company to reduce the premiums in the current year. Because contributions paid too much will not be reimbursed at the end of the year, even if the insured person would have had to pay less due to his income. If the money cannot be raised in any case, a personal bankruptcy is recommended after consultation with a debt advice center. (ag)
Switching to the GKV is easier for privately insured
Private health insurance: many don't pay
PKV: For nonpayers only emergency care
Health insurance companies: Non-payers cause losses
Health insurance: What will change 2016351a2cc0b08c03 /> Image: Benjamin Thorn / pixelio.de