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Further tariff adjustments in private health insurance expected
As of January 1, 2013, numerous private health insurance (PKV) tariffs will rise again. This applies to existing as well as new customers. Industry experts expect price increases of between 10 and 30 percent in the individual tariffs of private health insurance.
As is the case almost every year, privately insured people have to prepare for rising premiums at the turn of 2013. Although the contribution rates do not rise as fast as at the beginning of 2012, tariff increases of 10 percent on average per insured person are expected. Price adjustments of approximately 29 percent and more are also possible for individual tariffs. As every year, the insurance industry justifies the increases with the demographic change and the rising costs in the health care system due to medical technology progress, which increases life expectancy but also entails higher health insurance costs. In addition, insurers are affected by the ongoing financial crisis, as the interest rates on the investments have been very low for some time.
Due to the situation on the financial market, an insurance company has to lower its discount rate from 3.5 to 2.75 percent. "In these cases, the insured are again the victims," says Ozan Sözeri, founder of the independent consumer protection portal "Widge". After all, the actuarial interest rate of 3.5 percent pays interest on retirement provisions - a reduction would have to compensate for this difference with higher contributions. ”
The insured can hardly protect themselves from such an increase in the price of private health insurance. Most of the time, only the change to the next cheapest tariff remains within the provider. If you want to change providers entirely, you should consider “that the retirement provisions will not be taken away.” However, if you switch within the insurance group, you can take the retirement provisions in full in accordance with paragraph 204 of the Insurance Contract Act. With the newcomers tariffs, however, most insured persons will not be able to avoid price increases, since the service packages are usually very low.
The consumer advice centers have been calling for improved switching options for privately insured people for a long time. Legislators would have to act on this because insurers "have created complex hurdles that make it virtually impossible to switch providers". In addition, calculation bases should be verifiable in the case of premium increases in order to make adjustments more verifiable. (sb)
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