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City BKK: Insured persons cannot find a new health insurance company
City BKK health insurance will be closed on July 1st, 2011. Until then, all insured persons have to look for a new fund. For many, especially older and sick members, the bankruptcy fund turns the search for a new health insurance into a veritable odyssey. Individual health insurance companies try to dismiss membership inquiries with dubious claims. There are now complaints from over eleven health insurance companies, although the number of unreported cases is likely to be significantly higher.
The search for a new health insurance company should actually be easy. In any case, this is always claimed by politicians, who welcomed the closure of the City BKK company health insurance fund because it was "an expression of competition in the health system". The City BKK had to give up and had financial problems for several reasons. A main reason for the threatened bankruptcy was the high proportion of older and chronically ill in the membership structure. It is precisely those insured who are unpopular with the health insurers because the expenses usually outweigh the income.
Adventurous claims to deter insured people
The former City-BKK insured are now feeling the competition in the statutory health insurance system. Insured persons have already "complained about eleven health insurance companies," said City BKK spokesman Torsten Nowak. Some health insurance companies try to fend off insured claims, some of which are adventurous. This is "an absolute absurdity" and must "be stopped immediately", Nowak warned. Finally, there is a general anchored right to be able to switch to a different health insurance company if the facility is closed. Nowak reports to the Tagesspiegel that some health insurers claim that "they are already full". Others say that current treatments can only be continued if the inquirers switch to a company health insurance scheme. Only these would continue to bear the therapy costs. Of course, all of these statements are untrue.
The first complaints were received when it was announced last week that the City BKK would close on July 1, 2011. However, since the official letters to the approximately 168,000 members of the health insurance fund were only now being issued, it can be assumed that the number of complaints would continue to increase. Because the older members in particular are not aware of the closure from the Internet, but from the letter.
AOK, Barmer GEK and HEK apparently refuse requests
According to information from the Berlin Tagesspiegel, large health insurance companies such as the AOK or Barmer GEK are involved in the brush-off strategy. When making inquiries, City-BKK members were referred to the extremely limited opening times, service employees asked for exaggerated and sometimes unnecessary proof or made it clear right from the start that they would be better off in a company fund. The spokesman for the Barmer emphasized that the employees were aware of the legal obligation to admit City BKK insured persons on request. You would definitely act according to the legal requirements. In Berlin alone, the City BKK has around 92,000 insured.
Other health insurance companies (we reported) apparently try to prevent insured persons from applying for admission using various methods. According to a report by the "Financial Times Deutschland", older insured persons in particular were systematically dismissed. In order to be prepared for the onslaught, a service hotline has been set up specifically for City BKK members at the Hanseatische Krankenkasse HEK. Here, too, the inquirers were informed that the admission of a BKK was more appropriate. The reason for this was that HEK may no longer be able to provide the usual medication due to other discount contracts with the pharmaceutical manufacturers. Anyone who was also in need of care must also expect a new test and, in part, a less favorable report on the level of care.
At the HEK, a spokesman emphasized that membership would not be refused. Every health insurance company does have an obligation to provide advice, which is also complied with at the HEK, as Torsten Kafka, vice-head of the insurance company, emphasizes. This also includes drawing attention to “possible disadvantages” that could arise when moving to the HEK. Medicinal changes or reviews of the care level are also possible without changing the fund.
Those affected should file a complaint
Health insurance companies, to which City BKK members wanted to switch, had only "to get the application for admission and nothing more," said Nowak. Anyone who experiences the utterances described on the phone should write down their names, the individual utterances and the time. This is the only way to understand who said what, when and where. "Then at least we have horses and riders." said Nowak, who is committed to the members until the City BKK closes.
The Federal Insurance Office (BVA) already has "individual complaints" that will now be investigated, as spokesman Tobias Schmidt told the news agency "AFP". It is also confirmed that individual insured persons “have the feeling of not being accepted”. However, this has so far not been a mass phenomenon, as the BVA spokesman emphasizes. Often it would be about "little things" such as medical aids.
The Federal Association of Company Funds "BKK" advises all those affected to file a complaint with the Federal Insurance Office in an emergency. However, the association anticipates that the “excitement will only last a few days”. The selection of health insurance companies must under no circumstances be curtailed. Daily sickness allowance, treatments or medical interventions that have already been approved would also have to be paid by the following health insurers. The City BKK has set up a hotline for further questions: 0800- 255 44 33. (sb)
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