Supplementary contribution: Health insurance change rewarding

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20 million insured will pay less
On 1 January, the general contribution rate for SHI was reduced from 15.5 to now 14.6 percent. However, due to additional contributions, which may raise the health insurance, it is much more expensive for some insured. According to Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe( CDU), around 20 million Germans will initially pay a lower contribution rate for the time being. This has to do with the fact that their coffers make no or a smaller additional contribution than 0.9 percent. For the members of other insurers, it may be worthwhile to change the cash register. Some of them can save several hundred euros a year.

Special right of termination due to additional contribution
In principle, insured persons may change their health insurance fund without any special reason if they were a member for at least 18 months. In addition, there is also a special right of termination if the fund introduces or raises an additional contribution. As reported by the "Süddeutsche Zeitung"( SZ), according to an evaluation by the consumer center of North Rhine-Westphalia, a total of 65 funds are below the previous rate of 15.5 percent, so raise either no additional contribution or at least less than 0.9 percentage points. As it is said, changes in 50 other insurance therefore the bottom line, at eight funds, the protection is more expensive. The providers must inform their insureds 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 SZ, this applies in each case until the end of the month in which the new or higher additional contribution is due for the first time.

Written termination
If insureds decide to change, they must first terminate their membership in writing at their previous fund. Sample letters can be found on the internet. The cancellation confirmation from the old provider must be submitted to the new fund together with the membership application form. Basically, no provider may refuse statutory insurance. The new health insurance company will issue a membership certificate within the period of notice, which the insured must submit to the employer. The change becomes effective at the end of the two-month notice period at the old cash register. If you cancel by the end of January, you will be covered by the new health insurance from April.

Consider the benefits at the health insurances
At the beginning of the year, Minister of Health Gröhe had warned against a quick cash change. He pointed out that it also depends on the services of the insurer. Other experts see this as similar. The Federal Insurance Office also advises that the choice of health insurance should not only focus on the differences in the additional contribution, but also on factors such as advice, service, special services or the presence of a local office. Who wants to compare, how much the different funds raise in addition and how much thus could be saved, finds numerous Internet sides to it. A change may be worthwhile especially for workers with high gross wages.

No disadvantages through cash change
In principle, insured persons threaten by a cash point no disadvantages, since all statutory health insurance companies offer the same prescribed range of services. However, it should be taken into account that some health insurances offer additional benefits such as certain vaccinations, alternative medicines, the granting of a maid service in the event of illness or special care models for the chronically ill and thus provide more for the insured. Thanks to the special right of termination, however, you can look around for a different fund each time you increase the additional contribution, if you are not satisfied with the choice of the new provider. And such increases are expected by experts for the coming years anyway. Just a few weeks ago, for example, the Chairman of Barmer GEK stated that the contributions for 2015 had been very cautious. For 2016, he expects an average statutory health insurance contribution rate of over 16 percent, and in 2017 further increases are to be expected in principle.(ad)

Make a health insurance change


Since the beginning of the year in the statutory health insurance( GKV) new tariffs apply. Although the general contribution rate has been lowered, it will be more expensive for some members of the KCB due to extra contributions. With a health insurance change, some insured can sometimes save a few hundred euros.

Image: Bernd Kasper /

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