Health system: wave of mergers of health insurance companies
Does the wave of mergers of the health insurance companies endanger the health system?
( 05.08.2010) Since the introduction of the health fund at the beginning of 2009, the healthcare system has created a funding gap of currently estimated 11 billion euros, with considerable consequences for the structure of the statutory health insurance funds. Since these due to the contribution capping have no way to open up independently financing options and the collection of additional contributions usually a significant loss of members result in the past year, many health insurance companies have reacted to the existing problems with a merger. Some insurance companies such. However, for example, the City BKK could not absorb their deficits in this way and therefore announced a possible insolvency at the Federal Insurance Office. The 170,000-member fund is threatening to end at the end of the year if it does not receive external financial support.
But the current wave of mergers is also being watched
with growing concern by industry insiders and they are already warning against a possible collapse of the healthcare system. Up to now, there has always been the possibility that health insurance companies register a possible insolvency with the Federal Insurance Office if there is insufficient funding, as described above. H.the residual risk lay with the insurance companies themselves. With the current wave of mergers, however, some funds, such asB. the Bamer GEK reaches a size that makes it impossible to handle such a health insurance through a proper bankruptcy procedure, as their members could not be accommodated easily at other coffers. Experts such as Rolf Stuppardt of the Federal Association of the guilds even assume that the current mergers generally have "little to do with health-economic goals," but mainly serve to achieve a system-relevant size, so that the state must intervene in the event of bankruptcy,
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The parallels to the banking system are obvious."Nowhere are there so many mergers as in the health insurance industry. In just two years, the number of statutory health insurance has dropped from 216 to 163.If politicians persistently proclaim that few health insurances are enough and mergers are the only right way, then one has not learned the lessons of the biggest economic crisis since the end of the war, "emphasized the head of the Siemens company health insurance, Hans Unterhuber compared to the" Frankfurter Rundschau ".Meanwhile, the experts estimate that the wave of mergers will continue until at the end only 20-30 statutory health insurance companies remain( estimate of the CEO of Barmer GEK Birgit Fischer).These would then all have a size that forces the state to act as soon as one of them gets into financial difficulties. The decoupling of state support from the governing parties CDU / CSU and FDP would thus be obsolete and competitive pressure would once again decline sharply. The health system in its present form could hardly be maintained and it remains open what consequences this would result for the insured.(fp)