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Health insurance premiums are rising: Many health insurance companies will increase in 2024 – millions affected

2024-01-11T04:36:48.221Z

Highlights: Health insurance premiums are rising: Many health insurance companies will increase in 2024 – millions affected. At least 36 statutory health insurance firms are increasing their premiums this year. Insured persons have until the end of January to switch to a cheaper health insurance company. A special right of termination can prevent this, but only for a period of two months.Estimators expect a deficit of 3.2 million euros for health insurance Companies in 2024. The deficit is expected to continue to rise and is forecast at 2.3 billion euros for 2.5 million insured persons.



Last updated: 11.01.2024, 05:19 a.m.

By: Bjarne Kommnick

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Insured persons of many health insurance companies will have to adjust to higher premiums this year. A special right of termination can prevent this.

Frankfurt – In the new year 2024, there will be a number of changes for consumers. In many places, however, this means one thing above all: it will be more expensive. Since 1 January, this has also affected people with statutory health insurance, as many health insurance companies increased their additional contributions at the turn of the year. The reason for this is a financial deficit worth millions.

36 health insurance companies increase premiums – three will be cheaper

In October, the federal government increased the additional health insurance contribution from 1.6 to 1.7 percent. However, health insurance companies are not forced to adjust their contributions accordingly. Nevertheless, 36 German health insurance companies have announced an increase in their contributions as of January 1, as reported by Stiftung Warentest. Only three health insurance companies will reduce their premiums, while 32 health insurance companies are not planning any changes for the time being.

At least 36 statutory health insurance companies are increasing their premiums this year. © IMAGO/Burkhard Schubert

In the first half of 2023, the deficit of the statutory health insurance funds amounted to over 600 million euros. Health insurance companies, which have also recently come under criticism, had to give up part of their reserves to a health fund that provides financial resources to finance services for insured persons. In addition, there will be no special payments from the federal government in 2024 and the budget for the federal health system has shrunk significantly.

The biggest premium increases for health insurance companies in 2024:

  • AOK NordOst, additional contribution 2023 1.9 percent, 2024 2.7 percent
  • Knappschaft, 2023 1.6 percent, 2024 2.2 percent
  • BKK Mahle, 2023 1.5 percent, 2024 2.2 percent
  • BKK Gildemeister Seidensticker, 0.9 percent, 2024 1.5 percent
  • (Source: check24.de)

Estimators expect a deficit of 3.2 million euros for health insurance companies

As a result, the deficit is expected to continue to rise. The reasons cited for this are the economy, global political events and the imminent hospital reform. The estimators forecast a deficit of 2024.3 billion euros for 2. Insured persons will therefore probably have to expect rising costs in the future as well.

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However, in the event of an increase in premiums, insured persons have the right to change their health insurance provider. You can cancel until the end of the month in which the increased additional contribution is due for the first time.

Statutory health insurance: Two-month notice period despite special right of termination

In this case, insured persons have until the end of January to switch to a cheaper health insurance company. However, a notice period of two months applies. This means that insured persons who cancel by the end of January will still have to pay the previous premium until April.

"Even without a special right of termination, consumers can change their health insurance provider at any time after a term of twelve months," says Dr. Daniel Güssow from the comparison portal Check24. "You can choose the fund that best suits your current life situation in terms of contribution rate or additional benefits. Insured persons who applied for a change of health insurance provider in January 2023 can therefore switch again in January 2024."

Contribution assessment ceiling increased to 62,100 euros

As of 1 January, the contribution assessment ceiling for statutory health insurance has also risen from 59,850 euros to 62,100 euros. "Due to the renewed increase in the contribution assessment ceiling and the increase in the additional contribution for those with statutory health insurance, particularly high-earning employees will be burdened," explains Dr. Fabian Niebling, Managing Director of Private Health Insurance at Check24.

According to the expert, high-income people should therefore think about switching to private health insurance, "as the savings from raising the contribution assessment ceiling are becoming greater and greater". Statutory insurance is becoming increasingly "unattractive" for financially strong employees.

Contributions aren't the only change in healthcare in the new year. Since 1 January, the electronic health card has been launched. In addition, the e-prescription replaces the classic pink paper in doctors' offices.

The editor wrote this article and then used an AI language model to optimize at their own discretion. All information has been carefully verified. Learn more about our AI principles here.

Source: merkur

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