Additional contributions increase: Health insurance companies are not obliged to increase

Will your health insurance contribution rate increase? Although that is currently still in the stars, it is quite likely.

Additional contributions increase: Health insurance companies are not obliged to increase

Will your health insurance contribution rate increase? Although that is currently still in the stars, it is quite likely. If this happens, there are opportunities for change, as Stiftung Warentest explains.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has announced that the average additional contribution rate for statutory health insurance is to be increased by 0.3 percentage points in 2023. For those with statutory health insurance, this could mean that their additional contributions will also increase. Or not?

Alisa Kostenow from Stiftung Warentest explains what effects the planned increase can have on health insurance contributions - and what options the insured have in the event of an increase.

What does the planned increase in the average additional contribution mean for consumers?

Alisa Kostenow: What Mr. Lauterbach means is not that every health insurance company should increase their contributions equally. It is about the average additional contribution rate. This is determined by a group of estimators every year based on the expected expenditures of the statutory health insurance companies and the expected income from the health fund, from which the health insurance funds are fed.

The average additional contribution rate is mainly an operand, which will be announced by November 1st based on the estimates by the Ministry of Health. Even if the average additional contribution rate increases, this does not automatically mean that every health insurance company will also increase its additional contribution rate. They only have to if they are not doing well financially. If they are doing well, they are not allowed to increase the rate at all.

But what can be said: It is likely that health insurance companies will increase their additional contributions in the coming year. But how many health insurance funds there are and by how much they increase their contribution is still pure speculation at the moment.

What can consumers do to avoid the possible additional costs?

If a health insurance company increases its contribution rate, the insured have a special right of termination - even if they have not been a member for twelve months. In the event of a premium increase, insured persons can cancel up to the end of the month in which their health insurance company first demands the higher premium. The regular notice period of two months applies. Until then, they have to pay the higher additional contribution. You simply tell the new health insurance company that you want to change, and they will then take care of canceling the old health insurance fund.

Someone who earns 3000 euros gross per month can save 160 euros a year if they switch from an expensive to a cheap health insurance fund. If possible, you should not only look at the contribution rate, but also at what extra services the health insurance company offers. If my health insurance pays for expensive travel vaccinations, for example, or subsidizes the yoga course or osteopathy, then that is also a monetary advantage.

Incidentally, people with statutory health insurance need not be afraid that they will not be accepted by a health insurance company when they change. The cash registers are not allowed to turn anyone away - not even if someone is older or sick.

What is your advice for insured persons?

Wait. If you are satisfied with the service and benefits of your health insurance company and pay a reasonable contribution rate, you should not do anything at this point. If your own health insurance company announces an increase in contributions, you have to consider how satisfied you are with your membership.

If you are already annoyed about your cash register, you can think about a change. But it can of course be the case that the fund you switch to also increases its contributions.

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