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The Hanseatische Krankenkasse (HEK) allows its insured to participate in the positive financial development of the past year and retrospectively reimburses all practice fees for visits to the dentist from January 1, 2012.
The HEK "is the first health insurance company to de facto abolish the practice fee for visits to the dentist," according to the latest press release from the Hamburg health insurance company. As part of the HEK bonus program, the fee of ten euros per quarter will be reimbursed to the insured with retroactive effect from January 1, 2012. The HEK therefore foregoes income of around 2.5 million euros per year in favor of its approximately 400,000 insured. With the advance of the HEK, the controversial practice fee crumbles a bit more. Although the SPD, FDP, Left and Greens call for the abolition of the extra fee, there is no long overdue vote in the Bundestag.
Health insurance reimburses the dentist's practice fee In principle, every legally insured patient has to pay the practice fee of ten euros once a quarter when visiting the dentist. However, members of the HEK will get this money back from their insurance in the future. Upon presentation of the fee receipt and a copy of the Zahn bonus booklet, the insured person will be reimbursed the practice fee, according to the HEK. However, the maintenance of the bonus booklet and the regular dental check-up are becoming increasingly important.
General abolition of the practice fee required The health insurance company does not only use the reimbursement of the dentist practice fee as a unique selling point, but also expresses its fundamentally negative attitude towards the practice fee. The HEK Board of Directors is extremely critical of the practice fee and has therefore "asked the legislator to generally abolish the practice fee introduced in 2004." According to the Chairman of the HEK Board of Directors, Horst Wittrin, "the practice fee has no control function and causes unnecessary bureaucracy costs." Hanseatische Krankenkasse supported the abolition of the practice fee, as requested by the Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr (FDP) and the majority of the state ministers of health.
Health expert Karl Lauterbach (SPD) said to “Bild”: “This is an exemplary signal. If the health insurance companies start voluntarily to repay the practice fee, the CDU has to give up its blockade and finally abolish the senseless fee. Ms. Merkel is obviously less generous to German patients than to Spanish banks. ”(Fp)
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Image: Matthias Preisinger / pixelio.de