BKK for health professionals before leaving?



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Impending closure of the BKK for healthcare professions

After speculating again and again in the past months about possible insolvency of the BKK for healthcare professions, the health insurance company actually seems to be heading towards a closure at the moment if a merger partner is not found at the last second.

Due to the continuing loss of membership, the financial difficulties of the BKK for healthcare professions have increased further. If the stricken health insurance company does not soon find a merger partner, the closure threatens, reports the "Rheinische Post". A spokesman for the BKK for health professions had told the newspaper that preparations for precautionary operational layoffs are currently underway from September.

Precautionary redundancies from September Already last year there was initial speculation about significant financial difficulties at the BKK for healthcare professions. The proposed merger with the German employee health insurance (DAK) seemed to be saved, but the plans burst shortly before the agreement and the BKK's financial problems for health care professions have worsened since then. This year, there have already been speculations in the media about a possible closure of the BKK for health care professionals if no adequate merger partner was found. However, this has so far not succeeded, so that the stricken health insurance company will now, as a precautionary measure, give operational layoffs in September, a BKK spokesman told the Rheinische Post. According to the daily newspaper, the City BKK has to part with around 40 percent of the 240 employees. However, there is still hope for a possible merger, which may result in fewer employees being fired than previously envisaged.

BKK for health care professions: fusion partners wanted In view of the continuing loss of members and the massive financial difficulties of the BKK for health care professions, the Federal Insurance Office (BVA) has asked the company health insurance company to look for a fusion partner as soon as possible in order to avoid other reorganization measures or even the closure of the health insurance company. As early as May, the “Financial Times Deutschland” reported on a letter from the BKK Advisory Board for health care professions to the board of directors of the other company health insurance funds, which shows that the BKK for health care professions is urgently looking for possible merger partners among the other company health insurance funds in order to avert the impending insolvency . So far, however, no other health insurance company has found a merger, and given the financial burdens that would result from taking over the BKK for healthcare professionals, the reluctance seems perfectly understandable. However, Ulrich Rosendahl, spokesman for the BKK for health care professions, also told the Financial Times Deutschland that a takeover for the other company health insurance companies would be considerably cheaper than a possible insolvency of the BKK for health care professions.

Loss of membership causes financial difficulties for the health insurance company The financial problems of the BKK for health care professions have worsened since 2010, mainly due to the continuing loss of members. The health insurance company lost more than half of its insured members last year and currently only has around 85,000 members, whereas at peak times around 600,000 people were insured in the BKK for health care professions. However, with its difficulties, the BKK for healthcare professions is by no means an isolated case, as the recent bankruptcy of City BKK has shown in a worrying manner. As a result of the past health care reforms, the competitive pressure among statutory health insurers among each other and between statutory and private health insurance companies has increased significantly, which means that some statutory insurance companies are facing considerable difficulties. In addition, there is the demographic change, which results in steadily rising costs in the service area, since in an aging society, the treatment costs per patient are also increasing continuously.

Financial difficulties in statutory health insurance are not an isolated case In contrast to private health insurance (PKV), contributions in statutory health insurance (GKV) are not adjusted to the age or state of health of the insured, but are based solely on income. This approach, which is fundamentally positive in the sense of a solidarity-based health system, can have considerable disadvantages, particularly in competition with private health insurers, if young, healthy, well-earning insured tend to leave the GKV system in the direction of private health insurance and predominantly old, health-impaired, less earning members are left behind. This can exacerbate the expenditure situation of the affected statutory health insurance company in such a way that considerable financial difficulties seem inevitable. If membership losses persist, additional problems arise in the area of ​​personnel, since this cannot usually be reduced comparatively quickly. Ultimately, the resulting difficulties can escalate to the point where bankruptcy is at the end of the process, as in the case of City BKK. (fp)

Read about BKK health care professions:
BKK for health professions: merger or bankruptcy?
BKK for healthcare professions faces bankruptcy
Membership loss in health insurance

Image: Claudia Hautumm / pixelio.de

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