Associations of the statutory health insurance companies?

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Experts expect large mergers of the statutory health insurance companies: According to a study by the business consultancy Ernst & Young exclusively available in the "Welt am Sonntag" study, it can be assumed that the number of occupational insurance policies will decline more and more over the next few years, and eventually in five years will only give about 50 statutory health insurance companies.

The reason for this development is the author of the study - Andreas Freiling - in a further acceleration of the existing concentration process, whereby in his opinion only 100 of the 169 health insurance funds currently in existence would exist in 2012 and three years later only those already mentioned 50. According to the author, a particularly drastic minimization is to be expected with the company coffers - in five years only ten of the current 130 should be left. Freiling sees the cause of the increasing "consolidation boom" in the new legal framework: Firstly, compared to earlier times, it is now generally possible to register for insolvency as a health insurance company, and secondly, since the introduction of the health fund and the uniform contribution rate of 14 . 9 percent is no longer possible for the health insurers to compensate for a higher financing requirement by increasing the contributions - which means that financially weaker health insurers now have to meet the additional requirements through additional contributions.

The end of the song suspected by experts: Many insured people will switch to other health insurers, which makes the situation more and more problematic. It is therefore not surprising that, according to the study, almost every second of the 40 health insurers surveyed is already considering a merger with other health insurers and such a future model is at least an option for another 33 percent of health insurers - underlined by the fact that the largest proportion of those questioned previously Mergers rated as positive without exception, as in this way, among other things Savings in administration and IT and the optimization of work processes could take place and a merger a more advantageous position e.g. when negotiating with doctors.

Looking back at the still "fresh" turn of the year, Freilings' forecast seems quite realistic: Because at the beginning of 2010 there were already eleven mergers, one of the largest being that of the Barmer Ersatzkasse with the Gmünder Ersatzkasse (GEK) as the new "Barmer-GEK" with a market share of almost 13 percent (8.6 million members), Techniker Krankenkasse has overtaken and is now the nationwide market leader. That these youngest
However, mergers also meant that 14 providers had to leave the market, which politicians consider to be unproblematic, because according to former Health Minister Ulla Schmidt, 30 to 50 statutory health insurance companies would be a "sensible target".

However, according to Freiling, a merger is always associated with the risk that a cash register will go under, because "with the decreasing number of market participants and the increasing size of the merger partners, the complexity increases" - and not to forget of course aspects such as different IT systems or corporate cultures that
In the case of mergers from very different providers, they have to be merged into a "large whole". According to Freiling, it would take at least two years for a successful and completed health insurance merger, which however, due to the highly concentrated markets, does not automatically mean successful use of synergies, but rather, according to the experts, would result in the following scenario: "In the coming years the number of failed mergers will increase sharply. " (sb, 07.03.2010)

Also of interest:
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Health insurance companies want more additional contributions
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