Associations of the statutory health insurance companies?
Experts expect large associations of the statutory health insurance: According to a study exclusively on the "Welt am Sonntag" of the business consulting firm Ernst & Young, it can be assumed that over the next few years, especially the number of company insurance will decrease more and more and finally in five years only about 50 statutory health insurance will give.
The reason for this development is the author of the study - Andreas Freiling - in a renewed acceleration of the existing concentration process, which in his opinion in 2012, only 100 of the currently 169 health insurance would exist and three years later only then already 50. According to the author, a particularly drastic minimization is to be expected from the company funds - in five years, only ten of the currently 130 will be left. Freiling sees the cause of the rising "consolidation boom" in the new legal framework conditions: Firstly, it is generally possible to declare bankruptcy as a health insurance company compared to earlier times and secondly, since the introduction of the health fund and the uniform contribution rate of 14 , 9 per cent are no longer possible for the health insurance funds to compensate for higher funding requirements by increasing the contributions - which means that financially weaker health insurances now have to seek additional benefits through additional contributions.
Experts suspect the end of the song: Many insured will switch to other funds, which makes the situation more and more problematic. Therefore, it is not surprising that according to the study already today almost every second of the 40 cash registers surveyed about a merger with other funds and think such a future model for another 33 percent of the funds is at least one option - underlined by the fact that the largest proportion of the former Merger is rated as invariably positive, as in this way, inter alia Savings in administration and IT and the optimization of work processes could take place and a merger a more advantageous position, e.g. in negotiations with doctors.
Looking back on the still quite "fresh" turn of the year, Freiling's forecast seems quite realistic: For there were eleven mergers at the beginning of 2010, of which one of the largest was the Barmer Ersatzkasse with the Gmünder Ersatzkasse (GEK) As a new "Barmer-GEK" with a market share of almost 13 percent (8.6 million members) has overtaken the Techniker health insurance and now represents the nationwide market leader. The youngest
However, mergers also meant the adoption of the market for 14 providers is considered by the policy as unproblematic, because according to the former Minister of Health Ulla Schmidt 30 to 50 statutory health insurance would be a "meaningful goal".
However, according to Freiling, merging is always associated with the risk that a fund will collapse, because "with the declining number of market participants and the increasing size of the merger partners, the complexity increases" - and of course also aspects such as different IT systems or corporate cultures in the
Case of mergers of very different suppliers must be brought together into one "big picture". According to Freiling, at least two years would pass for a successful and completed health insurance merger, which, however, would not automatically translate into successful synergies because of highly concentrated markets, but rather bring the following scenario to the expert: "In the coming years [...] the number of failed mergers will rise sharply. " (sb, 07.03.2010)
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