Merger of AOK to AOK Plus

Merger of AOK to AOK Plus / Health News

The health insurance companies have to save: In the future, there should be only one AOK for Hesse, Saxony and Thuringia. The result is then the fourth largest public health insurance in Germany called "AOK PLUS".

(27.06.2010) Apparently the fears of the health insurance funds are driving against a possible insolvency to the merger. The directors of the general local health insurance AOK Hesse and the AOK plus Saxony-Thuringia have decided at a peak meeting the merger of the two major AOK funds. The new "AOK plus" will be based in Dresden for a total of three federal states. The previous AOK location in Bad Homburg and Erfurt remain initially preserved. In addition, the number of Executive Board members will also be maintained; in the future, three members of the Executive Board of AOK will have this to say. The merger is scheduled for January 1, 2011. The new health insurance will then be called "AOK plus".

The AOK plus is therefore the fourth largest statutory health insurance in Germany with 4.2 million members. First and foremost remains the Barmer GEK with around 8.5 million insured persons. This is followed by the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) with about 7.5 million and the German Employees Health Insurance Fund (DAK) with about 6.4 million members. According to the GKV-Verband exist since the beginning of 169 health insurance companies. In the course of the planned mergers and other health insurance, this number is likely to minimize soon. Because even more health insurance plans due to financial problems mergers to better catch potential bottlenecks. Because the financial hardship of health insurance is much greater than previously thought.

A spokesman for the AOK Hesse emphasized, however, that the planned merger was not created from a current emergency. In advance, it was examined which funds would fit "organizational and structural". The two health insurance companies would merge to better "coping with increasingly complex tasks of the statutory health insurance". With further AOK Kassen one wants to enter into perspective however no partnership.

Possible additional contributions from the insured would be avoided. Viktor Bernecker told AOK Plus: "As the fourth largest German health insurance company, we will achieve greater health policy weight in the national arena." Because of our stable financial position, we can go into 2011 without additional contributions. " The merger hopes for "synergies". A reduction in staff due to the merger of the funds is not planned. After all, around 3800 employees work at the AOK Hessen, after the merger there will be a total of 8500 employees working for the AOK PLUS. The current 150 locations of the AOK branches should not be cut. These are preserved, as a speaker of the AOK Hesse emphasized.

What does the merger of the AOK health insurance companies mean for the insured?
First of all, it was announced that no additional contributions are planned for 2011. The previous insurance cards remain valid and must be exchanged after expiry of the validity period. This usually happens automatically. Through the merger, both health insurance companies hope for a better service for the members, without the "administrative costs have to increase".

The AOK Hessen and AOK Thuringia Saxony are not the only health insurance companies that merged. Last year alone, 33 funds merged. The financial pressure on the coffers continues to rise, so that further mergers are to be expected. Larger health insurance funds can respond better to financial bottlenecks than small funds. That should be the main reason for the merger. (Sb)

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