Additional contribution Kartellamt loses against cash
Additional contribution: Cartel Office loses against cash register: Unauthorized price fixing between the health insurance?
Eight public health insurance companies had announced an additional contribution in January 2010. Thereupon a legal dispute between the Federal Cartel Office and the health insurance companies flared up. The Antimonopoly Office raised the suspicion that the funds would force an impermissible price agreement. The Cartel Office demanded because of the „Initial suspicion of an inadmissible price agreement between companies“ appropriate documents from the cash registers. However, the coffers did not want to allow that and resisted it.
Three health insurance companies then moved to the state social courts in Hamburg, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia. However, the Bundeskartellamt did not want the case to be restricted to the state social courts, but to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court. A corresponding complaint of the Federal Cartel Office dismissed the Federal Social Court in Kassel. The judges ruled that the lawsuit affected the scope of the self-regulatory right of health insurances. The dispute is a „Public litigation in matters of statutory health insurance, which is mandatory and exclusively associated with social justice“. The state social courts would now have to decide whether the Federal Cartel Office is actually entitled to demand corresponding documents from the health insurance companies.
In accordance with the social laws, the health insurance companies are allowed to levy flat-rate additional contributions from their insured persons. This applies if it can be proven that the funds from the health fund are insufficient. In total, 16 statutory health insurance companies are currently making an additional contribution. Most of them charge an additional fee of eight euros. In the course of the health care reform, it is up to the health insurance companies themselves to decide how much they will pay the additional contributions from 2011 onwards. (sb, 29.09.2010)
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