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Of the major statutory sickness funds, only Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) will be offering a payout to its members. This emerged from a study by „Wirtschafts Woche“, which researched the ten largest statutory sickness funds, with a combined share of 34.5 million policyholders. Barmer GEK, DAK and AOK have all decided against a payout to members. Instead, they have decided to offer additional services, fund additional dental visits and offer incentives for health-conscious behaviour.

According to another survey by the magazine „Focus“, 84% of funds stated that they will use the surplus to provide more services to policyholders. The Focus survey, which targeted 81 statutory sickness funds, found that 19 of them had concrete plans for a refund payout,especially the smaller funds. In 74% of cases, the distribution for 2012 will sit somewhere between 50 and 100 Euros.

According to media reports, about a dozen sickness funds have committed to a refund payout. The Wirtschafts Woche also shared that HKK, BKK Wirtschaft & Finance and G + V BKK will all be making payouts to members.

Commentary: One reason in favour of a single premium payment from the perspective of sickness funds is certainly the subsequent increase in membership that can be expected. For the insured, the premiums are profitable payments. Financially, the insured will also benefit if the surpluses mean that in future, no additional fee is charged for treatments. If members choose a fund for the long-term, then use of the surplus for performance improvements is likely to appeal, as this will result in an improved quality of care. Ultimately, the insured are free to choose between the plans and can choose their preferred use of the surplus.

[ilink url=““] Link zur Quelle (Wirtschaftswoche)[/ilink]