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Several health insurance companies are at loggerheads with the Bundesversicherungsamt (BVA) due to additional offers of travel insurance cover to customers. Up until now, the BVA had tolerated statutory sickness funds creating policies in cooperation with private companies. The requirement here was that the funds would demonstrate the economic viability of the approach.

But now, however, the Office (BVA) now believes this practice is illegal, and has called upon the funds to stop this by the end of the year. The Bonn-based organisation stated that this is an illegal use of public funds. Multiple funds now want to contend this decision of the BVA before the social courts.

The background: Essentially, all those with valid health insurance are covered in the EU and other countries, due to a national insurance agreement that Germany has concluded. However, not all treatments are available through a German health insurance card, and some doctors do not recognise the insurance abroad. Thus, some patients are opting to purchase supplementary insurance for trips abroad. Currently there are around 3.5 million legally insured people who have this cover.

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