the statutory health insurance company
People regularly use comparison websites to look at different options and consider changing their energy supplier, car insurance or mobile phone network, but when it comes to legal health insurance, Germany Most customers remain loyal, sometimes for decades. But, according to a new study, making the switch sometimes not only saves you money, it can also get you a better service.
How does your cover compare?
How do legal health insurance companies in Germany compare for things like costs, extra services and cover? In an effort to better understand people considering switching providers, the German Institute for Service Quality and NTV ranked some of the largest health insurers in Germany.
The 21 statutory health insurance companies with the largest number of members were analyzed in terms of their benefits, terms and services. Evaluators contacted the companies via email, phone and their websites to rate their service quality, and then calculated a final score out of 100 based on their additional contribution rates, their Prepared various metrics on additional services and optional tariffs.
Many health insurers go above and beyond.
In total, 19 providers received a “good” rating, while two came out on top as “very good”. The German Institute for Service Quality noted that “especially in health promotion and preventive care, many health insurance companies boast extensive additional services that are outside the legal framework.”
They also found a significant variation in costs: in addition to the general contribution rate of 14.6 per cent, all health insurers included in the study charge an additional contribution of between 0.69 and 1.7 per cent. While this may seem like a small difference, the study authors note that it can add up to a substantial amount over time. For a gross monthly salary of 3,500 euros, switching from the most expensive to the cheapest insurer can save 212 euros per year.
Another potential cost-saving factor was that all insurance companies offer some kind of bonus program in addition to their health services, which in some cases translates into a cash bonus of up to 325 euros. Others opted for additional tariffs that could lead to cost reductions through contribution payments.
Best Health Insurance Companies in Germany
So, with all these factors in mind, what are the scores at the door? VIACTIV emerged as the overall winner with a score of 84,9, thanks to its comprehensive offering of additional services such as osteopathy and dental care. The study’s authors note that the advantages and conditions of this VIACTIV make it particularly attractive to singles and couples without family.
Second place went to SBK Siemens (80,0), which was found to offer the best overall customer service, with prompt responses to phone calls and short wait times for e-mails. AOK Saxony-Anhalt took third place with an overall score of 79,8, thanks to its strong score in the situational category and its low additional contribution rate of 0,8 per cent.
The overall ranking was as follows:
- VIACTIV Krankenkasse – 84,9
- SBK Siemens-Betriebskrankenkasse – 80,0
- AOK Sachsen-Anhalt – 79,8
- hkk Krankenkasse – 79,7
- AOK Plus – 79,6
- Techniker Krankenkasse – 79,0
- IKK Classic – 78,8
- Mobil Krankenkasse – 78,3
- AOK Bayern – 78,2
- DAK-Gesundheit – 77,4
- AOK Baden-Württemberg – 76,9
- Barmer – 76,8
- AOK Rheinland-Pfalz / Saarland – 76,3
- KKH Kaufmӓnnische Krankenkasse – 75,7
- Audi BKK – 75,5
- AOK Nordwest – 74,8
- AOK Niedersachsen – 74,7
- AOK Nordost – 74,1
- AOK Rheinland / Hamburg – 72,0
- Knappschaft – 71,4
- AOK Hessen – 71,2
Thinking about changing health insurance providers?
If you’re considering switching health insurance, you need to stay with your previous provider for at least 12 months. Then it’s just a matter of taking out a policy with a new provider and telling your old provider. Sometimes a new health insurance company will handle the entire process for you.
However, before you make the switch, the Institute for Service Quality recommends considering your own preferences and health care needs to make sure you have the best balance of benefits, costs and services. There is a combination.