News Higher costs with fewer benefits: Criticism for long-term care insurance
Thursday, 03.08.17 , written by Annabell Meyer Thanks to the Second Welfare Act, many people in need of care have benefited from better benefits since the beginning of the year. For some people with a private long-term care insurance, the change in care, however, brings disadvantages. According to the consumer center Baden-Württemberg, many providers demand higher contributions and at the same time offer fewer services. > For insureds, the changes in care not only benefits
The second stage of the nursing reform provides for changes in the statutory long-term care insurance and supplementary long-term care insurance.
- Since the beginning of the year, many insurers have increased their contributions and thereby cut benefits, criticize consumer advocates.
- A provider change should indeed be considered. But with an individual comparison of the offers you can save money.
Long-term care has been redefined since the beginning of the year with the second Nursing Welfare Act. This means that many people in need of care often have better benefits. Others are entitled to care benefits for the first time. However, the more comprehensive need for long-term care with its five levels of care instead of the three levels of care forces private nursing insurers to act . They have to adapt their services to the new care system.
According to the consumer center Baden-Württemberg this does not happen only in the sense of the insured. Consumer advocates criticize procontra that many vendors have increased their contributions since the changes came into effect and often even cut benefits by as much as 30 to 60 percent . The Association of Private Health Insurance Association (PKV-Verband) justifies the action of insurers with the overall higher benefits for people in need of care, which lead to overspending.
Aging choice for insured: Less benefits or higher contributions
According to the private health insurance association, insurers would have two options to compensate for the rising costs of switching to the care system: premium increases or benefit reductions. Many companies are deciding to cut benefits first in order to minimize the premium adjustment . Because some customers would rather accept restrictions on the services than higher costs, according to the private health insurance association. The Stiftung Warentest advises, however, to calculate exactly whether, despite the lower payments, there is still enough money left over for the care.
If you do not want to risk a funding gap in the case of long-term care, you should take care to increase the reduced benefits again. The consumer center of Baden-Württemberg therefore demands that insurers inform their customers about this possibility and that their benefits be brought back to their current level – without renewed health checks. Whether the criticism of consumer advocates in the insurers heard, remains to be seen.
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Health status is crucial when changing nursing care insurance
Admittedly, people with supplementary long-term care insurance generally receive a special right of termination when the contributions and benefits are adjusted. A provider change, however, is not always the best option for several reasons. For example, a new health check is waiting for the new provider. This is a major disadvantage, especially for people who have been insured for some time and who have had health problems since the beginning of the hedge. Because both with increasing age as well as by possible illnesses increase the contributions.
In the worst case, the new provider even rejects those who are interested if their health status is too risky in his estimation. Therefore, before insureds cancel their old tariff, they should have a firm commitment to another supplementary long-term care insurance so that they do not suffer an insurance gap.
Stiftung Warentest advises to change tariffs instead of termination
If the old nursing supplement tariff is terminated, the contributions already paid will be lost . Likewise, the accrued pension provisions are usually not transferred. Thus insured persons have to start from the beginning with a new tariff, to build up a cushion, so that their contributions remain moderate even in old age or with higher power requirements.
Instead of a termination, the Stiftung Warentest advises to negotiate with the current insurer if he increases the contributions or cuts benefits. At best, a different rate may be chosen within the company that is cheaper or more comprehensive. In this case, the retirement provisions are retained.
What should be interested in private nursing care insurance?
Canceling the existing private long-term care insurance is recommended, if at all, for people who have recently been insured and therefore have not spent too much on it. Just like people who do not have any supplementary care insurance, they should not look for cheap contributions when looking for a new tariff. Because these are useless, if the benefits in case of nursing are not sufficient.
Above all, it is important that the insurance provides sufficient insurance at all levels . For example, some providers offer very good services with the highest care requirements. In the lower levels of nursing, on the other hand, there is a risk of underinsurance. Therefore, it is advisable to compare different offers. The comparison calculator for long-term care insurance helps to find a tariff with the best price-performance ratio.
- Here you will find tips and more information on private nursing care insurance. >
- Annabell Meyer
- editorial staff
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