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Expert tips for taking out private supplementary health insurance
Not all services provided by doctors or dentists are covered by statutory health insurance. Some of the expensive measures are not covered. Many are therefore considering private supplementary insurance. However, not everything that is advertised really makes sense. Experts give important tips on what to consider when taking out such insurance.
Additional private insurance can be worthwhile
Something can happen again and again: Sometimes the glasses go in two, dentures become necessary or a complex hospital treatment is pending. Statutory health insurance in Germany only pays for the bare essentials. Therefore, private supplementary insurance can sometimes be worthwhile. However, not all policies are useful. The statutory health insurance companies often only participate in treatment up to a certain limit. Patients who do not want to bear the additional costs alone should observe a few basic rules when taking out additional insurance. In a message from the dpa news agency, experts explain what these are and give valuable tips.
Show prudence and compare offers
The basic principle is to show prudence. Ulrike Steckkönig from the Stiftung Warentest in Berlin says: "No additional private insurance - with the exception of travel health insurance abroad - is absolutely necessary." Rita Reichard from the NRW consumer center in Düsseldorf explains that one should always compare offers: "Interested parties should in any case Obtain several offers from various private insurance companies, ”says the expert. According to Reichard, private policies from different providers differ greatly in their services and tariffs.
It is better to weigh the tariffs carefully
In some cases, you do not have to contact another provider, because some statutory health insurers offer their members additional benefits as optional tariffs. Ms. Steckkönig explains: "Optional tariffs can be an opportunity for those who have been rejected by private insurers for reasons of age or illness." However, the minimum commitment is one year for some optional tariffs and three years for others. In addition, the additional protection does not apply for life. In addition, the health insurance fund can cancel the tariffs at any time if it is under-calculated. "So it can happen that insured persons pay into an optional tariff for years without ever benefiting from its benefits," says PKV press officer Dirk Lullies.
Dental insurance is often taken out
Dental supplementary insurance is one of the most common voluntary insurance policies that are taken out in Germany. In many cases, the expenses cannot be covered with the subsidy that insured patients receive for crowns, bridges or implants. From Rita Reichard's point of view, additional insurance can make sense from the NRW consumer center. "Here too, however, a precise examination of the tariffs offered is essential, since different services are offered." However, it can already help if patients specifically ask for alternatives when there are upcoming dentures. Then the costs are often already covered by the health insurance subsidy.
Supplementary insurance for illness
Even if there is a chief doctor's treatment or single room in the clinic only with private supplementary insurance, such additional hospital insurance is not always worthwhile from the perspective of the Consumer Advice Center in North Rhine-Westphalia. "In this way, many insurers do not cover treatment costs in a private clinic if there is no contractual relationship with the patient's statutory health insurance fund," explains Reichard. In addition, consumers should clarify up to what amount medical chief fees are reimbursed. If employees are on sick leave, they receive continued wages from the employer for the first six weeks and are usually financially secured. According to the Consumer Advice Center NRW, it is often not worthwhile for employees to take out daily sickness benefit insurance. The self-employed and freelancers, on the other hand, should definitely cover loss of income in the event of illness.
Insurance coverage on vacation
The following applies to travel and vacation: "International travel health insurance is a must under the additional policies," said Steckkönig from the Warentest Foundation. Protection of statutory health insurance is not sufficient even within the European Union. "It does not cover any medically necessary return transport," Steckkönig explains. This also applies to some treatment costs. In countries outside the EU, you are normally no longer insured at all through your domestic health insurance. If you plan to stay in distant countries, you should not take out the various travel insurance policies as a package, insurance experts advise. Because some of the services that are offered in an all-round carefree package - consisting of travel health insurance, cancellation insurance and luggage insurance - are already covered by other insurance policies. (ad)