AOK and IKK Südwest agree on merger



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AOK Saarland, AOK Rhineland-Palatinate and the IKK Südwest agree on a merger. The new health insurance company will in future bear the name AOK-IKK Südwest.

Two general local health insurance companies, the AOK Rhineland-Palatinate and the AOK Saarland have agreed to merge with the IKK Südwest. The three health insurance companies want to merge at the beginning of the new year. This means that the newly created health insurance company will jointly insure around 1.9 million people.

According to the Rhineland-Palatinate Health Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD), three health insurance companies will form a joint association in 2011. The minister gave the prospective merger date October 1, 2011. The new cash register will then bear the name "AOK IKK Südwest". A total of around 1.9 million people will be looked after in the new health insurance.

Numerous statutory health insurance companies are currently trying to position themselves much better through mergers on the health insurance market. However, a spokesman for the AOK Saarland emphasized that neither the two local health insurance companies nor the IKK guild health insurance company are economically and financially stricken. The only aim is to bundle competencies better through the merger in order to be able to prepare for the upcoming more intense competition in the future. According to the spokesman, the AOK-IKK Südwest is to be connected to the AOK federal association. The new cash register is expected to start in October 2011. However, further negotiations still need to be conducted on this. A final decision will be made by the board of directors in summer 2011. Then the boards of directors of the three health insurance companies are newly elected. The newly elected board members must then approve the merger again. The decision of the supervisory and antitrust authorities is still pending. Here, however, the decision should be made before the summer vote.

No additional contribution planned so far Until the merger of the AOK-IKK Südwest, the insured persons of the three health insurance companies can prepare themselves not to have to pay any additional contributions. Because contrary to the general trend, all three health insurers were able to generate a total surplus of around one million euros. Due to this fact, the AOK spokesman announced that additional contributions will initially be excluded due to the stable economic situation. 16 other health insurance companies are currently charging an additional contribution. The additional contributions are also frowned upon by the health insurance companies, since it has been shown that many of the health insurance companies are exempt from the special termination right after the additional contributions have been collected. However, health economists assume that additional contributions will be widespread in the future due to the rising costs in the health sector. First of all, most health insurers can compensate for their deficit through the increase in premiums as part of the health care reform from 2011 onwards.

Merger has a positive effect The CEO of the AOK Rhineland-Palatinate, Walter Bockemühl, told Südwestfunk that the merger had a positive effect for the insured and the employer alike. The merger will be carried out in order to create an "excellent insurance structure" compared to the other health insurers. This ensures economic stability, says Bockemühl. If the merger takes place, the new health insurance is not only anchored regionally, but also nationwide. With around 1.9 million members in the future, AOK-IKK Südwest will be one of the twelve largest statutory health insurers in Germany.

After the merger, the cash register will have its new headquarters in Eisenberg in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. According to the Minister of Health, the AOK-IKK Südwest will employ around 4,700 people. Since the cash register is much better positioned after the merger, the AOK-IKK Südwest will not only be better anchored in regional terms, but also nationwide in terms of health policy and will therefore be perceived much better.

Nothing will change for the insured after the merger. Health care benefits and amounts will remain the same. The health insurance companies will inform their members about the merger in advance. It can be assumed that after the merger, the insured cards will be gradually converted to the new health insurance name. (sb)

Also read:
BKK Dr. Oetker does not want to charge any additional contributions
Change additional health insurance contributions

Picture: Logo AOK

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