Every year private health insurance premiums increase and for pensioners this can become a real problem. Bianca Boss, from the Association of Insured Person (BdV) in Hamburg, recently stated that young people pay lower premiums and that older people with private health insurance should expect a substantial increase in their insurance premium.


Why should pensioners expect high costs for private health insurance?
According to Bianca Boss, private health insurance premiums are increasing every year by 5-7%, or even more. So everyone can calculate for themselves what their monthly contributions will be when they reach retirement age. Once you retire, your income drops, as you only receive one income: your pension. Less income and higher premiums to pay for health insurance mean that more and more pensioners are having problems with the balance of payments.


Is it possible to help pensioners?
No, unfortunately. A change – in the short term – to a cheaper private insurance company would not solve the situation. People who took out their health insurance before 2009 and wish to change insurance group would completely lose the ageing reserves they had accumulated up to the time of the change. People who joined private health insurance after 2009 will be entitled to the transfer of their ageing reserves, but only to the extent of the basic tariff.
In addition, the new insurance company will again ask about health status, as all insurance applications for medical expenses make very high demands on the applicant’s health. If there is an illness, this may lead to a risk supplement.


What can pensioners do if their premiums are too high?
One option is to look for a cheaper rate within the insurance agency you are already enrolled with – insured persons are legally entitled to do so. However, you should always bear in mind that health insurance is vital – that is why the focus should always be on ensuring a good level of benefits.
In addition, it is not possible to prove that a change in tariff will lead to a reduction in premiums in the long term without a waiver of benefits. Even a tariff may initially be calculated too optimistically. The consequence would be a subsequent adjustment and thus a new premium increase.