Bahr: Health insurance companies should reimburse the practice fee

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Health insurance abolishes practice fee

After the Hanseatic health insurance company HEK announced that the practice fee would be abolished, the Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr asked other health insurance companies to follow the positive example.

The Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr (FDP) has praised the Hanseatic Health Insurance Fund HEK for using the surpluses to financially relieve the insured. Last week, the HEK announced that it would reimburse the cash register members for the dentist's practice fee retrospectively until the beginning of the year if they were also participating in a dental bonus program. Bahr asked other statutory health insurance companies to do the same. However, criticism came from the opposition. Bahr should act himself and abolish the practice fee, so the credo.

No practice fee for visiting the dentist
The regionally based Hanseatische Krankenkasse HEK will be the first to reimburse the practice fee for visiting the dentist. With this step, the cash register says it will forego around 2.5 million euros per year. To benefit from the reimbursement, patients must first pay the practice fee of 10 euros to the dentist (we reported). The money is then transferred to the patient's account upon presentation of a bonus booklet and the practice fee receipt.

The Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr spoke positively about the decision of the HEK Kassenrat and at the same time asked other health insurance companies to take this step as well. "The HEK is the first health insurer to contribute to the financial surpluses," said Bahr in an interview. The health minister assumes that other statutory health insurance companies will follow suit. In addition, the HEK designed a program by creating further incentives for dental health.

Check-ups at the dentist anyway without a practice fee
Michael Rauschen, deputy general manager of the "Hartmannbund" medical association, clarified in an interview with the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung" that "this is certainly not an automatic blueprint for the entire medical sector". "For example, the use of dental services in different ways is a different reality than other medical services," continued Rauschen. For example, health insurance patients do not have to pay a practice fee for two check-ups a year at their dentist. The practice fee is only payable if therapies beyond this are necessary.

The practice fee was introduced to reduce unnecessary visits to the doctor. However, since the introduction, the number of visits to the doctor has not decreased, but has even increased. Instead, the additional fee has become a constant source of income for health insurance companies. For a long time now, numerous politicians have been calling for the fee to be abolished.

Health minister should abolish practice fee himself
Instead of praising a single health insurance company, "the Minister of Health Bahr should abolish the practice fees for all those insured by law," criticized the health politician of the "Die Linke" faction, Harald Weinberg, the "praises of praise" of the minister. Weinberg emphasized that only 400,000 insured are affected by the de facto abolition. "That is only around 0.5 percent of the insured and that only at the dentist." Instead of praising a health insurance company, Bahr should act himself. “Since March there has been an application from LINKEN to abolish the practice fee. As long as Bahr navigates around. ”But according to statements by the left-wing politician, the FDP and the Union would vehemently refuse to deal with the left's request in order to have it subsequently voted in parliament. Therefore the behavior of the minister is "double-tongued populism". Either the minister takes the initiative himself or defends the practice fee. Neither is possible, the politician criticized. (sb)

Also read:
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The first health insurance company reimburses the practice fee
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