PKV study: 16 insurers expected above-average premium adjustments
The Association of Insured Persons (BdV), together with the analyst Carsten Zielke, took a close look at the Solvency II reports of private health insurers. They wanted to find out how well health insurers are positioned for the future. With 16 providers, premium adjustments would have to be feared in the next five years, which would go beyond “medical inflation”, the conclusion.
The Association of Insured Persons (BdV) and Carsten Zielke from Zielke Research Consult have analyzed the Solvency II reports of private health insurers. The new prudential rules oblige companies to disclose these reports: they should shed light on how safe and stable the health insurers are. But for the conditions of the German market, the requirements are only partially suitable, so a result of the study. The best performers in the transparency rating were the Hallesche, Universa and Signal, whose solvency reports were given the greatest transparency and significance.
Nine ratios of insurers were compared :
Zielke and BdV want to show how well the insurer performs with the individual values with a simple traffic light system . Green means: the insurer is adequately well positioned. Yellow on the other hand: there is room for improvement. A red light is intended to illustrate the urgent need for action. On the website of the BdV the individual results as well as a commentary from Zielke to each insurer are available.
PKV insurers can secure solvency with premium adjustments
“The solvency reports of the private health insurance companies have their greatest strength in information on capital investments and profit estimation,” said BdV board spokesman and actuary Axel Kleinlein. “The solvency itself is of lesser interest because insurers can quickly adjust to difficult situations by adjusting premiums – and they do that regularly to the chagrin of the insured.”
The reports could indeed be helpful in order to be able to assess the short-term expectations of premium adjustments, reports the BdV in a press release. For the investigation, Zielke has derived estimates from the solvency reports for which companies are expected to make adjustments. “Longer-term assessments, however, are not deducible from the solvency reports,” said the analyst.
Thus shows that the solvency reports only partially reflect the questions of consumers, criticized the BdV. However, the development of the rules did not focus on the German market at all. “The German private health insurance is a real exotic in international comparison,” says Kleinlein, because insurers could react just with premium adjustments.
No company with negative profit expectations
Therefore, the analysts are more confident about the statement of capital investments and profit expectations than the solvency. Here are significant differences to the life insurance, the BdV had also previously tested. It is true that the majority of private health insurers (21 of the 40 insurers) have problems in identifying a profit expectation which is acceptable from the consumer’s point of view. Nevertheless: no company has a negative profit expectation.
The average of the expected profits / own funds in the private health insurers at 71 percent, according to the study. In the case of life insurers, however, only eight percent: Here, the private health insurance providers are much more stable. The highest profits expect the companies Württembergische, Vigo and Mecklenburg.
Above average contribution adjustments to expect
As far as long-term premium adjustments are concerned, the solvency reports have only limited significance, according to the criticism already mentioned above. Therefore, the study is limited to forecasts for the next five years.
Negative: With 16 providers, BdV and Zielke see a tendency for a premium adjustment within the coming 5-year period, which go beyond the “medical inflation”. This refers to insurers who have to increase their contributions more than would be the result of cost developments in the healthcare system as a result of demographic trends and drug advances.
With a red light regarding premium stability (“urgent need for action”), the study organizers rated the following insurers (in alphabetical order): Axa, BBKK, Debeka, DKV, Deutscher Ring, Gothaer KV, Hallesche KV, HUK-Coburg, Inter , Liga KV, Münchener Verein, Nürnberger, Pax Familienfürsorge, Süddeutsche KV, Universa and Vigo.
Leader Debeka also with red traffic light
In the overall result with “red” and thus “urgent action” also Debeka was rated, market leader in private health insurance with 2.3 million contracts. The Koblenzers also expect an above-average increase in premiums within the next five years, according to the assessment.
“Debeka shows a low surplus fund, which is rather average in relation to the performance-related premium refund (RfB) provision,” Carsten Zielke says. “The RfB ratio is also rather average, making premium adjustments likely, and capital investment could be more diversified to sustainably generate sufficient returns.” The SCFR report reflects only generalities. ”
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