Those with private insurance feel better protected
The healthcare reform is a topic that has constantly been in the news over the last few years. The varied structural changes, the increase in the minimum income level for switching to private health insurance, the constant treatment limitations among statutory health insurers and ultimately the German Health Fund launched on January 1, 2009, have generated uncertainty among German citizens and created doubt regarding the healthcare system. The MLP Health Report 2008 once again highlighted how those with private health insurance feel better protected in the event of illness than those still in statutory health insurance funds. While 89 % of those with private health insurance considered themselves well covered, only 56 % of statutory insurance policy holders came to the same conclusion. The psychological pressure is generating willingness to make the switch or at least stimulating interest in private supplementary insurance.
Better healthcare only via private insurance
The current situation represents great potential for future private health insurance, particularly as it will be easy to see from January 2009 what cost increases the German Health Fund will force upon statutory insurance policy holders. With the introduction of the German Health Fund, anyone previously in a cheap healthcare fund can expect to pay around 20 % more. Added to this is the fact that the treatment for those in statutory health insurance funds is likely to be even further reduced in future while costs increase – meaning that the gap between the performance of private and statutory insurance will become even wider and more obviously apparent.
More and more people will be willing in the mid and long term to sign up for private supplementary insurance to insure themselves against illness and care. We therefore expect to see further increases in brokerage quotas for our sales teams. However, the prerequisite for this is that people have the necessary reserves in their disposable income. The economic slump anticipated in 2009 could, of course, lead to short-term stagnation in demand, although it should then be possible to compensate for this from 2010 onwards, when positive economic development is again expected. The long-term trend is clearly upward.