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Health insurers caught wasting contributions

The Local · 14 Aug 2012, 18:40

Published: 14 Aug 2012 18:40 GMT+02:00

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The survey, carried out by the Federal Insurance Office (BVA) and seen by the Bild newspaper, contained several other examples of what it called "gross inefficiency" in the health insurance system.

One insurer rented out 4,700 square metres of office space for ten years at a cost of €96,000 per month - plus an extra €97,500 to install special facilities and furnish the office. It was then found to be only using 40 of the 117 desks, notching up a loss of €13 million.

The BVA also found that insurers were using their members' contributions to hold parties, complete with catering and entertainment, which contravenes government regulations.

The report even revealed one case of massive fraud, which it said the insurance company itself should have noticed long ago - an employee reportedly transferred a total of €459,000 to her private account - spreading 213 transactions over eight years.

The financial situation of many insurers is currently very good. The most recent figures show the country's insurance firms collecting €184 billion in 2011, and spending €180 billion.

The BVA has now demanded better internal control systems, but it also underlined that the inefficiency was not systematic. "They are isolated cases," a spokesman said in Der Spiegel magazine.

Story continues below…

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:16 August 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
So that is what the ex-Stasi are working at nowadays. Seems to be a national trait to spy on people in the land of very strict data protection laws.
17:19 August 14, 2012 by raandy
The article makes contradictory statements .

Office (BVA) and seen by the Bild newspaper, contained several other examples of what it called "gross inefficiency" in the health insurance system.

then near the end it states these are isolated cases, and the problem is not systemic but the BVA is demanding better internal control, who and how are they going to implement this?

I doubt they even scratched the surface.

They showed a 4 billion dollar gain, despite the corruption from with in.

Maybe time to lower the premiums.
20:41 August 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
The 4 Billion gain is probably way below what it should be due to the practice of using up funds as much as possible so as not to be requested to lower premiums. Same practice as with local authorities who dig up roads purely to use up their budget allowance in order to stop it being reduced for the next year.
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