Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dental Insurance Change Causes Protest

An issue over a change of dental insurance supplier has caused a number of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association to protest outside the council chambers building this week.

The issue was with Business Administrator Jack Kelly, who changed the dental insurance provider without consulting the police union.

The resolution was tabled by the council and Viola Richardson claimed that they had not been given sufficient notice of the changes and there had been a lack of information about exactly what the new coverage would involve.

The decision to change provider was apparently made after the current insurer proposed a 4% increase on the current rate. The alternative provider was able to offer the same coverage for the same price they were currently paying.

Members on the Jersey City POBA claimed that Kelly had also endangered the city by understaffing the emergency services alongside continually violating contracts they had with the union.

The president of the Jersey City POBA claimed that Kelly had provided them with absolutely no information about the new policy that was in place. He also said that while the previous contract had now expired the employees could still be covered by the policy. 
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Germans Abandoning Private Health Insurance

Premium increases of up to 50% have many Germans reconsidering their private health insurance policies, with many considering switching to a national health plan.

The news magazine Der Spiegel reported that many health insurance companies increased the price of their policies at the start of 2012, and that is the primary motivation for people to switch.  

The AOK, Germany’s biggest public health insurance organisation with around 24 million members, has reported an increase in enquiries. Several other public insurers have seen a similar increase.

Germany has laws governing medical insurance, and people are only allowed to switch between private and public policies in exceptional circumstances.

People who have lost their job are allowed to change from public to private, as can those whose salary level falls below 45,900. Those moving from self-employed work to a full-time job with a similar pay are also granted permission to change.

Another public health organisation, Barmer GEK, has reported that around 27,600 people have made the switch to public health insurance from private in 2011. This is a 9% rise on the figure reported in 2010. 

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Number of Irish PMI Policy Holders Set To Fall

As the pressure continues to grow on family budgets almost 100,000 people in Ireland are expected to be forced to give up their private health insurance policies in the coming year.

New laws due to be introduced this year mean insurers will be billed every time a person visits accident and emergency at a public hospital, which Health Minister James Reilly has confessed will increase the price of premiums.

People are already electing to give up their private cover, and with insurers certain to pass on their increased costs to policy holders the number is expecting to rise rapidly.

Largely as a direct consequence of the price hikes around 50,000 people gave up their policies in the first 9 months of last year. When the final 3 months is calculated they expect around 75,000 for the entire year.
These figures look set to increase next year, with over 100,000 expected to give up their policies by the end of 2012.

The majority of those are thought to be younger, healthier people which means insurers are left to deal with a higher average claim cost. This in turn increases the pressure on premiums, raising the prices and causing a cyclical effect.

There are now thought to be 2.17 million people in the country with private medical insurance, down 123,000 since the beginning of the recession. 

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