What is/ are the best gesetzliche Krankenkassen?

116 posts in this topic

Posted

ok, so I'm insured with AOK and so far, so good as I've not had to go to the doctors since moving here. Now I was having a conversation with my neighbour last night, who is, to put it politely the most stuck up snob I've ever met. We got talking about Krankenkassen and she was mortified beyond belief that I was with the AOK because according to her only the lowest of the low have that krankenkasse and advised me that I should change. According to her you get treated like a third class citizen and get the crappiest treatment.

 

This got me wondering what the differences between the various krankenkassen is. Do some offer better services/ less waiting times/ more expensive drugs/ more alternative medicine like massage, homeopathy, kur etc than others? From having done a quick comparison on google the majority all allege to cost about the same (I don't pay any top up) and allegedly offer pretty much the same.

 

Would love to hear your views and experiences and any useful links would be very much appeciated.

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Posted

http://www.finanztip...gkv-rechner.php

 

You are right, galloping clogs , that - for the lay person - the Kassen are 95% the same ( regulated by law ) although there are a few freedoms allowed to differentiate them eg alternative medicine (acupuncture ), vaccinations, rehab, " bonus " points/costs etc. Till a few years ago, there were also quite large differences in the prices so people often chose one which costs less. Times have changed.

 

I usually recommend BKK Pfalz and Techniker, both of which clients have always reported to be happy with but I can´t discount the fact that others may be satisfied with a different Kasse.

 

Check out the link above from finanztip ( sorry it´s in German! ).

 

PS: if your neig :) hbour is such a snob, tell her you´ve taken out private health insurance! Where does she have hers, by the way?!!!

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Posted

the one problem clients of AOK have more often than others is that in the last quarter of every year the local AOKs are informing the dentists (and sometimes certain specialist doctors) that the budget has run out for the year and that the AOK won't reimburse for any treatment anymore. Which then makes the doctors and dentists push your treatment over to next year unless you are in serious pain. As AOK is basically the "default" public health insurances, they get all the problematic cases and all those who never bother to inquire about differences.

If you have been more than 18 months in your current AOK, you have the right to switch anytime to another public health insurnace with two months notice. I side with John with regards to recommended public insurances for better coverage and service. There are also some that offer extra bonus and cost reductions like BIG if you'd rather save some money every year.

 

Cheerio

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Posted

Following on from Starshollow´s points, there is a GOOD reason many people in the public system take out supplementary private health insurance to cover the weaknesses in the system: better dental cover, better alternative medical treatment for those who like a more holistic approach and better treatment in hospital/choice of hospital etc. AND a faster appointment for specialists; oh yes - it´s true.

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Posted

I left AOK and went to Barmer because AOK regularly screwed up the paperwork. Most receipts had to be sent in in triplicate because they kept losing them. Barmer gave me no trouble so far and requests far less receipts/confirmations/statements etc. than AOK did.

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Posted

thanks guys! I will check out Techniker and Barmer as I've heard of them and will also investigate BKK Pfalz.

 

Oh, and of course snobby neighbour is privately insured and pays €1200 per month!!

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Posted

TK comes in tops in all the reviews and when we switched from private to public, all our Drs said TK was the best.

 

We are extremely happy with our last 4+ months on them, including multiple visits for me and the kids. And no, I never wait- if I am sick, my drs tell me to come right in and squeeze me in first thing or whenever they can. No different than when I was on private.

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Posted

I am currently going through some serious health issues and I have repeatedly been told that its a major advantage that Im TKK-insured, as they are a lot more flexible and easy to deal with than many.

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Posted

Why don´t I believe you, gail? You never wait? The docs squeeze you in first thing? Oh, come on! I go to the the docs fairly often these days as an older guy just making sure bits and pieces aren´t falling off too quickly..and I guarantee you: you show that receptionist your private insurance card - and you´re not waiting long. Don´t kid yourself - the docs love private patients- they´d be broke without them.

Sorry - I don´t want to appear rude - I´m not - but there´s a reality out there.

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Posted

Been with the TK for yonks - always great service, always answer any questions promptly etc and as a bonus, when we went to India in 2010 on hols, they picked up the €700+ x 2 innoculations bill as well ( which I did´nt expect )

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Posted

 

the one problem clients of AOK have more often than others is that in the last quarter of every year the local AOKs are informing the dentists (and sometimes certain specialist doctors) that the budget has run out for the year and that the AOK won't reimburse for any treatment anymore. Which then makes the doctors and dentists push your treatment over to next year unless you are in serious pain. As AOK is basically the "default" public health insurances, they get all the problematic cases and all those who never bother to inquire about differences.

If you have been more than 18 months in your current AOK, you have the right to switch anytime to another public health insurnace with two months notice. I side with John with regards to recommended public insurances for better coverage and service. There are also some that offer extra bonus and cost reductions like BIG if you'd rather save some money every year.

I think back in the days before there was (edit) no freedom of choice the AOK was the Kasse for the working class whereas Barmer for example was for white collars. Some say AOK = Assoziale Ortskrankenkasse

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Posted

I am with TK as well. I am pretty happy with them, they have been paying for my allergy desensitization with no issue as well as my anti-allergy bed covers. They pay for some herbal and homeopathy stuff if you are interested in that, if I recall it is 70% of the costs for those sort of treatments. When there has been paperwork to do, they were always quick and polite. If you need to call them and don't like being on hold or are worried that you will get charged for the call by your phone company, you can request that they call you instead and the actually call when you request them to.

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Posted

You know, John, I am sick of you calling me a liar. Three weeks ago I walked into my internist and got an uberweisung for an emergency to my OB (across the hall). I said my lungs hurt and I would be back. My ob squeezed me in 90 minutes later for an ultrasound. Then I went back to the internist, who took me during lunch because I had talked to his receptionist when I got the uberweisung.

I got antibiotics and two inhalers. A week later, I called and said I felt better, but not tip top- should I wait. They said no- come in first thing. I was there next day at 8.15 after dropping my kids at school. He saw me at 8.30. Another week of a different antibiotic and a stronger inhaler (and told to use it more or go to hospital).

 

Three weeks ago, my little needed a release to go to school because of an outbreak in the kita- I walked in with her to my Dr, not hers(the pediatrician opens later), at 8.15. He saw us and wrote the release (attest) at 8.30 so she could be back in time for Kreis.

 

Just before Christmas- we were going to visit friends- there was a Hep A outbreak in their Kita. I called my Pediatrician, he special ordered Hep A vaccine and vaccinated my 2 kids, my husband, and myself when the vaccine arrived two days later. TK paid because of the special circumstance even though that is not a standard vaccination. He squeezed us in even though his waiting room was overflowing with grippe, etc.

 

My older had a dermatitis outbreak, my husband walked her in to a dermatologist next day for a prescription for a 2% steroidal cream (OTC in US, prescription here).

 

My other had a wart- we walked in every week to have it burned until it was done- no appointment, they took us as soon as a room was empty. All these for the children free. For me a co-pay so small who the hell cares, once a quarter.

 

John, I know you make money on private. Stop calling me a liar when I tell you that public is the best I have ever had. I was here on private for 4 years and I know what I am talking about.

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Posted

According to the Internet the gesetzliche KKen are sitting on a gigantic pile of money so the question is - which one of them will give back some premiums to the assured? Then we know which is the best.

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Posted

TK does if you take health classes, I have read, but not yet tried. They offer the classes, both fitness and guidance. Some discounted (like pilates) some free (nutrition).

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Posted

Gail I don't think John is a liar. Reality says he's right. Your point may be an exception. I never have to wait when I'm at home and visit my parent's Dr (edit: Dres. because it's two of them) simply because they know me for my for aeons. But in general John is definitely right- Doctores would simply go broke without the privates and so they favour them.

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Posted

Poppet- He says that private gets seen faster. That's a lie. He says that I am incorrect and he says it frequently. I was private here for four years and I was seen exactly as quickly as I am now. And I don't know where you are from- seen immediately means that day to me. From NYC to Berlin to my husband's tiny town in West Germany- I have never seen a DR without a full waiting room. Including my cousin's, who does not walk away from his patients to take me- he takes me after the emergencies and between scheduled patients!

 

Did you miss this:

Why don´t I believe you, gail? You never wait? The docs squeeze you in first thing? Oh, come on! I go to the the docs fairly often these days as an older guy just making sure bits and pieces aren´t falling off too quickly..and I guarantee you: you show that receptionist your private insurance card - and you´re not waiting long. Don´t kid yourself - the docs love private patients- they´d be broke without them.

Sorry - I don´t want to appear rude - I´m not - but there´s a reality out there.

 

This is what I said:

And no, I never wait- if I am sick, my drs tell me to come right in and squeeze me in first thing or whenever they can. No different than when I was on private.

 

So, I am tired of him calling me a liar. I know he makes money selling insurance, but I don't. And I don't call him a liar.

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Posted

I'm with TK and I haven't had much of a problem. Then again, I've only ever been to the doctor for regular check-ups, perscription refills and one stint in the hospital.

 

The only minor issue I had is when I changed my bank account at a TK office in Cologne... And it never got done. A quick phone call to the service centre had them debiting money from the correct account (the account change was done in the wrong section of my file, or something) and refunding my late fees. The rep even shocked the heck out of me by being friendly on the phone. :)

 

I'm quite happy with them, though most publicly insured people I know are also on TK -- I don't really have anything to compare it to from personal experience...

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Posted

 

Gail I don't think John is a liar. Reality says he's right. Your point may be an exception. I never have to wait when I'm at home and visit my parent's Dr (edit: Dres. because it's two of them) simply because they know me for my for aeons. But in general John is definitely right- Doctores would simply go broke without the privates and so they favour them.

 

I know that my English sucks but that's a new low

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