Merger to AOK Nordost finally approved



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Merger of the AOK Nordost

Merger to AOK Nordost finally approved: new giant health insurance company AOK Nordost starts in January 2011

The merger of the AOK Berlin-Brandenburg with the AOK Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to form the general local health insurance company AOK Nordost from January 1st, 2011 is resolved. The Minister of Health of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Manuela Schwesig (SPD), and her Brandenburg colleague Anita Tack (left) announced yesterday the approval of the state regulatory authorities to merge the two health insurance companies.

AOK Nordost will have 1.8 million members. The two responsible health ministers handed over the approval notices for the merger of health insurance companies to AOK Nordost yesterday to the CEOs of AOK Berlin-Brandenburg and AOK Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Berlin. At the same time, the ministers signed an administrative agreement to secure future cooperation. From now on, the headquarters of the AOK Nordost will form Potsdam, the legal supervision of the new AOK will lie with the state of Brandenburg. The merger will create one of the ten largest health insurance companies in Germany, with AOK Nordost counting around 1.8 million members in the future - 1.3 million insured persons from the former AOK Berlin-Brandenburg; 475,000 of the former AOK Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

The range of services and branches remain unchanged
According to the two AOKs, the range of services should remain almost unchanged for the time being. All existing tariffs as well as the network of branches and service points with the 112 locations will continue unchanged and the insured will keep their usual contacts, the AOK Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the AOK Berlin-Brandenburg said. Prevention and supplementary programs will continue to be offered unchanged, the health insurers said. In addition, the merger could offer programs that would have proven their worth in one fund to all insured persons of the merged AOKs, as the health insurance companies announced on the occasion of the current approval decision. The combined AOKs will not only form the largest health insurance company in the three federal states in terms of members but also the number of around 5,900 employees. AOK Nordost will in future be one of the largest employers and one of the largest training companies in the region.

AOK merger to strengthen the competitive position With the merger, the two AOKs want to strengthen their competitive position and the designated chief executive officer of the new AOK Northeast, Frank Michalak hopes “through in-house synergies, a better negotiating position with contract partners and further membership growth (...) too No additional contribution in 2011. The Minister of Health of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Manuela Schwesig, said in this regard that it was particularly important for the insured in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania not to pay any additional contributions in the future and to continue to have a contact person in the state. Her counterpart Anita Tack added that the health care of the population in the sparsely populated areas must also be ensured and improved. For his part, Friedrich Wilhelm Bluschke, CEO of the AOK Mecklenburg Vorpommern, emphasized that the requirements of the competition are decisive for the merger and that the merger is also an important signal for a secure future for the employees. Because "with the merger, there will be job security for the new AOK Northeast," said Bluschke.

Industry experts take a critical look at the wave of mergers With the merger of the AOK Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the AOK Berlin-Brandenburg, the wave of mergers already expected by all experts among statutory health insurers is continuing. The number of statutory insurances has already dropped from over 230 to currently 163. For example, the AOK Berlin-Brandenburg was only created at the beginning of the current year through the merger of the general local health insurance companies in Berlin and Brandenburg. However, the mergers are viewed critically by industry experts. Renowned experts such as Rolf Stuppardt from the Federal Association of Guild Insurance Companies assume that the current mergers "have little to do with health economic goals", but primarily aim to achieve a systemically important size in the event of a possible bankruptcy to force government intervention. Similar to the banking crisis, according to Rolf Stuppardt, it would be impossible for the state to process the newly established giant health insurance companies with their millions of insured in insolvency proceedings, so that if the bankruptcy threatened, the state would be forced to rescue the affected health insurance company. (fp)

Also read:
AOK Nordost: New giant fund from 2011
Fusion: An AOK is created from two
New AOK Northeast planned

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