Under the Radar: visit with people who have no health insurance

Eberhard Jeschull leads a life made of glass, and it was a Tuesday in the year 2012, in which it threatened to break. Shortly before, he had discovered in the morning, the blood on his bed sheets, so he was driven to a clinic. Investigations. Wait. Then, on that Tuesday, the call: “We report, because we wanted to make an appointment. Because of the tumor.”

Jeschull says that he was ripped away in that Moment, the ground under the feet. That he did not know in this Moment what he should do. Because this Tumor in the intestine, three inches tall, would probably be the financial Ruin or his death. He was not a Patient like any other.

Life without health insurance

In Germany there is a social Deal: those Who stumble, the community protects. If one is ill, to pay other for him. For Jeschull but this Deal was not the case. Jeschull was not covered by health insurance. Today, at the age of 66, he still is.

Germany’s health system is divided into two parts. In the statutory health insurance, whose contributions are determined by the respective income. And private insurance on the basis of their contributions, among other things, according to the age and state of health of the Individual. Between these two blocks of the health system, a gap, a no man’s land. Exactly as Eberhard Jeschull.

Actually, it is not likely to give a guy like him. Since 2009, all citizens must be insured in Germany. Patients must not be in breach of their funds. For the unemployed, the Jobcenter has to pay the contributions. For all those Who can not pay his contributions, remains assured, but receives only the most necessary services to address acute problems. The OP of the broken arm is taken, and the physical therapy afterwards, probably not more.

Non-how Eberhard Jeschull the right to return to their old health insurance have been secured since 2009. Only: it is not that simple. The way back to a protected life is full of hurdles. An example: Who is over the age of 55 years, shall not normally change in the statutory health insurance when he was last at a private. No matter whether he can afford the contributions. And both for returnees in the private as well as in the statutory insurance, the following applies: you have to repay a portion of the contributions you would have paid normally, since the introduction of the compulsory insurance. Often thousands and thousands of euros.

The difficulties on the way back into the System are a reason for this is that there are nine years after the introduction of the General compulsory insurance are still people without a health card. The micro-census, there are approximately 80,000, experts and NGOs, non-governmental organisations, but from a high dark number. Also, because many of those Affected are not recorded in the microcensus: the homeless, for example, or EU-foreigners as well as Romanians, and Bulgarians. The organization “Doctors of the world” speaks of hundreds of thousands of Uninsured.

Anyone who is on the search for the people without health insurance, you must descend into a world beneath the social radar. It is a journey to Eberhard Jeschull, which is heading for a life in the evening without protection. By Hamburg, where Annette Antkowiak care almost on a daily basis to those who have left the courage. According to Berlin, where Edgar Kreusch to be finally part of the health system wants. And to not die Mrs. M., whose husband, because the company caught him.

Neumünster, Station: Lunch Break. He has covered the car of a customer with a promotional film. Now Eberhard Jeschull in the driver’s seat leans back. He is retired, earned but, as a so-called technicians of advertising, as it used to. And by reading the electric meter. To his orders, he’s in the motorhome. Through his colon cancer, he needs a toilet in the vicinity.

Jeschulls case is exemplary secured for many Germans. He was discharged at the age of 47, had to beat as a self-employed. He decided to take out private health insurance to save money. But it was not enough. Three-quarters of a year and three non-paid posts later Jeschulls insurance had terminated him.

From then on Jeschull paid his bills. Extruded, of a life without health insurance is like a Ride on the blade.

When the cancer came, went Jeschull to Bad Segeberg. To Uwe Denker, a physician and head of the “practice without borders”, which, thanks to donations of uninsured people treat. The practice took on the costs of chemotherapy and surgery. Three months, 28 radiation treatments and a surgery later, the cancer was defeated.

Eberhard Schull went to the doctor, as his Tumor was three centimeters tall. He is not insured been ill for years

In the statutory health insurance Jeschull can’t come back today, he is too old. In private, he can’t, because the posts are there for him to tax. Also, the “base fare”, and all private insurers now have to offer. He had let his-month rates to calculate, says Jeschull. The be is higher than his pension. And for the uninsured years, tens of thousands of euros would be in addition to payments. The office will not help him, yet he has a house he could sell. Jeschull says: “Because I can give me the ball.”

Too rich to be supported by the state, and too poor to be insured. Jeschull, a man from the middle of the society, for many years Chairman of the CDU-mobile bands, is always in a social cul-de-SAC. Dependent on Doctors, who in his mercy.

Over the years, it has developed in Germany, a network of people like Jeschull trying to catch. NGOs, to advise the Uninsured. Clinics without borders, which offer free treatments. Doctors, examine in between times a patient without a health card.

They all want to help. But they all say: would you like to be redundant.

Hamburg, Hansaplatz: Annette Antkowiak is traveling with a sick mobile the Caritas Hamburg sores. Reeperbahn, Central Station, Hansaplatz. Prostitution, Homelessness. The white sick mobile is a small, driving the end of practice, on the inner wall of the Ten commandments against homelessness “hang”. The eighth commandment: “Thou shalt Ill not reject.” Therefore, it is studied here, anyone who wants to.

At some point, the question is: heating oil or insurance was?

At the Hansa square, a blonde woman gets into the car. Uta is guaranteed for two and a half months homeless and uninsured, she says. The approval period for your Hartz IV benefits had expired Recently. And also by the office-paid health insurance. Uta is what you need for the next request. Birth certificate, divorce certificate, Bank statements for the last three months. Certificates of the children’s money. There’s nothing of you, only a few days ago she was robbed in her sleep.

Antkowiak says: “The biggest hurdle the office. It takes courage to go there. Often this works only with the help of social workers. If at all. The experiences make the people in the office, they often resigned. Then the courage to try again is missing.” Uta says: “If it were not for the ill mobile, I’d know where to go.”

The “ill mobile” Caritas is the way in Hamburg

Antkowiak bends forward, stands out in Utas ear, measures the blood sugar. Uta is a diabetic, the Insulin gets you in the railway mission. Antkowiak suppresses your Valerian in the Hand, so that she can sleep, a good friend of Uta died. Then Uta out of the car rises back to the road, past the queue of those waiting for treatment.

Berlin, Teltower Damm

The days on the road Kreusch are over for Edgar. This after all. Kreusch sitting in a counseling office of the “Doctors of the world” and making notes for his way back to the protected life. Item number one on the To-do list: his former health insurance provider to identify.

Kreusch is 51, unemployed, and since around the age of 17 uninsured. Actually, the job centre would have to take over his insurance. But the Problem is: Kreusch has no records, don’t know where he was once insured. And for someone, the life is slipping away, the job centre is not always a support.

As Eberhard Jeschull also Edgar Kreusch was insured privately and independently. He built the exhibition and concert facilities on. A large order was not paid, and 40,000 D-Mark accounted for the debt and, eventually, he could no longer pay the rent, with two suitcases and a Bicycle on the road. The insurance company had him terminated a long time ago.

There is also Edgar Kreuschs began life made out of glass. “Any small accident can be a disaster,” he says. “It makes you think constantly, even when cutting Onions.”

In 2013, the policy wanted non-people pledged to facilitate the return into the System: Five months, you were issued when you enter a cash contribution debt. The window was too small, criticize NGOs, and poorly communicated. Many of those Affected, including as a member of a with got from the debt haircut is nothing. Of course, he says today, each Uninsured for a certain amount of complicity in his Situation.

But how hard a company wants to punish this fault?

North Friesland, in a house on the coast, on a summer day in the year of 2018: Mrs. M. the narrow silver tray on the shelf of your kitchen. The fact everything is need your man tonight fits. Four spoons of white powder, the structure of food, mixed with peach juice, so he has at least something in your stomach. 15 stomach drop, so he keeps it. And 35 drops of dipyrone against pain.

Five ampoules of morphine she was hiding in the house. Mrs. M. hopes that you need. “I wish that my husband just dies in front of weakness,” she says. “The fact that he can go peacefully.”

For the husband of Mrs M. the diagnosis of cancer came too late. In the case of the Pension he was never

Her husband, in the beginning of 70, is already too powerless, to speak about his fate, has colon cancer. He will die of it. Not in the hospital, could not afford the family, but at home. Mrs. M. became calmer, the Good the fact: you can say good-bye in peace. She says that her husband was never one that would be gone due to aches and pains to the doctor.

But of course, there is this question: might Have prevented his death?

The hospital, he could no longer afford

Nine years her husband without health insurance. He also before that: private insurance and self-employed. Then bankruptcy, retirement at 60, the pension is low, the posts are too high, and at some point, the question is: heating oil or insurance?

Somehow, that was. He drove a precaution less bike, but the accident risk. Was able to get over the detours, an antibiotic, as the dog bit him in the Hand. The teeth crumbled, but he could still bite.

On Christmas day, says Mrs. M., because you could feel it, he was very quiet while eating. In April, he writhed in pain. Then Mrs. m was able to persuade him to go to a doctor. Not far away, engaged in a “practice without borders”. His number was Mrs. M. for months on the Desk.

The doctor referred them to the clinic, Mrs. M., paid the bill. After a few days of the diagnosis: two tumors, the metastases, came from. Prognosis: three to four months. That was the beginning of may. Maybe he would be gone, even with insurance, not for Preventive purposes. But he would have at least had a choice.

Your husband will narrow, says Mrs. M., this day, the muscles less, the skin like parchment. It was amazing how fast the go.

Three weeks later, it is coming to an end.