Expert: Rapid increase in additional contributions

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Expert: Rapid increase in additional contributions.

Two weeks before the passage of the Medicines Act and the financing reform of the statutory health insurance funds (GKV), the opposition and social organizations warn against excessive concessions for private health insurance (PKV), pharmaceutical lobby and employers. Health economists are also forecasting a rapid increase in additional contributions for insured persons in statutory health insurance.

Opposition and social organizations criticize unilateral health care reform
The Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) is currently trying to calm associations and critics. But he cannot hide the fact that the planned health care reform is above all a reform for the private health insurance and pharmaceutical industry and is against the statutory health insurance. Ultimately, the benefits for the interest groups have to pay those who are insured in the SHI. At the hearing on Monday in the Bundestag, the minister tried to give the impression that the financial path of statutory health insurance could go in another direction. Because the criticism of social organizations and opposition parties is devastating. But whether this is still possible is more than questionable, since the GKV Financing Act and the Medicinal Product Reorganization Act (AMNOG) were finally passed in early November. The health care reform should be implemented and effective as early as January 1, 2011.

PKV Association welcomes plans for health reform
In contrast to the GKV associations and opposition, the PKV welcomes the planned reforms. Here one is particularly pleased to be able to tap more insured persons from the GKV in the future. Because the three-year waiting period for switching from SHI to PKV should be lifted. "With this, the legislator sets a very important impulse for the freedom of choice of the insured and the system competition between the GKV and PKV", says the statement of the PKV for the hearing in the Bundestag. But you don't want to believe in a real boom. But a rapid change of members is feared by the statutory health insurance companies. Due to the loss of numerous members, the GKV association fears that contributions for the insured will grow steadily. The Federal Association of German Employers' Associations (BDA) criticizes the government's “half-hearted attempts to save”.

Health insurance patients remain at the expense
The social association Germany VDK sees in the health reform the attempt to make the till patients to the "milking cow". The chairman of the association, Adolf Bauer, again pleaded for solidarity-based contribution financing to be launched. It cannot be that the members of the health insurance fund are unilaterally charged with ever increasing additional contributions. Because the Minister of Health Rösler has enshrined in the changes in the law that the additional contributions may in future be determined by the health insurance companies themselves. This is a sign that the Federal Ministry of Health also expects that contributions will increase in the future. At the same time, the chairman of the association warns against introducing a reimbursement (prepayment model at the doctor). This will very likely result in many people no longer being able to pay for the necessary health services and therefore no longer being used. Bauer calls for higher incomes to participate more in the financing of statutory health insurance.

The left goes one step further. Martina Bunge from the DIE LINKE parliamentary group in the Bundestag speaks of the destruction of health insurance based on solidarity as a guarantee of comprehensive health care. In the future, employers will be exempt from participating equally in rising health insurance contributions. Private health insurance is getting more and more earners, while statutory health insurance is suffering from a lack of finance. The medical profession finally gets what it wanted: the prepayment to the doctor. With its reform, the federal government is strengthening the private health insurance system, explains Thomas Ballast, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Replacement Funds. Ballast expects around 100,000 well-earning SHI members to switch to PKV from 2011. This significantly weakens the statutory health insurance system. The PKV system is anything but stable and will be strengthened at the expense of the GKV.

Expert: Increase in additional contributions as early as next year
Cologne health economist Markus Lüngen predicted that in 2012 there would be additional contributions of an average of just under four euros. "In the years that followed, things went up very rapidly." With the annual additional expenditure of around two percent, according to his calculations, all 50 million insured persons would be entitled to the social compensation provided for in the law in 15 years. The German Federation of Trade Unions also speaks of a rapid increase in additional contributions. According to the DGB, the additional contributions are a flat rate per head through the back door. For the year 2025, the DGB expects an additional flat rate per head of 100 euros. (sb, 10/27/2010)

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Image: Karin Jähne /

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