Additional contribution Social compensation an air number

Additional contribution Social compensation an air number / Health News

Supplementary contribution: Social compensation an air number?


In the course of the health care reform low earners and Hartz IV recipients of additional contributions from the statutory health insurance funds should be spared by means of social compensation. No health insurance provider should spend more than two percent of his income on the additional contribution. Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) now apparently wants to undermine this clear decision of the Federal Government.

When the health reform of the Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) was implemented at the turn of the year, it was announced by the federal government that the reforms were „socially acceptable“, because a so-called social compensation makes the additional contributions affordable also for low income groups. No insured person should spend more than two percent of his income on an additional contribution. This promise on the part of the black-yellow coalition could soon as „Luft number“ out. According to information of the newspaper „Frankfurter Rundschau“ Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble refuses to provide enough financial resources for social compensation. In his budgetary plan, which runs until 2015, Schäuble undermines a decision by his own party to provide further taxation for the compensation by 2015 at the latest.

At present, two billion euros are available for social compensation in the health fund. The planned funds will be available by 2014 at the latest. Thereafter, new taxpayers' money would have to go to the health fund to ensure social security. However, the social compensation is also based on the average additional contributions. However, as currently only a minority of health insurance companies charge an additional contribution, the average compensation currently stands at zero euros. But that should change soon. Only on the weekend it became known that, for example, the AOK Kassenverbund has a deficit of around half a billion euros. Many industry experts now expect that some of the local health insurance funds have to raise an additional contribution in a timely manner.

Since the federal government abolished the capping of additional contributions in the course of the health care reform, the funds have to fall back on the funds of the additional contributions in a financial distress to cope with rising costs in the health system. An expertise prepared by the University of Cologne on behalf of the German Trade Union Confederation already predicted an increase in additional contributions to € 100 per month by the year 2025. The main reason for this is rising drug prices, ever-higher doctor fees and demographic change. Ultimately, all people have to adjust to massively rising health expenditure. These are the dark sides of an aging society.

The health expert of the SPD, dr. Karl Lauterbach sharply criticized Schäuble's approach. So said Lauterbach opposite the „FR“: „It is a scandal that the low earners with the additional contribution should be left alone“. After all, even a finance minister must adhere to the decisions of his own government, added Lauterbach.

This process borders on a scandal and disregards all democratic principles. It is to be feared that low income earners will be vulnerable to impoverishment because a single ministry disregards government decisions. (Sb)

Picture: Gerd Altmann