Do not keep additional contributions artificially low
Experts warn: Keep additional cash contributions not artificially low
Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe (CDU) wants to create more competition among the statutory health insurance funds with future supplementary contributions. Experts fear, however, that some funds could be in financial difficulties if they keep the additional contribution artificially low.
Financial imbalance of individual funds
From 2015, the statutory health insurance funds in Germany can independently levy additional contributions on the general contribution rate of 14.6 percent of the gross income. A message from the news agency dpa According to it said Tuesday in circles of coffers, that the additional contribution could be kept artificial and not based on financial needs, so as not to lose insured. Since the additional contribution is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, such an artificial cap could quickly lead to financial difficulties of individual health insurance companies.
Additional contributions from next year
As of 1 January 2015, the legislator reduces the previous general contribution rate from 15.5 to 14.6 percent. From then on, the funds themselves have the option of determining an additional contribution to be paid by the insured person alone. This should be achieved between the individual health insurance companies more competition. Insured persons must in future be informed by the health insurance funds whether other insurances have more favorable offers and if necessary let the members withdraw. For 2015, the Ministry of Health predicted an average cash contribution of 0.9 percentage points. In health insurance circles, it is assumed that most funds in the first year of the competition will largely follow the given average value. Some should be just under 0.8 percent, others also just about it. In some cases, it was stated that initially no additional contributions would be made.
Increase in the cost of health insurance
Jens Baas, CEO of the Techniker-Krankenkasse (TK) expects that the additional contribution after 2015 will increase very quickly. He pointed to one „Handelsblatt“-Meeting in Berlin on model calculations of his fund. As a result, 2017 is forecasting an increase to 1.16 percent and 2017 to 1.41 percent. This would mean that by the end of the legislature, the average contribution burden will increase from 15.5 to over 16 percent for health insurance alone.
Increase in general expenses
On the part of the GKV-circle of experts, which is composed of experts from the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Insurance Office and the GKV-Spitzenverbandes, a rise in general expenses per insured person by 4.1 percent for the coming year had already been predicted a few weeks ago. However, Christopher Hermann, CEO of AOK Baden-Württemberg, considers the forecast for 2015 to be very optimistic and said: „The circle of valuers has not yet taken note of the fact that the economic expectations have deteriorated significantly.“ (Ad)
Image: Benjamin Klack