End of unit contributions requested from the health insurance companies
According to the assessment of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), the uniform contributions of the statutory health insurers are at the expense of the competition. The deputy general manager of the DIHK, Dr. Achim Dercks therefore spoke in favor of repealing the current regulation of the health fund and instead allowing the health insurance companies to set their contribution rates individually.
Like Dr. Dercks explained to the "Handelsblatt" that, in his opinion, "the statutory health insurance companies should be able to set their contribution rates individually so that cost differences between them become more visible." This would stimulate competition and insured persons and companies could benefit from clear price signals, said the deputy DIHK managing director further. According to Dr. Dercks continue to not exceed 15.5 percent of income.
Insufficient financial autonomy of the health insurance funds The DIHK estimates that the currently too "low financial autonomy" of the statutory health insurance funds means that there are no differences in costs and that competition is prevented. Although the statutory health insurers (GKV) generated a total surplus of around 20 billion last year, the contributors do not benefit in the form of premium reductions. According to the deputy DIHK managing director, this is unacceptable, which is why legislative consequences are also necessary. Dr. According to Dercks, a fundamental course correction in German health policy is needed. The standard contribution of 15.5 percent that has been in effect for all statutory health insurance companies since 2009 must be abolished or should in future only apply as an upper limit for the individually collected health insurance contributions.
Signals from falling contribution rates If the health insurance company can determine its own contributions, the "cost differences between them will become more visible again," explained Dr. Achim Dercks. There would also be more opportunities for health insurance companies to let their insured participate in positive financial developments. "Longer-term signals from falling contribution rates would be the right way", says Dr. Dercks. The capping to a maximum of 15.5 percent of income prevents the labor market from being burdened by future increases in health care costs. All costs that the insurance companies incur should therefore continue to be covered by additional contributions.
GKV umbrella association also for premium autonomy The umbrella association of statutory health insurers also spoke out about a reintroduction of premium autonomy about two weeks ago. As the chairman of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds, Doris Pfeiffer, explained to the "Rheinische Post", the competition between health insurers also requires price competition. However, this is currently limited to additional contributions and bonus distributions. According to Pfeiffer, the significant surpluses of the health insurance companies would have long led to falling premiums with existing premium autonomy. Individual statutory health insurers had confirmed to her that under the previous conditions they had already reduced their contribution rate for comparable surpluses.
DIHK favors controversial head allowances The head allowances favored by the DIHK - "consistently non-salary, flat-rate premiums that each health insurer charges individually" - offer a high degree of financial autonomy for health insurance companies. But to a certain extent they also undermine the principle of solidarity in health insurance. Similar to the tax, the previous income dependency of the insurance premiums means a higher participation of the better earners, while the low income are burdened significantly less. The SPD, Left and Greens are therefore strictly against the introduction of a corresponding head allowance, in which the bakery shop assistant ends up paying the same rate as a bank director. (fp)
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Health insurance: What will change in 2016351a2cc0b08c03 /> Photo credit: Benjamin Klack / pixelio.de