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Radical reform of the health system called for

Radical reform of the health system called for

TK chief for radical reform of the health insurance system

The CEO of Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), Norbert Klusen, has called for a radical reform of the healthcare system. "In the long term, the difference between private patients and health insurance patients must disappear," emphasized the TK boss.

In an interview with the "Financial Times Deutschland" (FTD), Klusen advocated the abolition of the two-class system in health insurance, whereby he thought that the statutory health insurance (SHI) would be converted from public corporations into public companies or mutual insurance companies should be done. Klusen's considerations are based on a current report on the future structuring of the health insurance market.

Competition between private and statutory health insurers In view of the growing problems with private health insurance (PKV), several statutory health insurers have spoken out in the past few weeks for a fundamental reform of the insurance system. Mostly with the tenor that the abolition of private health insurance is necessary. The CEO of Techniker Krankenkasse is now treading a new path and, instead of dissolving the PKV, is demanding competition on the same terms. His conception was that in this way the long-term difference between private patient and insured person would disappear, Norbert Klusen told the FTD. Like recently, his TK boss asked his colleague from the AOK, "whether today's separation of private and statutory health insurance is still sensible." Klusen's answer, however, goes in a fundamentally different direction. Instead of abolishing private health insurance, statutory health insurance companies are to be brought into line with private insurers in terms of their legal status. In the future, private and statutory providers could compete or cooperate under the same legal framework, explained Klusen, referring to a current report that excerpts were presented to the FTD. In this way, both systems would develop into a single insurance market with more competition and transparency, according to the TK boss.

Reform of the health insurance system called for The radical reform approach of the TK board chairman foresees a transformation of the statutory health insurance companies into joint stock companies or mutual insurance companies in order to bring an end to the two-class system. The previous separation of the insured according to occupational and income groups would therefore come to an end. With his advance, Klusen opens up new perspectives for the debate about the future of the German health insurance system. In view of the financial difficulties and the corresponding increase in premiums at various private insurers, individual chairpersons of the statutory health insurance funds had heavily attacked the private health insurance in recent weeks and indirectly called for their abolition. In politics, the unique German health insurance system with two types of insurance running in parallel is also quite controversial and more and more politicians have recently advocated a fundamental reform. "The time is ripe to think about changes," emphasized the chairman of the TK board, who resigned in the summer.

Objectification of the debate about the future of the health insurance system With the presented report, the TK boss hopes to contribute to objectification of the debate about the future of the health system. Here, the first steps are shown "how we could open the rigid boundaries between private and legal," emphasized Klusen. His proposal offered the statutory health insurance companies the option of offering their own additional services or buying them directly from doctors, clinics or pharmaceutical manufacturers, thus competing with private health insurance companies. In principle, however, according to the expert opinion submitted, the GKV's catalog of services should not be shaken any more than the different financing of the two systems, reports the "FTD". The private health insurance should continue to be reserved only for certain professional and income groups, determine their contributions depending on the risk and be able to choose their insured. It remains to be seen whether this means a kind of partial privatization of the statutory health insurance companies to remedy the differences in benefits between the approximately 72 million statutory health insurers and the almost nine million private insured persons and whether the contributions in the private health insurance will not continue to explode, but Klusen 's initiative at least helps to revive the situation the debate about the future of the German health insurance system. (fp)

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