Additional contribution from the health insurers increases to 21 euros in 2012



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According to a scientific analysis, the average additional health insurance premium increases to 21 euros in 2012

According to an evaluation by the University of Cologne, the additional contribution from the statutory health insurance companies could be 21 euros nationwide as early as 2012. By the end of this year, the average additional contribution should be nine euros. The Federal Ministry of Health objects to the scientific calculations. After all, the SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach is head of the institute.

21 euros additional contribution already in 2012 Around 50 million people are members of a statutory health insurance company. According to an analysis by the Institute for Health Economics and Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Cologne, the average additional contribution could already be around 21 euros in 2012. This applies not only to individual funds, but calculated on average for all contributors. For 2013, the scientific institute is even assuming an additional contribution of 33 euros. And by the end of the decade (2019), each health insurance fund member would have to spend a flat fee of around EUR 120 per month in addition to the regular health care contributions. The uncertainties in the assessment can mean significant income losses for ordinary people, the researchers warned. If, for example, the deficit of the health insurance companies is underestimated by 5 billion euros, the recipient of an income of 800 euros already has an income loss of one percent. "In future, the government's determination of the additional contribution can have far more serious financial consequences for individuals than wage agreements" on the labor market.

Federal government disagrees with the evaluations
The Federal Ministry of Health appeased and referred to the fact that the SPD health politician Dr. med. Karl Lauterbach belongs to the institute in a leading position. Therefore, the Ministry suspects that the institute's calculations are "politically colored". In a statement, it was pointed out that the calculations were "dubious" and "unsustainable". Finally, the financial situation of the health fund is balanced and thus the stability of the health system is guaranteed. However, it is undisputed that health expenditure will continue to rise in the coming years. It was not for nothing that the federal government abolished the capping of the additional contribution amount in the course of the health care reform. This is because the allocations from the health fund are becoming smaller and smaller in relation to expenditure, and the health insurers will have to carry out financial compensation in the future by means of additional contributions.

There is therefore no contradiction to the presentation that the additional contributions would increase in the future. However, Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) maintains its own forecasts. The average additional contribution will increase in the coming year (2012) to around 10 euros and two years later, (2014) to 16 euros. The calculations by the University of Cologne are therefore "baseless and lack any basis". Rather, behind the publication of the numbers, one suspects a politically motivated tactic to "unsettle the insured" and to promote one's own content. Lauterbach is one of the biggest critics of the black and yellow health care reform.

SPD criticized additional contribution as "small head allowance"
The SPD opposes this, because the further burdens on workers are being produced by the federal government. “Black and yellow probably introduced the small head allowance whitely” to pass the health costs on to the citizens regardless of income. The social compensation provided only applies if the average lump sum has exceeded the limit of two percent of gross income. That is why they are campaigning for the concept of "citizen insurance", which is "based on the principles of solidarity and the individual performance of the insured". In the coming weeks, the party wants to present its own concept and promote a "fairer health policy".

Horrendous increase in the additional contribution burden The Institute for Health Economics had already carried out an evaluation on the same subject on behalf of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) in October last year. At that time, the economists calculated the additional contribution based on two different scenarios. If the expenditure of the health insurance funds would only increase by two percent more than the premium income, an additional contribution of 97 euros would be due in 2025. The contributors would then have an additional annual burden of 1164 euros. At this moment, every employee who earns less than EUR 4,827 gross per month would be entitled to social compensation.

Cover gap of 2.3 billion euros
Other health economists such as Jürgen Wasem, professor of medical management at the University of Duisburg-Essen, came to milder forecasts. The expert assumes a prospective coverage gap of around 2.3 billion euros for the coming year. According to his calculations, the additional contribution would have to rise to an average of EUR 3.70 in 2012. The following year (2013) the lump sum would have to be raised to around EUR 10. In just nine years (2020), cash register members would already have to raise 120 euros per month. However, the expert restricts, one can only assume the current framework conditions. The current contribution rate, expenditure in the health care system and the tax funds provided are included in the assessment. Different results come about when the analyzes are based on different business forecasts by the health insurance companies.

Additional contribution animates willingness to change
The additional contributions are also unpopular with health insurance companies. Currently, only 13 health insurance companies are charging an additional contribution. The insured people acknowledge the introduction in large numbers with the right to special termination and changed the fund. Around half a million people have turned their backs on their till last year. A total of eight million insured are currently affected by additional premiums. An economic analysis by the management consultancy “Steria Mummert Consulting” had also indicated that the current administrative effort to collect the lump sums was too high to derive any economic benefit from this. Delayed payers even cause a huge deficit, according to the consulting company. At the same time, the health insurance companies have announced that in an emergency they will also pledge the additional contribution from their income. In addition, high reminder fees are charged to send a clear warning signal.

AOK demands more services
If the premiums increase, then people should also have more optional benefits, according to the AOK Rheinland-Hamburg general local health insurance fund. "If the insured have to pay more, then they also want something in return," said CEO Wilfried Jacobs. Either way, health insurance members have to adjust to rising health care costs. Demographic change, higher spending on pharmaceuticals and medical innovations are mainly responsible for the increase in premiums in the form of additional premiums. (sb)

Read on this topic:
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