Increase in health insurance contributions feared

Health experts fear a significant increase in health insurance premiums in the coming year. According to the report, members of the health insurance fund will have to reckon with an additional charge of up to 300 euros per year.

According to the news magazine "Der Spiegel," the Allgemeine Ortskrankenkassen (AOK) expect a uniformly fixed contribution rate of about 15.6 percent of gross wages when the health fund is introduced. That is 0.7 percentage points more than the current average contribution. After Federal Health Minister Ulla Schmidt (SPD) promised doctors in private practice a fee surcharge, the AOK fears additional costs of 2.5 billion euros as a result of this alone, according to the report. At least 1.5 billion euros additionally budgeted by the AOK for in-patient care. The Bayreuth health economist Peter Oberender also ames a significant increase in health insurance contributions. "We estimate that contributions will rise from an average of 14.8 percent now to a uniform 15.7 percent," Oberender told the consumer magazine "Guter Rat". According to Oberender, improvements in the performance of the health insurance funds are not associated with the increase in contributions. He criticized: "The benefits will remain the same. The money will be used to finance an insane bureaucracy." Oberender explained: "The insurance companies must create at least 50 million contribution accounts, in which the risk of illness of each individual insured person is quantified. This will then be used to calculate how much money each fund will get back from the health fund per insured person."The Ministry of Health did not want to comment on the debate on the weekend at the request of ddp. Minister Schmidt had warned several times in the past against speculation about impending premium increases. The health fund planned as part of the healthcare reform is to be introduced on 1. Start January 2009. It is to be financed from a contribution levied uniformly by all statutory health insurance funds and from tax revenues. From the fund, the health insurers will then receive flat rates for their insureds as well as age- and risk-related surcharges. Health insurance funds that cannot cope with this will have to charge additional premiums for their policyholders. Well-managed health insurance funds can repay contributions.

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