Do not keep additional contributions artificially low

Do not keep additional contributions artificially low

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Experts warn: Do not keep the additional cash contributions artificially low

With future contributions, Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe (CDU) wants to create more competition among statutory health insurance companies. However, experts fear that some health insurances could run into financial difficulties if they keep the additional contribution artificially low.

Financial difficulties of individual cash registers

From 2015, the statutory health insurance companies in Germany can independently levy additional contributions on the general contribution rate of 14.6 percent of gross income. According to a message from the dpa news agency, it was said on Tuesday evening in circles of the health insurers that the additional contribution could be kept artificially and would not be based on the financial requirements, so as not to lose any insured persons. Since the additional contribution is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, such an artificial cap could quickly lead to financial difficulties for individual health insurance companies.

Additional contributions from next year On January 1, 2015, the legislature will lower the previous general contribution rate from 15.5 to 14.6 percent. From then on, the health insurers themselves have the option of determining an additional contribution to be paid solely by the insured. This is intended to achieve more competition between the individual health insurance companies. In future, the insured must inform the insurers whether other insurance companies have cheaper offers and, if necessary, let the members go. For 2015, the Ministry of Health forecast an average additional contribution from the health insurance funds of 0.9 percentage points. In health insurance circles, it is assumed that in the first year of the competition, most health insurance companies will largely orient themselves to the specified average value. Some should be just under 0.8 percent, others just slightly above. In some cases, it was stated that initially no additional contributions were to be made.

Rise in health insurance costs Jens Baas, CEO of Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), expects that the additional contribution will increase very quickly after 2015. At a "Handelsblatt" conference in Berlin, he referred to model calculations of his till. As a result, there is already a risk of increasing to 1.16 percent in 2017 and to 1.41 percent in 2017. This would mean that by the end of the legislative period the average premium burden will rise from 15.5 to over 16 percent for health insurance alone.

Increase in general expenditure The GKV estimator group, which is made up of experts from the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Insurance Office and the GKV umbrella association, had already forecast a rise in general expenditure per insured person of 4.1 percent for the coming year been. Christopher Hermann, CEO of AOK Baden-Württemberg, considers the forecast for 2015 to be very optimistic, however, and said: "The group of estimates has not yet taken note of the fact that economic expectations have deteriorated significantly." (Ad)

Image: Benjamin Klack /

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