Increasing expenditure is a burden on health insurance companies – and the federal government does not want to compensate for everything from tax revenue. Now the government is announcing a new jump in costs for the insured.
Members of the statutory health insurance funds will be facing higher contributions in the coming year. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) announced in Berlin that the average additional contribution should increase by 0.3 percentage points.
This is expected to bring in between 4.8 and 5 billion euros. The contribution increase should be part of a package of measures to cover a deficit of 17 billion euros. There will be no cuts in performance.
An increased tax subsidy of 2 billion euros and a federal loan of 1 billion euros should also help to cover the deficit. In addition, other reserves would have to be addressed – such reserves are still available both in the health fund and in the individual health insurance funds.
Debt brake should not be violated
The average additional contribution will be finally determined by an official group of appraisers in autumn. Lauterbach announced that he had long negotiated with Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) about the planned financing of the billion-dollar gap in health insurance. He stands behind Lindner’s goals that the debt brake should not be violated and taxes should not be increased.
Lauterbach criticized his predecessor Jens Spahn (CDU). “The federal government found the finances of the statutory health insurance companies in a very difficult state,” said the SPD politician, speaking of a historic deficit. “I essentially inherited this deficit from my predecessor.” Lauterbach said he had made “expensive performance reforms” and refrained from structural reforms. This is how the deficit came about during the pandemic.