In turn, tax money to be used to demand private supplementary insurance for long-term care. According to information from the dpa news agency, this was agreed in berlin by federal finance minister wolfgang schauble (CDU) and federal health minister daniel bahr (FDP). The future of the practice fee remains open.
Earlier, a spokeswoman for the federal ministry of finance had said that there was agreement on the basic values of the federal budget. No details were given on friday. The finance and health ministries have been negotiating for weeks about the health fund’s reserves.
The debate was fueled by the fact that the statutory health insurance system (SHI) – i.E., the health insurance funds and their money collection agency, the health fund – currently has a financial cushion of 19.5 billion euros. 9.5 billion of this will go to the fund. More than half of this money is committed. The government can dispose of around 4.4 billion euros from the fund reserve.
But even of the money that is actually earmarked for a specific purpose, 2 billion euros will not be needed after all. This sum is now to be allocated to the budget.
It is tax money that went to the fund in 2011 to be able to pay for social compensation. This should protect low-income earners from being overburdened if additional contributions rise sharply. Now, however, the additional contributions of some health insurance companies, which are usually low anyway, have recently been cancelled again. So you don’t need 2 billion for a social compensation at the moment.
Despite the planned one-time billion euro injection into schauble’s budget, the coalition will still have up to 4.4 billion euros from the fund. This could replace the practice fee in whole or in part, as the FDP wants. Or the health insurance contribution rate of 15.5 percent was lowered, which the CDU dares to do. Or the money remains as a buffer.
Private supplemental care insurance, which will now be required to be taxed as part of the settlement, is part of the coalition’s care plans. Bahr’s nursing care reform, which has already been passed, provides for half a million dementia patients to receive more money from the beginning of 2013. The nursing care contribution is to be increased to 1. January 2013 from 1.95 to 2.05 percent. This brings in additional revenue of 1.1 billion euros. The goal of the FDP and younger CDU politicians to build up a capital reserve for future increases in the need for care was left over after the black-yellow negotiations with the plan for supplementary care policies with a state requirement.
These supplementary care insurances are to be offered by private health insurers, as dpa has now learned. People should receive income tax reductions or direct subsidies for taking out such a policy. An agreement on this was still pending.
Unaffected by the coalition plans is the reserve of the individual health insurance funds, which amounts to 10 billion euros. According to industry figures, some insurers could use a total of up to 5 billion euros to pay out premiums to their members.
Skepticism and praise mingled in the reaction of the insurers to the agreement. Your association doubted that schauble would return the money now withdrawn to the fund when social compensation was needed. However, it was good that 14 billion euros were available as planned in 2013 for the non-contributory co-insurance of children and other non-insurance benefits, spokesman florian lanz told dpa.
The managing director of the german hospital association, georg baum, demanded: "the hospitals expect from the coalition that now the hospitals finally get the urgently needed financial help."The chairman of the german hospice foundation, eugen brysch, criticized: "this is how patients’ money is wound into the pockets of the finance minister and private insurance companies. This is redistribution at the expense of the weakest."The left health expert harald wine mountain said: "mr. Schauble should better make a solid financial policy, instead of to itself at the insurances moneys to vergreifen."