German Health Contributions Set To Rise

By Editorial 12 May, 2011

According to health insurance companies in Germany, the ambitious health care reform plans outlined by Germany’s Health Minister Philipp Rösler could cost in the region of EUR10bn a year, leading to a significant rise in the health insurance contribution.

The companies have estimated that if all of the minister’s extensive reform proposals, designed to improve health care for both patients and their relatives, are implemented, the insurance contribution rate could rise from 1.95% currently to almost 3%. For an employee with a gross monthly income of EUR3,000, this increase could result in additional costs of EUR15.

Yet it remains to be seen as to whether or not such a dramatic rise would be tolerated within the coalition government. Rösler’s comprehensive reform plans look increasingly set to meet with fierce opposition: the ruling Free Democratic Party (FDP) assumed office with the aim of reducing the fiscal burden on employees and industry, while Horst Seehofer, leader of coalition partner the Christian Social Union (CSU), has recently made clear that he is vehemently opposed to the idea of higher health care contributions.

Health Minister Rösler has been in discussion with experts, organizations and stakeholders since autumn 2010, to determine the extent of the need for reform. Improvements for patients with dementia, relief for carers, as well as a reduction in health care bureaucracy are among the measures proposed.

Commenting on the predicted figures, the ministry described the estimated EUR10bn costs of the reform as unrealistic. Indeed, a spokesman for Rösler stated that as long as no concrete decisions have been made as regards the shape of the reform, there can be no comment on the finances.

Tags: Individuals | Expatriates | Tax | Insurance | Employees | Health Care | Social Security | Germany |


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