Economy

That is why the statutory health insurance funds will increase the contributions in 2021

In 2021, many insured persons will have to prepare for higher contributions

picture-alliance / dpa | Harald Tittel

For the next year, many people with statutory health insurance will have to be prepared for the fact that the contributions to their health insurance will increase. The reason are the financially difficult times that the statutory health insurance (GKV) will face, as the Handelsblatt reported.

As early as September, internal calculations by the Federal Ministry of Health predicted a financial gap of over 16 billion euros for 2021. To counteract this deficit, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) has decided on a grant of five billion euros, while Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) obliged the health insurers to contribute eight billion euros from their reserves.

The remaining three billion euros are to be generated by the health insurance companies by increasing their additional contributions from the insured. How much exactly the individual insured will have to pay from now on should be determined by each health insurance company depending on its financial situation. The final amount ultimately also depends on the income of the insured, since the additional contribution is calculated as a percentage and is deducted from the gross wage in addition to the general health insurance rate.

2021 will be more expensive for the insured

According to the Handelsblatt, most of those with statutory health insurance expect the additional premium to increase by 25 to 100 percent compared to the previous year from 2021 onwards.

The Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), the largest statutory health insurance company in Germany, wants to increase the additional contribution by 0.5 percent. Accordingly, from 2021, in addition to the general health insurance rate of 14.6 percent of gross wages, instead of the previous 0.7 percent, an additional contribution of 1.2 percent will be charged. Other health insurances are also forced to increase the additional contribution by between 0.2 and 0.6 percentage points. The Barmer, e.g. from 1.1 to 1.5 percent.

But not all health insurances are involved: The DAK (1.5 percent) and the AOK Rheinland / Hamburg (1.1 percent) have decided to leave the contribution as it is. At AOK Bayern (1.1 percent) the decision is still pending.

At the beginning of December, Jens Spahn tried to present the billion-dollar deficit as a corona episode. In fact, however, the pandemic initially even relieved the burden on health insurers, as visits to the doctor were kept to a minimum and many planned medical interventions were postponed. Pharmaceutical spending also fell. The health insurance companies showed a surplus of 1.3 billion euros at the end of the first half of the year. In the second half, operations returned to normal and postponed operations were rescheduled.

According to the cash register, Corona is not to blame for the deficit

In health insurance circles, ‘Corona’ is not seen as the main cause of the financial distress of the health insurance companies, but the Minister of Health himself.

The expensive laws that Spahn passed before the pandemic, such as the financial incentives for doctors to make appointments to statutory patients faster, hit the health insurers particularly hard. Some health insurers assume that the activities of the Minister of Health will result in additional costs of more than 30 billion euros in the period from 2019 to 2022.

As a result, the increase in additional contributions will not only be limited to 2021. TK boss Jens Baas recently warned that 2022 would be “a tough year for funds and members”. “Without countermeasures by the state, there is a risk of the additional contribution doubling.” The chairman of the IKK classic, Frank Hippler, also expects “a massive upward movement in contribution rates”, because the funds’ reserves will be used up at some point.

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