Health insurance surplus lower



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Less surplus in the first half of the year. Profit of the cash register goes down

The surpluses of the statutory health insurance funds were lower than expected compared to last year. In addition, the health fund ran a deficit of almost two billion in the first half of the year. Although this development has occurred, the financial reserves of the health insurance funds were around 27.7 billion euros, as the Federal Ministry of Health announced in Berlin. For the health minister Daniel Bahr of the FDP nevertheless a "solid foundation".

In the first half of 2012, the health fund deficit was just under half a billion euros. The health insurance companies receive their allocations from the fund.

The reason for the higher minus was the cut in the tax subsidy of 2.5 billion euros to 11.5 billion. The abolition of the practice fee caused additional missing income. "The bottom line is that health funds and health insurers will again have a clear plus at the end of the year," said Florian Lanz, spokesman for the umbrella organization for statutory health insurance. Because the health insurance companies expect a positive financial development in the further course of the year. With one-off payments such as Christmas and holiday bonuses for employees and higher pensions, the fund will have more income than expenses in the second half of the year.

In the first half of 2013, the surplus more than halved compared to the same period in the previous year, as many health insurance companies transferred premium payments to their members. In contrast, expenditure per insured rose by 4.6 percent in the first half of the year. However, the cost of pharmaceuticals rose by only 0.3 percent. Expenditures for doctors and dentists rose by ten percent. One reason for this is "fee adjustments" and the elimination of the practice fee, which was previously offset against the total remuneration for the doctors.

However, there is a need to catch up in terms of spending on health promotion and especially on prevention and occupational health care. Expenditures for this area amounted to 125 million euros in the first half of the year, which represented 0.1 percent of the total expenditure of the statutory health insurance funds. According to the Minister of Health, the health insurance funds are lagging far behind the necessary expenditure that is necessary to strengthen health promotion. (fr)

Image: Thomas Siepmann / pixelio.de

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