Health Minister Bahr calls for the opening of the private health insurance

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Private health insurance should be freely accessible

Health Minister Daniel Bahr (FDP) wants to make private health insurance accessible to everyone. His plan: Everyone should have the opportunity to take out private insurance. The costs should initially be borne by yourself. However, Bahr's idea is not accepted by the CDU / CSU.

Citizens should "be able to decide for themselves how and where they want to insure themselves". Until now, the FDP had not said much about health issues in the current election campaign. But now Health Minister Daniel Bahr has explained the position of the FDP on the subject of private health insurance in an interview with the "Rhein-Zeitung". According to the Liberals, everyone should be free to decide whether they want to be members of private or statutory health insurance. As Daniel Bahr told the "Rhein-Zeitung", it was his concern "that all people can decide for themselves how and where they want to insure themselves. That is my vision. It is necessary that everyone has insured the basic benefit. "

The Health Minister's "vision" provides for the compulsory insurance limit to be lifted "But what exactly does Bahr's idea mean?" So far, it stipulated that only civil servants and the self-employed have free choice between the two insurances regardless of their income. Otherwise, only those who have an annual gross income of at least 52,200 euros (or 4,350 euros per month) may take out private insurance - which means that currently 90 percent of citizens are legally insured. Accordingly, this mandatory insurance limit would have to be lifted for the “vision” of the Minister of Health.

Idea even exceeds demand of the PKV association With this idea Daniel Bahr goes one step further than the PKV association. The latter had already advocated lowering the mandatory limit at the end of July. The reason: “Many have forgotten that the statutory insurance was originally only introduced for those in need of special protection. That should still apply today, ”said association chairman Uwe Laue in an interview with the“ Handelsblatt ”. He could not imagine that 90 percent of citizens are in need of protection, so he would be “very much in favor of lowering the compulsory insurance limit and giving more people free choice,” continued Laue.

No support from the Union However, the FDP is currently quite alone with the idea of ​​making private health insurance accessible to everyone. Even the CDU / CSU as the current coalition partner is not behind the idea of ​​expanding the business area of ​​private funds. Quite the contrary: Jens Spahn, the Union's health policy spokesman, had already rejected the proposal to lower the mandatory limit by the PKV association. The reason: This is "not a realistic option".

Bahr's idea of ​​“GKVisierung der PKV”? Bahr's suggestion that in the future everyone could freely choose which insurance he would like to join was only possible in Spahn's opinion, "if the private had to take out each insured person regardless of previous illnesses or age," the politician told SPIEGEL ONLINE. But to implement this According to Spahn, the idea of ​​Bahr would essentially mean "to align private insurers for the basic provision of the logic of the legal system. That would be the GKVization of the PKV. If that is the approach of the FDP, it will be exciting." Coalition negotiations, "the politician told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Controversial discussions about the dual system before the general election Four weeks before the general election, the discussion about private and statutory health insurance is again particularly heated. On the one hand, there are SPDs and Greens, who ultimately want to abolish the dual system of private and statutory insurance and instead want to introduce the so-called "citizens' insurance". This stipulates that all citizens - regardless of income up to the contribution ceiling - are obliged to take out statutory health insurance. The Social Democrats want to give those already privately insured a choice of whether they want to switch by a deadline. According to this idea, however, all citizens who are new to health insurance would automatically be covered by the citizens' insurance - so the private health insurance would basically have had its day.

Medical bills for all insured? However, this idea is met with opposition from the Union and the FDP. Rather, Bahr is also targeting a change in billing. As the minister explained to the "Rhein-Zeitung", he believes that not only privately insured persons, but all insured persons should receive an invoice from the doctor after the treatment. For example, the patients would first pay their bills themselves and subsequently have the money reimbursed by their insurer. This possibility already exists today, however, so far only a few people insured by law have taken advantage of it. (No)

Image: Ronny Richert /

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