Co-payments for pharmaceuticals rose again


Co-payments for health insurance patients increase again. Statutory health insurers have to pay more and more for medicines

Health insurance patients have to pay ever higher sums for medicines out of their own pockets. According to the German Pharmacists' Association, statutory health insurers had to pay 1.8 billion euros for medicines last year. The sum of the funds for the required medicinal products to be raised independently by the health insurance patients rose in 2010 by around 71 million (four percent) to 1.8 billion euros. The long-standing trend of increasing co-payments continued accordingly last year, according to the German Pharmacists' Association in Berlin on Thursday

Statutory health insurance patients pay EUR 2.40 per medication In addition, according to the Pharmacists' Association, each health insurance patient had to pay EUR 2.40 per pack of purchased medicines. However, the medication exempt from co-payments is included here. Generally speaking, those insured by law must pay ten percent of the price out of their own pocket for prescription drugs, with a minimum of five and a maximum of ten euros being due. However, the health insurance companies determine a fixed amount that they are willing to reimburse for the medicines. Should the actual price fall significantly short of the actual price (by 30 percent), the corresponding medicinal products are exempt from additional payment by the patient. In addition, insured patients can apply to their insurance company for exemption from co-payments if they spend more than two percent of their gross annual income (more than one percent for chronically ill people) on medicines.

Co-payments for pharmaceuticals have been increasing for years The total of co-payments has increased continuously in recent years - from 1.626 billion euros in 2007 to 1.674 billion euros in 2008, 1.696 billion euros in 2009 and 1.767 billion in 2010. The reduction in the fixed amounts as of September 1, 2010 was primarily responsible for the higher burdens on health insurance patients last year, since many medicines that were previously exempt from co-payments have since been subject to co-payment. For the patients one of the directly noticeable effects of the black and yellow health care reform. Although the CDU, CSU and FDP actually wanted to achieve higher price pressure for manufacturers and ultimately lower pharmaceutical costs for everyone, the current figures from the pharmacists' association reveal a different picture - the insured are again paying the bill. (fp)

Read about co-payments & pharmaceuticals:
Medicines: Health insurers will soon pay more
Medicines: drug prices rise

Image: Andreas Morlok / pixelio.de

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