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Around 1 million refuse to pay an additional contribution.
(08/17/2010) Experts estimate that around one million health insurers refuse to pay the additional contribution. This is an unsustainable condition for the health insurance companies, as this further exacerbates the financial situation. The proportion of late payment contributors is around 30 percent. In the course of this, the Federal Ministry of Health has announced a fine in order to be able to collect the additional contributions.
Numerous statutory health insurance companies have been collecting additional contributions from their members since the beginning of the year. As a result, many insured people changed their cash register. Others refuse to make additional payments or simply cannot afford them. According to expert groups, around one million contributors are currently refusing to pay the additional contributions. According to a survey by the "Thuringian General", every fifth member of the DAK, BKK Gesundheit and BKK for health professions did not pay the additional contribution. About ten percent of the DAK members refuse the additional contribution, at BKK Gesundheit it is a whopping 30 percent. A collection procedure is currently not worthwhile for the health insurers, as the amount to be collected is too low. Therefore, the health insurance companies try to persuade unwilling health insurance patients with letters and phone calls to still pay the additional contribution.
Now, however, the Federal Ministry of Health wants to jump aside the health insurance companies. A planned model is to collect the overdue amount directly through the employer. Another variant provides for a fine, as a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Health confirmed.
No additional contribution for Hartz IV recipients in the future.
Since numerous insured persons cannot pay an additional contribution due to the financial situation, the Federal Government also plans to exempt Hartz IV and social benefit recipients from the additional contributions. A corresponding draft law had already been passed in the coalition circles for submission to the Bundestag.
The federal government is planning a so-called default surcharge for insured persons who have not paid an additional contribution for six months. If you do not pay an additional contribution, you will be asked to pay twice in the future. The draft plans to be launched early next year. It is not yet clear how much the fine should be. Another plan also includes refusing to pay defaulting contributors the planned social compensation. However, there is still no confirmation from the Ministry of Health for this.
The general health insurance contribution will also be increased in the course of the health care reform. Accordingly, the percentage of health insurance contributions is increased from 14.9 to 15.5 percent of gross wages. Because there is a big black hole in the health fund's coffers. Financial experts assume that without reforms, health insurance companies face a billion deficit of around eleven billion euros. For this reason, the health insurance companies should be allowed to determine the amount of the additional contributions themselves from 2011 onwards. A legal requirement should then no longer exist. But not only the insured should save. For example, the fees of specialists and general practitioners should not continue to rise, the clinics and hospitals must be prepared for cuts, and pharmacies will also be affected by the federal government's austerity measures.
The Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) was confident about the austerity plans and hopes for broad approval within and outside the black and yellow coalition. Coalition circles have already made it clear that the default surcharge for the additional contributions will definitely come. However, there is still no agreement on the other issues. So it has not yet been decided how a possible social compensation could be designed. So far, the CSU in particular has shown no willingness to compromise when it comes to social equalization for socially disadvantaged people. In the next few days, further projects by the federal government in the area of the health sector are likely to become known. (sb)
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