Today, the Federal Cabinet approved the draft of the Insurance Relief Act of Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). The law makes employers more responsible for cash-conscious patients. However, with his plan to force the coffers as soon as possible to reduce their financial reserves, Spahn had to row back – at least for the time being.
- Jens Spahn wants to relieve members of the cash register by Health insurance funds obliged to reduce their reserves in favor of the insured.
- Now, the Minister of Health has to postpone part of his plans until at least 2020.
- The reason for this is a previously planned reform of the controversial financial equalization.
An important goal of Minister of Health Spahn is the financial relief of cash-desk patients. For this purpose, the CDU politician has already submitted his draft at the end of April to the so-called Insured Relief Law, which was adopted today in the Federal Cabinet. In addition to a return to the equal financing of cash contributions from January 2019, he provides that health insurance funds should reduce their high reserves in favor of the insured as soon as possible .
However, this project is now delayed. Because before a reform of the financial equalization should be sought. Thus, some of the cash patients will only be financially relieved from 2020 onwards.
Relief for cash patients: Spahn takes the employer into the obligation
Spahn wants to more closely align the statutory and private health insurance and, above all, to provide financial support for the sick in the future. For example, from 1 January 2019, employers will take over half of the total cash contribution. So far, they only contribute 50 percent of the base contribution of 14.6 percent of the monthly gross income. The additional contribution, which is currently between 0 and 1.7 percent, is borne by legally insured employees alone.
For further relief, the Minister of Health has provided for a reduction of the additional contribution . This proposal is based on the high reserves of billions of euros that many funds have built up in recent years. According to Spahn, the insured persons should also benefit from this. Therefore, he would like to oblige health insurers to reduce part of their reserves by lowering their contributions.
Reduction of cash reserves: relief for insured persons from 2020 at the earliest
Spahn’s plan to reduce its cash reserves was massively criticized by health insurances, patient associations and parts of the Grand Coalition. Because that would be missing money for care, stressed for example SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach. Now the Minister of Health has adapted his bill. While the equal-value financing of the cash payments already takes effect on January 1, 2019, the funds are to be obliged, unlike originally planned, at the earliest from the beginning of 2020 to reduce their financial reserves . The further relief of insured persons is delayed. After the Cabinet decision, the Bundestag must now decide on the proposed law.
For the coffers, the adaptation of the draft made for relief. The spokesman of the GKV-Spitzenverbands, Florian Lanz, said: “It is good that now no short-term measures for the forced lowering of additional contributions are planned anymore”. He also demanded that in the future alone, the coffers may decide on their additional contributions.
Tip: Even if some relief is needed, cash-desk patients can cut their health costs. Because the contributions fluctuate between the different funds sometimes drastically. With an individual health insurance comparison you will find a cheap and powerful insurance.
Ministry of Health seeks to reform financial equalization
The reason for the change to the bill is that a reform of the financial equalization should take place before the reduction of the cash reserves. For the so-called morbidity-oriented risk structure compensation (Morbi-RSA) has been in the criticism for years. This provides that health insurance with a particularly large number of elderly and sick insured receive financial compensation, as they have higher spending than coffers with many young and healthy members.
However, the principle is controversial in some health insurance companies. For example, some health insurances would benefit greatly from this and sometimes make their members even sicker in order to receive higher payments and thereby achieve surpluses. From the point of view of many health insurances, the Morbi-RSA urgently needs a reform. This obviously also sees the Federal Ministry of Health. However, what exactly could change in the future on financial equalization is not yet known.