Rösler plans private supplementary long-term care insurance

The Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler plans to introduce private supplementary long-term care insurance for all statutory health insurers. The Association of Replacement Funds rejects plans to reform the care system. Once again, the cost increase in the health system would have to be borne by the insured alone.

The Federal Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) plans to introduce private supplementary nursing care insurance for those with statutory health insurance as part of the nursing reform. The Association of German Substitute Health Insurance Funds rejects the health minister's reform proposal. In order to secure long-term care insurance in the future, the contributions should instead be raised “moderately” in a few years. The minister is again suspected of gradually privatizing statutory health care.

Additional costs for care through demographic change
The demographic change in our society will make the population grow older in the future. Age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia will increase significantly. This involuntarily raises the question of future secured financing for long-term care insurance. The Minister of Health Philipp Rösler (FDP) is therefore planning to introduce a capital-oriented supplementary long-term care insurance. According to the minister, the privatization of supplementary care insurance is intended to compensate for rising expenditure in the area of ​​care. The long-term care insurance funded by contributions can no longer withstand future cost increases, said Rösler. Instead, the insured should take out supplementary insurance and thus ensure that long-term care itself is covered. The demographic change provokes ever increasing costs because more and more people have to make a claim to care.

Capital stock of long-term care insurance must be equal In view of the suggestions made by the Federal Minister of Health, the Association of Replacement Insurance Funds (vdek) was extremely critical. The federal government is making the same mistake as it did when the health reform was being planned. Once again, the coalition is trying to pass the cost increase in the health care system on to the insured. One should not make the same mistake and only impose the cost increases on the insured, according to the head of the association Christian Zahn on Thursday in Berlin. Instead, the association calls for the establishment of a supplementary capital stock which is financed equally by employers and employees on the basis of the parity principle. “We don't want the insured to bear the brunt of the reform financially. And we also do not want the care to be individualized, ”warned Zahn. In order to be able to react to rising expenditure in the future, there should also be minimal increases in nursing care insurance contributions for all health insured persons. The Association of Replacement Health Insurance Funds serves as the umbrella organization for the Barmer GEK, DAK and other smaller health insurance funds.

Additional capital stock for sustainability
Zahn described the establishment of a supplementary capital stock as a “sustainability reserve” within the framework of long-term care insurance. This reserve should be "compulsory, collective, income-dependent and equally financed." Employers should use it to fulfill their social responsibility towards the workers. If these premiums depend on income, as planned by Rösler, the insured will - as was the case during the health care reform - be "unilaterally charged". There is also the risk that older insured persons cannot spend enough time with private supplementary insurance to ensure secure financing. It should be noted that this also increases the administrative burden, which in turn causes additional costs.

Financial reserves from long-term care insurance will last until 2014
According to the Federal Association of AOK Health Insurance Funds, Herbert Reichel, the financial reserves of long-term care insurance will last until spring 2014. From this point on, the AOK Association pleads for the premiums to increase slightly. Here, too, there is a case for implementing capital cover within the framework of statutory long-term care insurance. This is the only way to guarantee the principle of solidarity.

Nursing reform 2012 in favor of private insurance
Minister Rösler must again accept the accusation of acting in the sense of private health insurance. Because Rösler's proposal includes strengthening private health insurance (PKV). The additional insurance policies are to be concluded with the PKV. In addition, employers should be spared and bear the cost increase of the care reform themselves. For the coming year 2012, the health minister plans to implement a comprehensive reform. Since the expenditure side of long-term care insurance will exceed the income side, sufficient long-term care insurance can no longer be guaranteed under the previous pay-as-you-go system. Insured persons who pay in now no longer save for themselves, but pay in for those who are already entitled to care benefits. So Rösler pleads for a "fundamental rethinking" of the population. The young generation has to start thinking about tomorrow today and protect itself accordingly. This means that everyone should only pay in for themselves in order to receive "individualized care services" later. This also means that those who take out higher insurance policies are better looked after in old age.

However, what is the case with those who become unemployed or whose low income is not sufficient for private supplementary insurance, said Rösler. Instead, private health insurance companies are to be given a new opportunity to offer additional policies. The creeping process of privatizing statutory health care is being further accelerated with the reform proposals of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Joint care insurance versus private supplementary care insurance
Long-term care insurance is a statutory social insurance system that comes into force if an insured person needs to receive care in the event of need. The current contribution rate is based on the insured person's income at 1.95 percent. The contribution is financed equally by employees and employers (0.975 percent each). Private supplementary long-term care insurance is not based on income, but on the desired coverage. The insurance premiums must be paid by every insured person without a share of the employer. (sb)

Read about nursing care insurance:
The contribution ceiling is lowered
Premium increase in long-term care insurance expected
PKV increases its contributions from 2011

Image: Albrecht E. Arnold / pixelio.de

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