Health insurance companies are falling

Health insurance companies are falling

The statutory health insurance companies again spend more than they earn

The health insurance companies again give more money than they collect. In the first quarter of 2014, statutory health insurance had to finance around EUR 270 million more than it earned. The Ministry believes that the payment of premiums is to blame. Financial reserves have also shrunk significantly. These fell by 16.8 billion euros compared to the previous year.

Statutory health insurance companies paid premiums of EUR 236 million to their insured in the first quarter of 2014. In addition, the insured benefited from additional voluntary statutory benefits such as naturopathy or osteopathy amounting to 55 million euros. Individual health insurance companies have started to let their insureds participate in the high financial reserves of 16.8 billion euros. Without these special factors, statutory health insurance () would not have a surplus of expenditure in the first quarter of 2014, but even an income surplus. This is shown by the preliminary financial results of the health insurance companies in the first quarter of 2014. The health insurance companies will continue to receive sufficient funds from the health fund in 2014 to cover 100 percent of their expenses.

The Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe (CDU) therefore warned: "The health insurers are well advised to use their high financial reserves and their new contribution options for the benefit of the insured."

In the first quarter of 2014, there was a 5.3 percent increase in expenditure per insured person. Benefits increased by 5.5 percent per insured person; the administration costs by approx. 2.1 percent. In the first quarter, it should be taken into account that expenditure in many service areas is largely characterized by estimates, since billing data is often not yet available.

In the first three months, above-average increases in pharmaceuticals and aids, as well as in the comparison of health insurance types, contributed to significantly higher rates of change in the health insurance funds in the first three months.

Contributions decrease, additional contributions increase
Due to the Union / SPD planned health care reform, the contribution rate of the insured will decrease from 15.5 to 14.6 percent in 2015. However, the health insurance companies should be allowed to take additional contributions. These depend on the insured person's income. This is intended to reduce the number of checkouts and increase competition.

Developments in the individual service areas In the months from January to March 2014, pharmaceutical spending by health insurance companies increased by 8.4 percent after three years with very moderate increases. This increase is likely due in large part to the expiry of the three-year limited manufacturer discount for patented medicines of 16 percent. At the beginning of the year, however, the federal government had already implemented essential expenditure-limiting regulations. The price moratorium was seamlessly extended until the end of 2017. Effective April 1, 2014, the existing manufacturer discount was increased from 6 percent to 7 percent. The smaller increase of 5.8 percent, which the latest monthly data from pharmacy data centers for drug sales show in April, could also have to do with this regulation.

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