Dispute over health insurers’ billion-dollar surplus

dispute over health insurers' billion-dollar surplus

"In the second half of 2013 or 2014, a large part of the health insurance companies will again charge additional contributions," said the chairman of the council of experts for the health system, eberhard wille, on wednesday in berlin.

Health minister daniel bahr (FDP), on the other hand, wants insurers in particularly good shape to return some of the money to the insured. He rejected wille’s forecast. Currently, ten predominantly smaller insurers with around 700,000 insured persons pay premiums to their members. Far more health insurers are in a position to do so, said bahr. "Several million insured could benefit."For the time being, he wants to wait for the internal consultations of the insurance companies, but the legislator can also force the insurance companies to debris removal.

The financial cushion of the treasury at the end of the first quarter is due to small increases in expenditures and good revenues. In addition, there is a reserve of around 8.5 billion euros in the health fund, the money collection point for the health insurance funds, according to the health ministry.

The head of the central association of health insurers, doris pfeiffer, is opposed to premium cuts: "we want these reserves to be secured and used for the future care of patients."It is positive that, thanks to the reserves, new additional contributions are not likely to be an issue in the foreseeable future.

Different views about the use of the money are also in the union faction. Their health policy spokesman jens spahn (CDU) said: "sound finances are the best social policy. But we also expect the rich insurance companies to finally involve their policyholders in the form of premium payouts."

Vice-chairman of the parliamentary group johannes singhammer (CSU), on the other hand, told the dpa news agency: "politicians must find the strength to put short-term setbacks aside as sustainable precautions."Everyone knows that there will be difficult times again in the health insurance sector. "It is a matter of prudence and generational justice not to distribute the surpluses."

At the end of last year, the reserves at the treasury still amounted to around 10 billion euros and at the fund to around 9.5 billion euros. Now, the bottom line is 500 million euros more. In the 1. In the third quarter, the cash registers showed a surplus of 1.5 billion euros, with expenditures of around 46 billion euros.

Expenditure by health insurers increased by 3.5 percent per insured person. In october, official treasurers were still forecasting a 4.5 percent increase in spending for 2012. After a significant decline, pharmaceutical spending has grown again by 3.7 percent.

The ministry expects lower surpluses by the end of the year, but a positive financial development can also be expected for the year as a whole.

The local health insurance funds (AOK) achieved a surplus of around 553 million euros, the substitute health insurance funds around 568 million euros, and the company health insurance funds 165 million euros.

The health fund recorded a deficit of a good 1 billion euros from january to march. According to the ministry, however, this is only due to seasonal fluctuations in revenue. The situation of the fund will improve significantly over the course of the year, in contrast to the situation at the cash registers.