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Health insurers warn of system breakdown

DDP/The Local · 30 Jun 2010, 09:12

Published: 30 Jun 2010 09:12 GMT+02:00

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“The insurers’ situation is dramatic. This year the health funds are standing on the edge of the abyss. Next year, they will take a step even closer,” said Doris Pfeiffer, head of the Association of Statutory Health Insurers, according to news magazine Der Spiegel.

The problem that has been ignored by successive governments is the runaway costs in the health sector, she said.

Health funds will need to pay out at least 35 percent more this year to hospitals than they did in 1998. Payments to resident doctors have risen more than 40 percent.

“If a fund has a lot of low income-earners, they have to ask all the more of members with higher incomes, which has the effect of driving people away. It’s a vicious circle,” said Pfeiffer.

The overwhelming majority of Germans are covered by one of hundreds of these statutory insurers. The coalition government is urgently debating ways to bring down the costs of health care and keep the insurers financially viable.

Story continues below…

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:51 June 30, 2010 by dristi
Right...maybe they should start by not deducting Health Insurance cost from both partners/spouses when both are earning. Then they get to keep more high earning members still with public insurance rather than they going to private
12:15 June 30, 2010 by William Thirteen
another effect of wage stagnation?
12:39 June 30, 2010 by pepsionice
My son is in the apprentice program....barely bringing home 350 Euro after taxes, healthcare, etc. They tossed in a monthly fee for healthcare this yearly....on top of the normal cost.....roughly 12 Euro a month. He immediately started complaining about this.

William Thirteen is correct about wage stagnation. There are teachers who've had only two pay raises in twelve years. When they do get a pay raise....it's usually no more than four percent.

The whole nation has a problem.....and it's not going away.
22:10 June 30, 2010 by ReaderX
Well all of this can be solved with a liberal dose of Spend money on/ for other countries and then tax those who are working for a living. The best ones to plunder are those who work either part time or the 400 euro jobs.

A radical approach would be to stop taxing all of the companies who in turn pass this cost onto the consumer. Simple economics. But that would support the idea of capitalism, something many snot nosed euro snobs would never think of doing.
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