Germans face €8 a month rise in health insurance bills to pay for deficit

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 01 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c615
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

    Plans by several German public health insurers to levy an additional monthly fee on members because of looming deficits have unleashed strong criticism from all sides, with social welfare organisations calling the fee unfair and politicians blaming each other while calling for renewed efforts to limit the rise of healthcare costs.

    Germany’s largest public health insurer, DAK, with 6.4 million subscribers, and seven other public insurers announced on 25 January that they would levy an additional fee of €8 (£7; $11) a month. Members currently pay 14.9% of gross wages each month, with employers contributing 7%, into the federal public health fund, which funnels the money to public health insurers. The system, which covers more than 90% of the population, faces a deficit this year of up to €8bn.

    Before a new healthcare reform …

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