German health system makes €3.9bn surplus in first three quarters of 2011

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 09 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d8047
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

German’s public health insurance system, made up of independent insurers regulated by the government and covering nearly 90% of the population, has recorded a surplus of €3.9bn (£3.3bn; $5.2bn) in the first nine months of 2011, says the German health ministry. The surplus in the same period in 2010 was €277m.

In a statement issued on 6 December on public health insurance “financial developments,” the ministry said that insurers spent €133.8bn in the first nine months of 2011 and collected €137.7bn in premiums. Mandatory monthly premiums for workers now stand at 15.5% of gross wages, often referred to as a payroll tax in Germany, with the cost split between employees and …

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