Elimination of practice fee: health insurance companies expect compensation

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The central association of statutory health insurers (GKV) criticizes the decisions of the black and yellow coalition leaders. The health insurers earn around two billion euros annually due to the quarterly doctor's office fees. The federal subsidy for statutory health insurance is also to be reduced significantly. A state financial equalization system should now be used for this, according to the Kassenverband.

The coalition of the Union and the FDP decided on yesterday's Liberal pressure to abolish the practice fees for those insured by law. For this, the CSU's wish should be met and a childcare allowance introduced. The fee was introduced as part of the healthcare reform to minimize unnecessary visits to the doctor. According to current studies, the practice fee could not fulfill its actual purpose. "The omission of the practice fee means that the health insurance companies lose income of around two billion euros per year," warned the chairman of the GKV association, Doris Pfeiffer, on Monday in Berlin.

Reduction of the federal subsidy for statutory health insurance
Pfeiffer is also critical of the reduction in the federal subsidy for statutory health insurance agreed by the coalition leaders. "The federal grant was supposed to ensure the reliable financing of non-insurance benefits, but now it turns out to be a means of disposal for financing political projects," said the CEO. "As a result, the contributors to the statutory health insurance must now finance political projects such as childcare allowance or the construction of additional roads." The missing income would then have to be fully compensated for by the health fund.

Over eight billion less
According to the association, “the cuts in statutory health insurance will add up to around 8.5 billion euros for the next two years alone”. The Federal Government's plans are thus making the reserves of statutory health insurance "melt like snow in the sun".

A spokesman for the federal government confirmed the plans. "The federal subsidy for the health fund is to be reduced by 500 million euros in 2014 and two billion euros in 2014". (sb)

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Image source: GKV umbrella association

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