Health care reform: Health is becoming more expensive

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Health care reform: Health is becoming more expensive for those with statutory health insurance on average. We show what the reform will change.

(11/12/2010) Before the general election, the Union and the FDP had stated that people would soon have more "net than gross". But today the health care reform was decided and most people will have more gross income than net at the end of the month. Because from 2011 numerous changes will come into force, which will be clearly noticeable in many people's wallets. We show what will change for the individual.

Health insurance contributions are increasing
At the beginning of 2011, the statutory health insurance contribution rate increased from 14.9 to 15.5 percent nationwide. From this point on, employees, workers and pensioners have to pay a health insurance contribution rate of 8.2 percent of gross income. Employers have to shell out 7.3 percent. After this increase, the employer's health insurance contribution is frozen. This means that all further premium increases must be paid by the health insurance patients alone. Voluntarily statutory health insurers (e.g. self-employed) have to bear the entire 15.5 percent alone.

What concrete effects does this have on individuals?
What concrete effects does this have on individuals? We do the calculations: If an employee has a fictitious gross income of EUR 1,000, he must pay a health insurance contribution of EUR 82 a month from the New Year. That means an additional charge of a total of 36 euros per year. Previously, the contribution was 79 euros per month. If a professional earns 1,500 euros, they must pay 123 instead of 118.50 euros per month. With an income of 2,000 euros, this is 164 instead of 158 euros per month (72 euros more per year). Those who earn 3000 euros gross per month have to pay 9 euros / 108 euros more per month. With an income of 4000 euros, it is then 12 euros / 144 euros per month.

Additional contributions in future without limitation
The health insurance companies can determine the amount of the additional contributions at the beginning of the year without limitation. This means that each health insurance company determines which flat-rate contribution it makes in addition to the regular insurance contributions. The additional contribution is levied for those affected regardless of the individual's income. This innovation means that low and medium-income earners in particular are burdened financially more than people who have a higher income. However, the Federal Government plans to create so-called social compensation for marginally employed people. Part of this regulation is that those affected receive a tax-financed compensation if the lump sum of the additional contribution is higher than two percentage points of gross income. This planned social compensation will very likely be reimbursed by the tax office as part of the annual income tax statement. The difference between the additional contribution and gross income is then reimbursed. In contrast to unemployment benefit one recipients, Hartz IV recipients will be exempt from an additional contribution.

How much will the additional contributions be?
Most health insurance companies that charge an additional contribution require an additional contribution of 8 euros per month. For individuals, this means an increase in contributions of 96 euros per year. The additional contribution is not deducted from the salary statement, but must be transferred separately to the health insurance company. Here, however, the Federal Ministry of Health is considering changing the model in the future. It is planned to have the additional contribution deducted from the payroll. On this point, however, the bureaucratic effort is also criticized within the coalition, so that no conclusive solution has yet been found.

Health economists assume that from 2011 most health insurance companies will not be able to avoid an additional contribution. It is also said in advance that the additional contribution will soon not only apply to all health insurers, but will also be greatly increased. Additional contributions between 20 and 50 euros per month can very soon become a reality. We are now calculating when an employee will receive social compensation.

Calculation of social compensation
If an employee earns 1,000 euros gross and has to pay a notional additional contribution of 20 euros a month to the health insurance company, the person concerned will not receive any social compensation. Because the additional contribution does not exceed two percentage points of income. If a marginal employee earns 800 euros and has to pay an additional 16 euros (2 percent), they also do not receive social compensation because the comparatively lower regular contribution (minus four euros) automatically increases the calculated income and thus lowers the entitlement. In summary, this means that with a higher additional contribution, a low earner is burdened more than someone who has to pay a lower additional contribution with the same income. Despite social equalization, most people will collectively have a lower income, even if they earn little. (sb)

Also read:
46 health insurances guaranteed without additional contribution
Health insurance companies: One third levy additional contributions
Prepayment plans: Many medical practices would have to close
Health insurance companies: Additional 100 euros in the future?

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