Insured persons should be paid for medical expenses



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The federal government apparently plans to share medical expenses for those insured by law.

(06.08.2010) Apparently the black and yellow federal government is planning to involve the legally insured in the treatment costs when visiting a doctor. Irrespective of the fact that insured persons have to accept an increase in premiums to 15.5 percent from January 1, 2010 and that numerous health insurance companies are already paying additional contributions, insured persons should now also cover a large part of the medical costs.

According to the "Bild", politicians from the federal government are planning to increase the participation of the insured in medical and treatment costs as part of the health reform. The newspaper relies on information from so-called negotiating groups within the federal government. For example, citizens who are insured in the statutory health insurance should cover two percent of the treatment costs. In return, the additional contributions to the health insurance should be eliminated. The first negotiations with the health insurance companies are already underway and details of the implementation have already been discussed.

If this regulation were actually implemented, complex and expensive treatments would no longer be possible for many people because they simply could not afford the costs. Such an implementation would also be the first time in the statutory health insurance system. For example, the additional payment for simple treatments such as runny nose or cough would be quite low. However, if there are serious illnesses such as cancer or cardiovascular diseases, the treatment costs increase in the thousands even at two percent. The result: people with a low income could no longer seek medical help. Even today, the insured have to pay extra for the treatment costs. However, in most cases, the amounts are calculated as a flat rate. In addition, the additional contributions are often capped.

The background to these proposals is the expected deficit of billions in healthcare that is expected for 2011. According to estimates by some specialist groups, the health insurance companies lack around 11 billion euros. The Federal Ministry of Health has now been commissioned to compensate for the deficit through a health reform. A step in this direction was the increase in premiums to 15.5 percent per insured person liable to pay premiums.

So far, the Federal Government has not spoken out about the participation costs. However, it can be assumed that a public statement will follow in the next few days. If this proposal were actually implemented, this would have fatal consequences for a large proportion of the population. (sb)

Also read:
Health care system: merger of health insurance companies
Additional contributions: a reason to change
Consumer advocates require patient receipts

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