31.10.2021 – 09:00
New Osnabrück Newspaper
Statutory health insurance companies require traffic light negotiators to take three measures to stabilize contributions
GKV boss Pfeiffer: lower value added tax on medication, link federal subsidy to increased expenditure, increase contributions for ALG II recipients
Osnabrück. The statutory health insurance companies have called on the traffic light negotiators to take three measures to avert an impending explosion in contributions for the more than 70 million insured persons. “With the resolution of a reduced VAT rate for drugs, a federal subsidy following the increase in expenditure and cost-covering contributions for unemployment benefit II recipients, the new federal government could prepare the ground for long-term stable finances in the course of the coming year,” said the chairwoman of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds , Doris Pfeiffer, in conversation with the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (NOZ).
In the first half of 2021, the cash deficit increased to 1.9 billion euros. In order to avoid premium increases at the turn of the year, the outgoing federal government wants to decide on a special federal grant this Wednesday.
According to Pfeiffer, a reduced tax rate for drugs alone would relieve statutory health insurance by almost six billion euros. “For oysters, cut flowers and oil paintings only the reduced VAT rate of seven percent is due, for cancer drugs and antihypertensive drugs, on the other hand, the health insurance companies have to pay taxes that are more than twice as high at 19 percent,” said the head of the association. “It is hard to understand that insured persons and employers in statutory health insurance pay billions in value added tax for pharmaceuticals into the federal budget year after year, an estimated nine billion euros for 2022.”
By “significantly too low contributions” for unemployment benefit II recipients, the federal government is relieved of more than ten billion euros annually, Pfeiffer continued. “We need cost-covering contributions for this group so that those who pay the statutory health insurance funds no longer subsidize the federal budget.”
The third demand concerns the federal grant of currently almost 15 billion euros. While the expenses for non-insurance benefits are increasing year after year due to the development of costs, the regular federal subsidy is stipulated by law. “We need dynamization with the federal grant so that its level follows the cost development,” said Pfeiffer of the “NOZ”. “Otherwise there will be a creeping devaluation of the federal grant.”
Statutory health insurance is “the backbone of health care for 73 million people in this country,” said Pfeiffer. The three proposed measures would have to come into force on January 1, 2023, then the supply could be financially secured for a longer period of time. “Since 90 percent of the population are legally insured, this would also be an important step with a view to stabilizing social security contributions as a whole,” emphasized the GKV boss.
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Original content from: Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, transmitted by news aktuell