The federal government has introduced a bill aimed at bringing financial stability to health insurance companies in the coming year. The “GKV Financial Stability Act” provides, among other things, higher contributions to health insurance, increased tax benefits and Savings measures in the pharmaceutical sector Before.

The treasuries should also melt the €4 billion “unnecessary financial reserves”. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) wants, among other things, to reduce the minimum financial reserve for health insurers to 0.2 monthly expenditures. AOK Bayern defends itself against this.

Funds need reserves for ‘unexpected developments’

In the good years, for example, the AOK Bayern had four times as much reserves, and other funds had saved a little more. However, a certain reserve is absolutely necessary in order to be able to protect against unexpected developments, says AOK’s Chairman, Irmgard Stipler.

0.2 Monthly expenses are not nearly enough, she warns: “Then we drive with an empty tank, always with a red warning light.” There are similar warnings from other health insurance companies. Andreas Storm, CEO of DAK, also anticipates financial problems that could put a number of cash registers at risk.

Bankruptcy cash register and its implications

If reserves are too low, says Stipler, there is a high risk of money going bankrupt. In such a situation, other funds will have to intervene. But this, in turn, puts them in a bind. Raising contribution rates to avoid bankruptcy is not a solution. Stipler explains that contributions, which are usually adjusted at the end of the year, cannot simply be increased in a few weeks in order to fill financial gaps.

Therefore, it is also feared that bankruptcies of cash registers will affect the supply. Cash register files for bankruptcyHe can’t pay hospital bills, for example. In such a situation, this in turn causes problems for clinics.

way out of tax money

According to AOK President Stippler, there are ways the federal government can continue to give health insurers financial leeway. Stipler calculates that if the value-added tax on pharmaceuticals were reduced, it would save several billions. In her view, it would be especially important for the federal government to bear the full costs of health insurance for those receiving Hartz IV. According to the calculations of the Central Association of Statutory Health Insurance, there is currently a gap of ten billion euros.

The SPD, Greens and the FDP all stipulated in their coalition agreement that they want to fund higher contributions for Hartz IV recipients of tax revenue. However, concrete plans for this have not yet been implemented.

Time frame is narrowing

The plans for the GKV Financial Stability Act have been approved by the federal government in the Cabinet, but it has not yet entered the parliamentary process. Therefore, AOK President Stipler hopes that changes will be made to the project. Because it has so far given it another name: the “Law of Financial Instability”.