German health insurance fees will increase in 2024, Lauterbach announces
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has announced that statutory health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung - GKV) contributions for people living and working in the federal republic will increase in 2024.
German health insurance contributions to rise
In order to cope with a deficit in the millions, health minister Karl Lauterbach has announced that from 2024 people living and working in Germany will have to contribute a larger percentage of their monthly wages to their mandatory, statutory health insurance payments.
“Finance Minister Christian Lindner has made it clear that tax subsidies for statutory health insurance cannot be increased,” the SPD politician said, speaking of his FDP coalition colleague to Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland. “There will be no cuts to benefits from me. The contribution rate to statutory health insurance will therefore have to rise slightly again next year."
Currently, public health insurance providers all charge the same basic rate of 14,6 percent of gross salary (up to a maximum limit of 4.987,50 euros per month in 2023). This contribution is split equally between employee and employer (7,3 percent each) and topped up with government subsidies.
In 2024, it is estimated that these rates could increase by anywhere between 0,2 and 0,4 percentage points.
Germany’s GKV providers are yet to settle finances
Germany’s statutory health insurance system currently finds itself running an estimated funding deficit of between 3,5 billion and 7 billion euros. The above estimates, that employees' monthly insurance contributions will increase by somewhere between 0,2 and 0,4 percentage points in 2024, are based on a path where no alternative countermeasures are taken to reduce the deficit.
One alternative way to reduce the deficit would be to raise the compulsory insurance threshold or "Versicherungspflichtgrenze" (currently 66.600 euros per year) that workers in Germany must earn before they can opt to switch to private health insurance. This route, however, has been ruled out by stipulations in the traffic light government’s 2021 coalition agreement.
“I would personally have no problem with raising the compulsory insurance limit and the income threshold for assessing contributions,” said Lauterbach, “But I stick to agreements.”
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