Lauterbach announces German health insurance price rises for 2024
German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has announced that the cost of additional insurance coverage will rise by 0,1 percentage points by 2024, which he hopes will fund the deficit of the country’s statutory insurance system.
German health insurance costs to rise in 2024
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has announced that the additional cost of statutory health insurance coverage in Germany will rise by 0,1 percentage points in 2024.
In order to catch up with the country’s statutory health insurance deficit, expected to be somewhere between 3,5 and 7 billion euros, Lauterbach said that he has taken the decision to raise costs rather than cut services.
At the moment, people who work in Germany pay 14,6 percent of their monthly salary into their statutory health insurance funds, the cost of which is divided between the employee and employer, who pay 7,3 percent each. This payment is then topped up with government subsidies.
The announcement comes after Lauterbach’s admission in June that price rises would be inevitable given Finance Minister Christian Lindner’s (FDP) refusal to increase these government subsidies.
Additional contribution (Zusatzbeitrag) payments will increase
Currently, health insurance companies in Germany can charge a maximum of 1,6 percent - also shared equally between worker and employer - in Zusatzbeiträge (additional contributions) and it is this cost which will rise by 0,1 percentage points to 1,7 percent in 2024.
This extra contribution can entitle insured people to extra treatments not covered by statutory health insurance, such as professional tooth cleaning or dentures, cancer screenings for people under 30, IVF and contraception.
This new 1,7 percent rate is the maximum that companies will be able to charge for additional contributions. However since each of Germany’s 96 health insurance companies set its own additional contribution rate, people will be differently affected depending on which company provides their insurance.
How much more health insurance will you be paying in 2024?
This will depend on who your insurer is and what their additional contribution rate will be for 2024. For example, AOK operating in Baden-Württemberg (AOK services are divided by federal state) currently charges 1,6 percent for additional contributions while Techniker Krankenkasse charges just 1,2 percent.
Since the cost is shared by employer and employee, this means that the average person in Germany can expect to pay an extra 0,05 percent of their wages to their insurance company, around 5 cents for every 100 euros earned before tax.
“For this, we will get better medication, modern technologies, more specialisation in hospitals and more digitisation,” Lauterbach argued, though many in Germany are frustrated that prices are rising while the number of treatments covered by insurance companies stays the same.
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