Health insurance in the sights: Is the citizens insurance “light”?

The SPD has failed with its demand for a civil insurance. Now she wants to end in other ways, the two-tier medicine, such as through uniform medical fees for private and cash patients. However, this proposal is criticized not only by private health insurance but also by public health insurance. Because for cash patients it could be expensive.

For years, the SPD has been campaigning for the merger of the statutory and private health insurance to a citizens insurance. In the current coalition negotiations, however, the Social Democrats had to give up this goal. Nevertheless, the party continues to fight in the ongoing coalition talks with the Union for ending the two-tier medicine in Germany . “90 percent of citizens are legally insured. So we represent in these negotiations so 90 percent of citizens, “said SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach to the news agency dpa.

Uniform doctor’s fees in the review

In order to prevent financial incentives for a treatment of private insureds , the SPD wants to equalize the medical fees for private and public patients. This proposal does not only provoke criticism on the part of the doctors. For example, Andreas Gassen of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians emphasizes that “all citizens have high-quality and comprehensive care with access to the latest medical procedures.” The statutory health insurance also warns of the negative consequences of unified physician fees for legally insured persons.

No advantages through equal fees

“The introduction of a uniform fee structure would bring 90 percent of the people currently no benefits, but the private insurance relieved,” says Johann-Magnus von Stackelberg, Vice Chairman of the GKV-Spitzenverband, the dpa. According to experts, the equalization of fees would mean that the current contribution for health insurance patients would rise from an average of 15.6 percent to as much as 16.2 percent . He points out that more money for the doctors would not automatically mean better benefits for the statutory health insurance.

An expert opinion of the private health insurance association and the German Medical Association also shows that equalization of fees would neither combat the shortage of doctors in the countryside nor long waiting times at the doctor’s for cash patients.

Performance differences in the statutory health insurance

The benefits of the statutory health insurance are predominantly mandatory. However, the health insurances have room to focus on, for example, the care of pregnant women, the dentist or the alternative practitioner. If you are dissatisfied with the benefits of your health insurance fund, check for a change to a higher-performance health insurance fund.

CDU ready for concessions in health policy

Federal Health Minister Hermann Gröhe (CDU) is critical of the SPD demand. Although he also wants to introduce improvements for the statutory insured, but not on uniform medical fees. Instead, the politician promises concessions for rural care , appointment services, and faster access to medical advances , without becoming concrete.

Von Stackelberg, on the other hand, proposes better pay for land physicians through a remuneration system. Physicians in over-supplied regions would therefore have to accept deductions to pay supplements to medical professionals in underserved areas.

CDU / CSU and SPD want to continue their coalition talks until 4 February 2018. It remains to be seen if and how the Social Democrats will be able to enforce their demands. In the exploratory talks, the parties have at least agreed on a joint financing of health insurance contributions . This would relieve cash-desk patients financially.