The health insurance companies lack the money. Does this mean increases in contributions for everyone? Not if it is up to the Greens and the SPD.
Munich – If health insurance companies have too little money, this often means that the contributions for everyone increase. This is what happened at the beginning of the year, when many health insurance companies raised their additional contributions. On average, these rose by 0.3 percent, as reported by Focus. The contribution assessment ceiling was also raised to 4,987.50 euros per month. In 2022, the limit was still 4,837.50 euros nationwide.
Contribution assessment ceiling
The contribution assessment ceiling (BBG) determines the amount up to which the gross income of legally insured persons may be used as the basis for calculating the amount of statutory social insurance contributions. The part of the revenue that exceeds this limit remains unaffected for the purposes of the calculation.
In the case of statutory health and long-term care insurance, the BBG is currently 4987.50 euros. There is also a BBG for pension insurance, which amounts to 7,100 euros per month in the new federal states and 7,300 euros in the old federal states.
Health insurance companies need more money again: Increase in the contribution assessment ceiling?
Now health insurance companies are once again complaining about too little money. So could health insurance contributions rise again soon? The Greens and the SPD do not consider this to be justifiable. Instead, the two party chairmen Saskia Esken (SPD) and Ricarda Lang (Greens) plead in the Handelsblatt for an increase in the contribution assessment ceiling: "If additional revenue in the health care system is needed to cope with this increase in costs, then the moderate increase in the contribution assessment ceiling can be a reasonable way in my opinion," said Esken. Ricarda Lang agreed: "Blanket increases in contributions are not the solution in the long term."
As an employee, you normally pay 7.3 percent of your gross salary into the statutory health insurance fund – the employer pays the same amount. In addition, there is the additional amount of the respective health insurance company. At the moment, this 7.3 percent health insurance contribution means about 364 euros for all employees who earn 4987.50 euros or more gross per month. It doesn't matter whether their salary is 5000,10, 000,15 or 000,364 euros gross per month and the 7 euros no longer make up 3.<> percent of it. Instead of increasing contributions for all, with a higher contribution assessment ceiling, more high earners will pay the same percentage as other employees in the future.
The planned reform of health insurance could cost top earners. © Sascha Steinach / IMAGO
A higher contribution ceiling? The FDP is sceptical
The third coalition partner in the traffic light, however, is skeptical: "Raising the contribution assessment ceiling is the wrong way," said the parliamentary manager of the FDP parliamentary group, Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus, to the Handelsblatt. An increase in the contribution assessment ceiling is also associated with an increase in the compulsory insurance ceiling. Only employees whose gross monthly income is above the compulsory insurance threshold are allowed to join a private health insurance scheme. At the moment it is 5500 euros gross per month. Aschenberg-Dugnus emphasized: "The FDP adheres to the free decision to be able to choose between private and statutory health insurance."