Germany passes regulations to promote fair competition in health insurance

The German government on Wednesday adopted a set of regulations in order to promote fair competition in Germany’s statutory health insurance system.

From January 2020, a cap will be introduced on the German health insurance companies’ cash reserves. These companies should take precautions but should not “overly stockpile,” commented Health Minister Jens Spahn after the cabinet meeting.

“The insured person should be able to make a fair choice that takes price and performance into account. And they should not have to pay more than necessary into insurances with excessive savings,” Spahn stressed.

Some German insurers would have to reduce their accumulated reserves by lowering the contribution rate and thus relieving the burden on their insurant, Spahn said.

The German cabinet also approved an additional one-off payment of 250 million euros (275 million U.S. dollars) for hospitals in Germany in order to compensate for the wage increases of nurses in 2018 and 2019.

Furthermore, the supervisory powers of the German Federal Insurance Authority (BVA) would be extended, for example to make it more difficult to manipulate medical statistics in order to get more money out of the health fund.

“We make the competition between health insurance companies fairer. It is not the insurance company with the best financial tricks that should win, but those with the best service, the best care, and the most modern digital offer,” Spahn stressed.

Source: Xinhua