The Pros And Cons Of Sickness Funds

798 Words 4 Pages
To encourage the best healthcare options for its people, the German government has incentivised competition amongst sickness funds by allowing them to negotiate their contribution rates. For example, one sickness fund may offer a contribution rate of 11 percent tax (half of this being paid by the employer), but does not offer coverage when travelling abroad. Another may offer a contribution rate of 10 percent and coverage while abroad, but have a higher co-pay. In this way, the citizen still has the ability to choose between coverage plans and price. The larger the sickness fund, the better paid the staff and management is. The sickness funds are encouraged to create the best plans for the best prices ("Interview Karl Lauterbach."). Because …show more content…
The private health insurance plans are designed in much the same way as the United States insurances-- factors such as age and previous conditions can alter the price or disqualify an individual (“Germany Health Insurance System- An Overview.”). Currently, the German system is having difficulties with doctors preferring to see privately insured patients first, regardless of how trivial the matter, because they are paid higher by their insurance companies for procedures. This is leading to longer wait times for those who are insured through a sickness fund, even if the matter is for a more serious medical condition ("Interview Karl Lauterbach."). Despite the inconvenience, nearly 90 percent of the population utilizes the services offered by the sickness funds (Underwood). With the system designed as it has been, all people have medical care available to them in which all people pay for each other. As was noted by German parliament member Karl Lauterbach, it is a system “where the rich pay for the poor… and where the ill are covered by the healthy” …show more content…
This includes those who are ill, disabled, or are unable to look after themselves for a period longer than six months. Like the compulsory health care program, it is mandatory for German’s to contribute through taxes to this program and is split between themselves and their employers. As the nature of the program entails, over 80 percent of those receiving care over 65 years of age ("Defusing the Demographic “time-bomb” in Germany."). In determining which benefits will be offered to the recipient, three categories were designed to assist medical services: care category I, which implies “considerable need of care,” care category II, or “severe need of care,” and category III, which is “extreme need of care” (“Benefits.”). The severity of health needs determines the amount of cash allowance that can be provided or the coverage of their care in federal facilities ("Defusing the Demographic “time-bomb” in Germany."). Because the government has discovered that having physician teams care for those in need of assistance can be a burden on the healthcare system, long-term care assistance has been designed to encourage family members to behave as primary caregivers by extending the option of cash allowances to those assisting the ill (Campbell, Naoki,

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