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” (2007).
Also called the “[fifth] branch of… social insurance,” the German’s offer additional health assistance called “long-term care insurance” to better assist those who are unable to take care of themselves ("Long-Term Care Insurance."). 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