The financial situation of the long-term care insurance fund is apparently precarious due to the additional costs caused by the Corona pandemic. According to a press article, long-term care insurance providers are facing a deficit of several billion euros.
The newspaper “Bild” reports that the nursing insurance fund urgently needs a financial injection from the Federal Ministry of Finance. The newspaper refers to a letter from the Ministry of Finance to the Budget Committee.
According to the report, the letter specifies that “a payment of federal funds in the amount of 1,000,000 thousand euros to the long-term care social insurance system is necessary at the beginning of October 2021 at the latest”.
As a result, “the transfer of federal funds will prevent an otherwise imminent insolvency and keep the social dependency insurance contribution rate constant in 2021”. To justify the request, the letter states, according to the report, that measures taken during the pandemic to maintain nursing care must now be refinanced. Otherwise, the contribution rate could increase as a result of these âadditional expensesâ.
The financing of long-term care insurance has long been a source of political controversy. Although Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) has already countered this with a reform, it does not go far enough for other parties and associations due to the rising costs of care.
Consumer and patient advocates push for reforms
It was not until mid-August that the steering committee of the German patient protection donation, Eugen Brysch, demanded more efforts. He told German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur that long-term care insurance must finally become generation-friendly, scalable and fully funded.
The head of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv), Klaus MÃ¼ller, also pointed out “exorbitant costs” that many people could not afford. At the same time, non-wage labor costs could not continue to rise. “That is why we need a growing share of tax revenue,” he told dpa.
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At the end of last year, almost 4.3 million people were receiving benefits from the statutory long-term care insurance scheme – at the end of 2019 the figure was just under four million. In their electoral programs, some parties promise far-reaching financial reforms. For the upcoming federal elections, the German Professional Association of Nursing (DBfK) has launched a ‘PflegOMat’, which voters can use to check how parties wish to implement nursing policy requirements. Nursing policy must be a central electoral criterion for all eligible voters – this became clear at the latest in the aftermath of the pandemic, he said.