After the Corona year: health insurances record billions in deficit

After Corona year
Health insurance companies post billions in deficit

The corona crisis is costing the German health system a lot of money, the statutory health insurances are posting a gigantic minus for 2020. However, the Ministry of Health emphasizes that neither contributors nor employers have been unduly burdened.

According to the available financial results, the statutory health insurance companies closed 2020 with a deficit of around 2.65 billion euros. As the Federal Ministry of Health announced, the financial reserves of the health insurers were 16.7 billion euros on December 31. The health fund posted a deficit of 3.49 billion euros. According to the information, the liquidity reserve of the health fund was around 5.9 billion euros as of January 15, 2021.

To cope with the corona pandemic, around 12.2 billion euros were made available from the health fund's liquidity reserve in 2020. This included compensation payments for hospital beds that were kept free, compensation payments for newly created intensive care treatment options as well as expenses for corona tests and protective masks. Of this, the federal government reimbursed around 9.9 billion euros to the health fund, including around 9.4 billion euros for the hospital beds that were kept free, the ministry said.

"The pandemic also shaped the development of the health insurance balance sheets in the past year," said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn. The figures for 2020 also showed: "Thanks to the additional federal grant and the reduction in financial reserves, we have succeeded in ensuring that contributors and employers are not excessively burdened." The aim for the current year is to keep the contributions stable.

The income of the health insurances, which they receive primarily through pre-determined allocations from the health fund, increased according to the information by 4.0 percent to 260 billion euros. Expenditures for services and administrative costs also recorded an increase of 4.0 percent to 262.6 billion euros with an increase in the number of insured persons of 0.3 percent.

Deficits in almost all types of health insurance

With the exception of the agricultural health insurance (LKK), which achieved a surplus of 58 million euros in 2020, all types of health insurance posted deficits in the past year, as the ministry further announced. The deficit of the health fund of around 3.49 billion euros is largely due to cyclical shortfalls in income and the compensation payments made by the health fund to service providers that are not compensated by the federal government.

The growth in premium income, at just 1.9 percent – despite the stabilization of social security income through the regulations on short-time working allowance – was significantly below the rate of change in previous years with an average of well over four percent. "That is why it was important that the federal government stabilized the income of the health fund through a supplementary federal grant of 3.5 billion euros in the second half of 2020," said the ministry.

. (tagsToTranslate) Economy (t) Health insurance (t) Health fund (t) Corona tests (t) Corona measures