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Government launches health insurance premiums at record levels

Health insurance has never been so expensive: in future, the rate will be 16.2 percent of gross wages. The pharmaceutical industry should also make a contribution.

The federal government has initiated an increase in health insurance contributions to a record average of 16.2 percent of gross wages. As a further measure to improve the financial situation of statutory health insurance (GKV), Health Minister Karl Lauterbach announced that the manufacturer discount for patent-protected medicines would be increased from seven to twelve percent.

Manufacturers are obliged to grant this discount to health insurance companies. The pharmaceutical industry is thus making a savings contribution of around one billion euros, said the SPD politician. “It’s a very measured measure.” Pharmacists are also asked to pay a little more.

Social security contributions rise to over 40 percent

The core of the draft law launched by the cabinet is the increase in the average additional contribution for the approximately 57 million statutory health insurance members from 2023 by 0.3 points to 1.6 percent. With the regular contribution rate of 14.6 percent, employers and their employees have to pay 16.2 percent of the gross salary to the health insurance companies.

The total social contributions will thus rise to 40.45 percent in 2023. For the first time since 2012, they clearly exceed the 40 percent mark, which the economy insists on adhering to.

Lauterbach wants to prevent cuts in benefits

The health insurance companies and the health fund should also contribute reserves of 6.4 billion euros. The taxpayers give a subsidy of two billion euros and a loan of one billion euros via the federal government.

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