Ending for private health insurance companies would massively reduce GKV contributions

Ending for private health insurance companies would massively reduce GKV contributions

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The abolition of private funds would massively relieve those insured by law

The abolition of private health insurance in Germany has been under discussion for years. Above all, it is criticized that the dual system is socially unjust. But not only that: According to a new study, the premiums could drop significantly if everyone were legally insured.

According to experts, nine out of ten Germans are legally insured. If the rest of the German population were also in statutory health insurance (GKV), the premiums could drop significantly, according to a new study. In Europe there is only a dual system in Germany with private funds.

Financial plus of around nine billion euros

A study carried out by the Berlin IGES Institute on behalf of the Bertelsmann Stiftung shows that statutory health insurance (GKV) would achieve an annual financial plus of around nine billion euros if all citizens were legally insured.

As the foundation explains in a communication, the contribution rate could decrease by 0.6 to 0.2 percentage points depending on the scenario.

It would also strengthen social cohesion.

Save an average of 145 euros in contributions per year

The study simulated how GKV income and expenditure would develop if all previously privately insured were included in statutory health insurance.

Each member currently insured in the statutory health insurance system and his employer could therefore save an average of 145 euros per year in contributions, even if high-income earners, civil servants and high-income self-employed also participate in the solidarity compensation of the statutory health insurance system.

If the loss of medical fees due to the loss of private health insurance (PKV) were compensated, it would be 48 euros per year.

Solidarity compensation in social security

As the Bertelsmann Stiftung explains, these improvements for GKV members would come about because of the risk profile of the private insured, which is more favorable in two respects: On the one hand, they earn an average of 56 percent more than those insured by law and thus contribute to a significantly higher premium volume.

On the other hand, privately insured are also healthier: Among them, the proportion with at least one hospital stay per year is significantly lower at 17 percent than among SHI insured (23 percent).

According to the information, people with chronic illnesses, disabilities or in need of long-term care are much more common among those insured by law than among those with private insurance. And the subjective perception of one's own physical and mental health is clearly more positive for private insured people.

In contrast, solidarity compensation in social insurance requires the broadest possible mix of risks and performance.

Social cohesion is weakened

"A viable solidarity community can only emerge if all insured people come together regardless of income to compensate for the risks between the healthy and the sick," emphasizes Dr. Brigitte Mohn, board member of the Bertelsmann Foundation.

"Splitting health insurance into a statutory and a private branch does not live up to this claim to solidarity and weakens social cohesion."

According to current surveys, the majority of citizens therefore support integrated health insurance without a breakdown by income or occupational groups.

High earners and civil servants can avoid solidarity compensation

"The average SHI insured person pays more than necessary each year so that high-income earners, civil servants and the self-employed can avoid solidarity compensation," says Stefan Etgeton, health expert at the Bertelsmann Stiftung.

"This is the price for Germany being the only country in Europe to have a dual health insurance system."

According to Etgeton, the disparity is exacerbated by the fact that recently more insured persons have switched from statutory to private health insurance than vice versa. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Bertelsmann Stiftung: The dual system costs statutory health insurance up to EUR 145 per member per year, (accessed: February 17, 2020), Bertelsmann Stiftung

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