To finance the expensive healthcare system, the economist Bernd Raffelhüschen proposes that those with statutory health insurance pay a deductible of up to EUR 2,000 per year. "We can no longer afford the system. Patients will have to pay more out of their own pockets in the future," said the professor at the University of Freiburg of the "Bild" newspaper. "But there has to be social compensation for this. The subsidies, for example for low earners, have to come from the federal budget."
Raffelhüschen also advocated that insured persons should pay for injuries after self-chosen risks - such as skiing - in full themselves. "Smokers must also contribute more to the follow-up costs of treatments themselves," he demanded.
Otherwise, unless countermeasures are taken, the contribution rate will rise to up to 22 percent of gross wages by 2035, the economist warned. It is currently – including the additional contribution – around 16 percent on average, depending on the health insurance company.
A deficit of 17 billion euros is expected in statutory health insurance for 2023 - according to Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, this is historic proportions. In Germany, around 73 million insured persons are cared for by one of the 96 statutory health insurance companies - that corresponds to around 90 percent of the population.
According to Raffelhüschen's plans, patients should receive an invoice after visiting the doctor and pass it on to the health insurance company, "which then takes over a large part of the costs". There should be several levels for patient participation. It should be capped at "a total of 1,500 or 2,000 euros per year," said Raffelhüschen.