Long-term care insurance had already closed 2021 with a deficit of 1.35 billion euros, and the financial gap has now grown even larger. The federal government is now stuffing them with a loan of one billion euros. The Federal Ministry of Health announced that the amount had now been transferred to the nursing care insurance compensation fund.
Long-term care insurance is suffering from liquidity bottlenecks, which are mainly due to the pandemic-related expenses for the protection of those in need of care, employees in care and family carers. This includes costs for corona tests and the care protection shield.
1.18 billion in six months for testing alone
According to the information provided, the care protection umbrella caused costs of 1.15 billion euros in the first half of 2022. This included compensation payments that old people’s homes receive for every place that is not occupied due to corona, but also the extended care support allowance for caregiving relatives. The corona tests cost 1.18 billion euros in the first six months of the year.
"A loan is not a solution for the future"
Criticism came from the Association of Substitute Funds, which represents the Techniker Krankenkasse, Barmer and DAK-Gesundheit, among others. "The problem will only be postponed to next year because the loan has to be repaid by the end of 2023," said CEO Ulrike Elsner. The loan does not solve the basic problem of solid financing of long-term care insurance.
Elsner called for "finally a sustainable financial solution". The problem of the increasing personal contributions of those affected for a place in a nursing home must also be addressed, said the chair of the health insurance association. What is needed is a permanent tax subsidy and the participation of private long-term care insurance, which mainly insures higher earners, in the existing financial equalization of long-term care insurance.
Criticism also came from the German Foundation for Patient Protection. A loan is not a solution for the future, said its board member Eugen Brysch. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach could not express his disinterest in long-term care insurance any more clearly. "The federal government is letting the more than four million people in need of care down," Brysch complained.
According to the SPD-led Ministry of Health, it is working on reform proposals to secure the finances of long-term care insurance in the long term. These should be presented later this year.