What is in Lauterbach’s care reform

What is in Lauterbach’s care reform

Bt was the last time the details were wrestled with: on Friday, after weeks of debate, the Bundestag approved the care reform from the Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach adopted. The SPD politician defended the draft law before the vote in the Bundestag. For relatives who take on most of the care in Germany, “another significant improvement” has been achieved. Subsidies for home residents would also be increased further. However, Lauterbach admitted that “this law is not a perfect law”. Further steps are necessary.

Britta Beeger

Editor in business and responsible for “The Lounge”.

Criticism came from the opposition, social organizations and employers. The CDU MP Diana Stöcker complained that it was not about a reform, but about poor “on-sight driving”. Employer President Rainer Dulger said FAZNET that the Bundestag had missed the opportunity in the parliamentary procedure to pull the necessary emergency brake on the care reform. “The planned care reform will make care insurance more expensive and make it even more difficult to finance it in the long term.”

What exactly was decided – an overview of the most important points.

What will the contributors do?

Employers and many employees will have to pay higher contributions from July 1st. The general contribution rate, which employers and employees each finance half, will be raised by 0.35 percentage points to 3.4 percent – an increase that Lauterbach has repeatedly described as “moderate”.

The employer’s contribution will thus be 1.7 percent in the future instead of the previous 1.525 percent. For employees, the contributions are graded according to the number of children, with which the ministry meets a requirement of the Federal Constitutional Court implements, according to which the care contributions must take the educational effort more into account. In the future, childless people will pay 2.3 percent and employees with one child will pay 1.7 percent. From two children, the contribution is reduced by a further 0.25 points up to the fifth child – provided the children are under 25 years of age. From the second child, insured persons are relieved despite the general increase.

The federal government is authorized to increase the contributions under certain conditions by statutory order in order to be able to react quickly to the financial difficulties of the long-term care insurance. So far, a Bundestag decision is necessary. However, the Bundestag should also be involved in the future by being able to change or reject the regulation.

What do the higher contributions to the loss-making nursing care fund bring?

The Federal Ministry of Health estimates the additional income from the increase in the contribution rate by 0.35 points to 6.6 billion euros annually from next year. According to Lauterbach, 4 billion euros of this should flow into higher benefits for those in need of care. The remaining amount will be used to close the structural financial gap in social long-term care insurance, which the minister recently put at 2.6 billion euros. According to Lauterbach’s assessment, the social long-term care insurance will get through the legislative period well with the reform. Long-term care insurance funds and associations criticize that the financing will only be stabilized in the short term with the reform.

What will change for people who are cared for at home?

With the reform, the domestic Care be strengthened. The reason: around five million people in need of care live in Germany – and according to the Federal Statistical Office, five out of six of them are cared for at home.

The law stipulates that, firstly, the care allowance will be increased by 5 percent at the beginning of next year. Depending on the degree of care, this care allowance is currently between 316 and 901 euros and is paid to those in need of care by the care insurance fund if they are being cared for by relatives or friends. As a rule, those in need of care pass on the care allowance to their relatives. It had not been increased since 2017.

Secondly, the benefits in kind for the use of an outpatient nursing service are also to be increased by 5 percent at the beginning of next year.

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