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Only a small proportion of the uninsured make use of the new law
The number of uninsured people in Germany is still alarmingly high: According to the Federal Statistical Office, around 140,000 people have no health insurance, although the number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher. A new law should now fundamentally change this situation by waiving premium debts and thereby simplifying the re-entry into health insurance. However, this calculation does not seem to work out completely, because according to the “Berliner Zeitung”, just under 8000 people have so far taken advantage of this option.
More than 140,000 people have no health insurance According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), around 140,000 people currently have no health insurance and have no other right to health care. However, these are only the official figures - the number of uninsured people is unlikely to be much higher, because homeless people and so-called "illegal immigrants" do not appear in the statistics. The central problem: Since 2009 everyone who lives and works in Germany has had a general health insurance obligation - and accordingly also former private insurers. But many small self-employed people and start-ups in particular often cannot afford the high contributions and land quickly in the debt trap due to open contribution payments and late payments.
"Law to Eliminate Social Overload for Contribution Debt" Should Remedy The new "Law to Eliminate Social Overload for Contribution Debt in Statutory Health Insurance", which came into force in August 2013, should enable the debt to be waived and thus return to health insurance - a prerequisite however, that those affected should become active themselves by the end of the year and submit an informal application to the health insurance company for which insurance was last available. But the legislator's plan does not seem to be working - because, as the “Berliner Zeitung” reports, only a few of the uninsured have apparently made use of the offer so far. According to a response from the Federal Government to a request from the left-wing faction, just under 8,000 people had returned to health insurance by the end of November, including around 5,000 uninsured people at statutory health insurers and around 2,700 at private insurers.
From 2014, the additional payment of missed contributions will be due again. As the "Berliner Zeitung" further reports, the Federal Government's response states that it is now necessary to check whether further measures are necessary to ensure insurance coverage for everyone. For the uninsured, there are only a few days left to take advantage of the debt relief because the law is limited until the end of the year. From 2014, the subsequent payment of missed contributions will be due again, however, a reasonable reduction and waiver of the late payment surcharges can also be expected after December 31, 2013. Another innovation is the reduction in the late payment surcharge from five to one percent per month (Section 24a (1a) Social Code Book IV). In addition, according to "Caritas", "unpaid, late payment surcharges that are not issued according to one of the above-mentioned regulations will be retrospectively reduced from 5 percent to 1 percent. ”The difference will be waived. All that is required is an informal application to the health insurance company (Section 4 EGBfÜB). (No)
Picture: Dr. Klaus-Uwe Gerhardt / pixelio.de