The costs for nursing home residents and their relatives have known only one direction for years: upwards. The trend continues unabated – this increases the pressure to take political countermeasures.
Berlin (dpa) – For those in need of care, home care is becoming more and more expensive. On a nationwide average, the shares to be paid now rose above the 2000 euro mark per month, as can be seen from data from the Association of Substitute Health Insurance Funds as of July 1st.
Accordingly, an average of 2015 euros is now due, which is 124 euros more than in mid-2019. However, there are still large regional differences. In view of the further jump in costs, pressure is increasing on Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) to provide relief – the corona crisis has recently slowed down a care reform.
The co-payments have been increasing for years, but the burden varies depending on the state. The most expensive home places are still in North Rhine-Westphalia with an average of 2405 euros and the cheapest in Saxony-Anhalt with 1436 euros. On the one hand, the sums include the own contribution for the pure care. Because long-term care insurance – unlike health insurance – only bears part of the costs. For residents, there are also costs for accommodation, meals and investments in the homes.
The costs increase on all fronts. The nationwide purely care-related share has now increased to EUR 786 a month on average, after it had been EUR 693 as of July 1, 2019. It is the highest nationwide in Baden-Württemberg with an average of 1062 euros. This is followed by Berlin with 992 euros and Bavaria with 938 euros. It is significantly less in Thuringia with 490 euros, in Saxony-Anhalt with 560 euros and in Saxony with 595 euros.
The costs for accommodation and meals also increased significantly: the national average is 774 euros after 747 euros in mid-2019. The range extends from 588 euros in Saxony-Anhalt to 1036 euros in North Rhine-Westphalia. The co-payments for investments in the facilities went up slightly: on average from 451 euros to 455 euros.
Spahn wants to restart the debate on a fundamental nursing reform in autumn. Then it should also be clear how the pandemic will affect the social security funds. Various suggestions are already on the table – and the problem is likely to get even bigger. In an aging society, more people will need care. According to the statutory health insurance, the number of beneficiaries rose by almost 200,000 to 3.9 million from 2018 to 2019 alone. Expenditures grew by 2.5 billion euros to 40.7 billion euros.
The German Foundation for Patient Protection urged Tempo. «Care makes you poor. This has been known for years, »said board member Eugen Brysch of the German press agency. “Many of the 818,000 residents live on the gums for a long time.” Spahn’s hesitation is inexplicable. “After all, he can’t have sent all of the nursing staff short-time work because of Corona.” Eligible wage increases in elderly care could no longer be borne by those in need of care.
DGB board member Anja Piel criticized: “The risk of poverty for people in need of care rises and rises, while the health minister continues to speak to finally ensure an affordable solution.” Adequate staff and wage coverage across the board should not lead to good care becoming unaffordable. The president of the VdK social association, Verena Bentele, told the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Friday): “We finally need comprehensive long-term care insurance that covers all care-related costs.” The own shares would have to decrease.
The head of the Association of Replacement Funds, Ulrike Elsner, suggested as a short-term feasible option to increase the benefits of the long-term care insurance once. That could compensate for additional costs through higher wages in homes. Elsner also emphasized: “As the financial situation of long-term care insurance is becoming increasingly difficult, we need a permanent tax subsidy.” Promised one-time 1.8 billion euros due to the Corona crisis could only temporarily ease the situation, she told the German Press Agency.
Left-wing boss Bernd Riexinger criticized: “Care makes you poor and Spahn watches. This has been the sad development for many years, and it is getting worse. » The financing of care-related benefits through own contributions must be abolished. Kordula Schulz-Asche (Greens) asked to finally stop the trend of constantly increasing own shares. These should be lowered and permanently capped. Nicole Westig (FDP) said: “It is no longer acceptable for nursing home residents to be burdened with allocations for investment costs and even for training.”