Essay A Legal Resident Of Germany

Essay A Legal Resident Of Germany

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Jürgen, a legal resident of Germany, has recently suffered a stroke and must utilize his country’s healthcare system. Since he is a legal resident of Germany, he will have access to insurance through various not-for-profit health insurance funds called “sickness funds” (Blümel and Busse 2014). Through the Statutory Health Insurance (SHI) scheme, these not-for-profit organizations all must guarantee issue. This means that Jürgen will have access to an insurance program regardless of his medical background; he will also have the opportunity to choose between different available plans. These plans are available to Jürgen regardless of his age and geographic location in Germany. These plans are also available to Jürgen regardless of his income. The cost of programs through these “sickness funds” is determined by a uniform contribution rate and the cost is subsidized by national tax revenue (Göpffarth 2012). This means Jürgen will be able to afford the insurance even if he makes very little money. If, however, Jürgen makes more than €53,550 (or 68,336 US dollars), or if he is a civil servant or self-employed, he can choose to purchase private health insurance provided by for-profit companies (Blümel and Busse 64). Jürgen may, however, also qualify for special insurance programs if he is a police officer, soldier, or employed in a profession that has other special programs (Blümel and Busse 63).
The various plans available to Jürgen are organized in different ways. In Germany, the health insurance system includes both public-sector and private-sector insurance companies. The public-sector insurance groups are part of the SHI system and include more than a hundred sickness funds (Blümel and Busse 63). For sickness funds, individuals and...


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...als, which in turn results in “longer average waiting periods for primary care physicians than in the United States.” Policy measures can be taken to address these longer waiting periods for PCPs. Longer wait times are especially concerning for patients on SHI insurance programs because patients on private programs often have shorter wait times (Knox; Göpffarth 7). People on SHI plans also tend to be more low-income and may not have the same flexibility for long wait times as higher income people might. As it seems, the problem of wait times is a problem of a low proportion of PCPs to insured patients. This could be addressed by increasing the number of PCPs in the German healthcare system. If a main barrier is the lack of current medical school graduates pursuing work as PCPs, more students might be incentivized to become PCPs through government subsidies or grants.

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