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German Health Insurers Urged to Reward Members with Rebates

Germany's state health insurance system is continuing to realize record profits, posting a surplus of €2.7 billion in the first half of 2012, compared with a full-year surplus of €4 billion in 2011, suggesting that the total surplus for 2012 will exceed last year's. Germany's state health insurance system is made up of independent insurers regulated by the government and covering around 90 percent of the population. Insurance companies in Germany, known as sickness funds, are not allowed to make profits. The German health ministry noted that so far only a few, mainly smaller, public health insurers have recompensed members with rebates. The federal health minister Daniel Bahr is urging all public insurers with big reserves to pay rebates to members. "The surpluses belong to the insured and the patients," he said. "They should profit through improved benefits and from rebates."


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