Long Term Care Insurance in Need of Care - Aging Population, Service Expansion, and Meager Coffers

Market Economy Foundation Conference at the German Parliament Building in Berlin on May 24, 2011

Photos: Kay Herschelmann

Due to the glaring systemic failures in the now 15-year-old long term care insurance system and in view of the inexorable aging of the German population, it will become increasingly difficult to ensure adequate long term care for an increasing number of those dependent on care. This problem cannot be put off any longer, and requires an Ordnungspolitik-inspired review of the long term care system in this country. It is only understandable that those dependent on care and their dependents demand expanded services provided by the long term care insurance system - through, for example, a new definition of what it means to be "care-dependent." On the other hand, however, we must not disregard or discount the individual responsibility of each for himself, nor forget the financial restrictions of the long term care insurance system.

Even without any expansion of services, due to the rising number of the care-dependent and those without families, it is expected that stationary care will incur large hikes in personal contributions and premiums. Rising secondary wage costs - the mid- to long-term outlook is similarly dire in the health and retirement insurance systems - are present a serious burden for the labor market. Due to these trends, as well as the need for a just sharing of their impact among the generations, appropriate ways to structure the capital stock must be taken into consideration. Not least, the question of if and how the increasing demand for long term care workers can be met in the future remains unanswered.

It is in this context that the Market Economy Foundation strives to discuss the demands of, and practical policy proposals for, the sustainable further development of long term care insurance and the long term care industry as a whole.

Conference Report (German): Download

Below, you can access the presentations of contributors to this discussion:

Slides from Prof. Raffelhüschen (German)