Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Der ökonomische Fußabdruck der Privaten Krankenversicherung in Deutschland. Untersuchung der PKV als Finanzier von Gesundheitsleistungen

Ostwald, Dennis A. and Legler, Benno and Haaf, Andreas and Schwärzler, Marion Cornelia (2017): Der ökonomische Fußabdruck der Privaten Krankenversicherung in Deutschland. Untersuchung der PKV als Finanzier von Gesundheitsleistungen.

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There is now much evidence for the vital importance of the health economy, and it is receiving more attention from social and political spheres. This development is evidenced, not least, by the increased perception of the health economy as a key economic factor in Germany. Private health insurance (PKV) plays an important role in the health economy in three respects: as an economic actor, as a financer of healthcare services, and as a provider of capital. In a first step, an earlier study determined the economic footprint of the private health insurance sector as an economic actor. In doing so, the economic significance of private health insurance was measured on the basis of official national accounts categories for the first time.

The starting point for this earlier study was a change of perspective so as to view the health economy – including private health insurance – not just as a cost factor, but also from the angle of economic growth and employment. From this basis, the second step presented here measures the economic importance of private health insurance in its role as a financer of healthcare services. Unlike in the first step, the private health insurance sector’s expenditure on benefits for its members forms the subject of the study, instead of the economic activity of the sector. This expenditure finances medication and services rendered to private patients by licensed doctors and hospitals, for example. The aim of this study is to calculate the resultant gross value added and employment.

The comprehensive economic footprint approach is unique in that it incorporates the economic significance of intermediate inputs (indirect effects) and the spending of employee compensation (induced effects). This study augments this approach by examining the economic effects of the additional revenue raised from private patients. Additional revenue is the sum that the entire health system would lose if private patients were insured under the statutory scheme instead of privately. This issue is relevant seeing as there is currently some debate about introducing a universal system.

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