Germany's Long Term Care Strengthening Acts

In 1995 Germany established a special compulsory Long Term Care Insurance for all residents in addition to the compulsory Health Care Insurance, which ensures universal access to health care.

Strengthening long-term care has high priority for the Federal Government. Two Long Term Care Strengthening Acts (“Pflegestärkungsgesetze – PSG”) expand Long Care Insurance Benefits by more than five billion euros (20 %) for every year. 

The First Long Term Care Strengthening Act (PSG I) expands benefits for all 2.7 million beneficaries since January 1th 2015. Long Term Care Benefits for people living at their private homes have been increased by 1.4 billion Euro for every year, for people in residential care by 1 billion Euro for every year. Benefits for long term care at home were significantly improved. The services available for care at home have been expanded. The working staff in residential care homes has been increased significantly. In addition, an additional Capital Reserve Funds for the Long-Term Care Insurance has been established.

The Second Long Term Care Act Strengthening Act (PSG II) passed the Bundestag in December 2015. It introduces a new vision for Long Term Care starting January 1th 2017. Long Term Care will aim at supporting self-reliance of people in need of are. Nursing centered long-term-care services still remain essential in Long Term Care Insurance. But regular benefits will be expanded by services for personal support and daily live assistance. This is of particular importance for People with dementia.  A new System to assess the need of Long-Term-Care will be introduced. It will no longer calculate the time needed for nursing care but will assess the degree of self-reliance restrictions. The Assessment will take in account all kinds of all kinds of self-reliance restrictions: disabilities both in physical as in mental health and in cognition. The 3 care levels (Pflegestufen) will be replaces by 5 new care degrees (Pflegegrade).  In addition, long term care benefits will be furthermore increased by more than 2.5 billion Euro.

Contribution rates to the Long Term Care Insurance (payroll-tax) are increased by 0.5 rate points. This ensures additional five billion euros per year for better benefits. 1.2 billion euros are dedicated to the new Capital Reserve Funds.