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New entitlement rules for Germany’s long-term care insurance

2016 Conference Presentation

(Inter)national systems Germany

5 September 2016

New entitlement rules for Germany’s long-term care insurance

Heinz Rothgang, University of Bremen, Germany


Entitlement rules are a central issue for all long-term care systems. Right from its start, Germany’s Long-term Care Insurance has been criticized for its tight entitlement rules leading to ineffective coverage for people with dementia. In 2006 an expert commission was founded to assess the current system of entitlement. This started a reform process leading to new entitlement rules taking force in 2017.

The presentation explains the new system and how it differs from the old one, demonstrates its effects on the number of beneficiaries and their respective claims based on recent studies and discusses why it took more than a decade to pass this reform. Finally, the effects of the reform process on the reform contents are analyzed. Interestingly, the length of the reform process led to a reform that is much more generous than originally expected.