This waste of millions of euros is not in keeping with the times, “” said Taxpayers ‘Association President Karl Heinz Däke of the “Schweriner Volkszeitung” “. The ministries’ spending on self-promotion has reached worrying proportions in recent years.

However, one trend has stopped. Almost nine out of ten Germans complain that nursing homes are too expensive from their point of view. 70 percent even believe that families cannot afford care services and homes. The discussion about a fundamental reform of the financing has started.

What consequences does the clock change have on people? In a survey by the DAK, many people now state: problems falling asleep, difficulty concentrating, irritability. And with some there is still a problem.

The statutory health insurances are doing better than they have for a long time: TK, Barmer, DAK and Co. generated an increase of 3.1 billion euros last year. They should use the surplus to make provisions for bad times, they say. “The taxpayers’ association has sharply criticized the plans of Federal Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück (SPD) to hire a public relations consultant.” “I thought it was an April Fool’s joke.” “, said association president Karl Heinz Däke of the newspaper” “Die Welt” “. The ministry had published a tender for such advice in the European Official Journal on February 4th. The contract will run for two years and be endowed with 160,000 euros per year. In Däke’s view this is “” completely superfluous “”.

The minister has a press office and can also fall back on the federal press office. In addition, Steinbrück has long experience as a politician as a minister in Kiel and Düsseldorf and as prime minister in North Rhine-Westphalia. “” He should have learned how to get messages across, “says Däke. In the draft budget for the current year, 100 million euros are budgeted for campaigns and strategic planning, according to information from the paper. The share of the Federal Ministry of Finance in this amounts to 5.8 million euros. The plans still have to be approved by parliament. Source: “The taxpayers’ association has asked the federal and state governments to cancel the expensive self-promotion.” “This waste of millions of euros is not up to date,” “said Taxpayers Association- President Karl Heinz Däke of the “” Schweriner Volkszeitung “”. The ministries’ spending on self-promotion had reached worrying proportions in recent years.

As an example, Däke named the children’s game “Kater Krümels Bauernhof” “, for which the Federal Ministry of Consumers spent 1.75 million euros. The game, which is supposed to explain the origin of food, is far too theoretical and boring and is not accepted by the children. “” The best self-promotion is still a good policy, “” said Däke. Oversized posters with the head of Federal Finance Minister Hans Eichel (SPD), on the other hand, are a pure waste of taxpayers’ biology essay writing service Political statements are conveyed via the media, and expensive image campaigns are therefore out of date in times of tight budgets.

The extent of the waste is now as high as with unnecessary consultancy contracts. The taxpayers’ association, which represents over 400,000 members nationwide, also criticized the increase in the tax-free lump sum for members of the Bundestag. According to a report by “Focus”, the MPs want to approve an increase in the flat rate to EUR 3,591 on January 1, 2005. The money is paid in addition to the basic salary of 7,009 euros. “” A scandal, “says the President of the Taxpayers’ Association.

Especially since the advertising fee for employees is reduced almost at the same time. Source: “According to the assessment of the German Salaried Health Insurance Fund (DAK), there is no longer any scope for premium reductions in statutory health insurance this year. The reason for this is also financial uncertainty due to the early federal elections DAK CEO Herbert Rebscher said of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” “(Saturday edition). It is possible that individual health insurance companies might not even be able to comply with the statutory reduction of 0.9 percentage points in the middle of the year. They would indeed comply with the law , but then immediately raise their contribution rate by a few tenths of a percentage point in order not to have to go into debt. How the contribution rate at the DAK will develop will be decided in the coming week. Realistically speaking, one can be happy if the average rate of all health insurers could be kept stable until the end of 2006, said Re Federal Health Minister Ulla Schmidt (SPD) said in an interview that she still sees opportunities to lower the rates at certain health insurance providers.

These would have to pass on the increased income achieved through the health reform to the insured. At the same time, it had rejected a study by the VdAK Substitute Fund Association as false, according to which the average contribution rate of all health insurance funds will probably rise by 0.2 percentage points to 14.4 percent in 2006. The association had justified this with, among other things, increases in the cost of pharmaceuticals. Source: “Many health insurance companies tightened their contribution rates at the beginning of the year. What was lost in the process: the service catalog has also changed for some providers.

For example, the cheaper contribution made by the technician should not pay off for everyone. Since the beginning of the year there has been more diversity in statutory health insurance. In addition to the standard fee of 14.5 percent, the health insurers may charge any amount of additional fees. Many providers have used the new scope to lower or increase their prices. But some have also worked on their services.

The Stiftung Warentest has taken a closer look at the innovations in the new “” Finanztest “” edition. Since the beginning of the year, the contribution rate has been a uniform 14.5 percent. Almost all health insurers require additional contributions. (Photo: imago / Christian Ohde) Most health insurers have not changed their contributions since January 1st. Only the Securvita BKK was 0.2 percentage points more expensive on July 1st and is now taking 15.7 percent, the IKK Nord added 0.4 percentage points and is now the most expensive health insurance company alongside the Brandenburgische BKK with 15.9 percent.

Most of the ten largest providers, on the other hand, left the previous contribution rate of 15.5 percent at the beginning of the year. Only the AOK Plus used the opportunity to significantly lower it to 14.9 percent, while the TK set the contribution at 15.4 percent. However, Germany’s fund with the largest number of members has not only reduced its contribution, but also its benefits.

The once generous subsidy for osteopathic treatments was cut from 360 to 120 euros. For patients who regularly go to the osteopath, the TK has become significantly less attractive, many other health insurers continue to take over 360 euros or even more. The most generous is the BKK Technoform, it pays up to 480 euros. However, the fund only accepts members from Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Lower Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate.

TK immediately canceled the subsidy for professional teeth cleaning, although the offer was not really convincing before, because only treatments in a few partner practices were subsidized. The subsidies for osteopathic treatments vary widely. Some health insurers pay nothing at all. (Photo: imago / UIG) Barmer GEK also saves on teeth cleaning. Previously there was a 20 euro grant for tooth cleaning that was carried out in the partner network, today the insured have to bear the costs alone. The Barmer no longer subsidizes osteopathy, the insured can only have up to 50 euros credited per year via a bonus program.

DAK Gesundheit has also cut back when it comes to osteopathy, but still pays up to 120 euros a year. For married couples with an unfulfilled desire to have children, however, the health fund could be a new point of contact. If both partners are insured with the health fund, the DAK has been paying the full cost of artificial insemination since September last year. Only 50 percent is required by law.

     The AOK Baden-Württemberg has also increased. She now pays up to 50 euros for travel vaccinations and 80 euros for alternative medicines. The osteopathy allowance of 120 euros is now no longer only available for babies, but for all insured persons. Expectant mothers can also claim up to 120 euros for the midwife on call. Many other health insurers also take on more than twice as much.

In total, the insured cannot claim more than 150 euros for the various services; pregnant women have a limit of 250 euros. AOK Bayern also relies on this health account model. She has increased travel vaccinations and alternative medicines and now pays 40 euros for teeth cleaning every two years.

However, these and other extras are limited to 100 euros per year. The AOK Plus shows that a low contribution rate does not necessarily mean reduced benefits. The 14.9 percent cash register has cut its bonus program, but everything has stayed the same with the extras. However, the health insurance company only accepts insured persons from Saxony and Thuringia. Travel vaccinations, preventive medical checkups, dental cleaning, homeopathy, artificial insemination or domestic help – insured persons in different life situations also have different demands and hardly any health insurance company can meet them all. Opportunities to compare the additional services can be found at Stiftung Warentest, but also on comparison portals such as

 If you want to change, you can do so two months in advance, provided that you have been insured with the previous provider for at least 18 months. Before you quit because of a single extra service, it is advisable to talk to the health insurance company, advises “” Finanztest “”. Funds are reluctant to lose insured persons and are sometimes accommodating, so that you still get what you want. Source:, ino “Insured persons are allowed to change funds every 18 months. (Photo: imago / Ralph Peters) The statutory one Health insurance is becoming more expensive due to rising additional contributions, but not all health insurances levy the contributions equally.

Finanztip editor-in-chief reveals where a change is worthwhile and what insured persons should pay attention to: What makes a good health insurance company? Hermann-Josef Tenhagen: That means that it naturally provides the basic service and beyond suits me. Depending on whether you value personal contact or not. The former has cheap offers in every federal state. If you have a lot to do with your health insurance company and also need personal advice, the local office is more important for you.

So the contribution amount and the services are the two most important criteria. In addition, for frequent travelers to non-European countries, for example, it can be decisive whether the health insurance company pays for recommended vaccinations that are not included in the basic service. How big are the differences in price and service? The differences in price are now quite considerable. For example, in Baden-Württemberg there is the cheapest health insurance for 14.6 percent (employer and employee share).

The DAK, however, takes 16.1 percent. At 3000 euros gross per month, that’s a 45 euros difference in the contribution burden – exclusively for the employee. The first-mentioned Metzinger company health insurance fund is only a regional option.

The question is always whether the respective fund is approved in your own federal state. But the selection is still large. Between 45 and 55 health insurance companies are approved for each federal state. For example, as a Berliner, you can get inexpensive insurance from the HKK in Bremen for 15.19 percent.

At Finanztip we have listed the cheapest health insurance companies depending on the state. How does the change work? Hermann-Josef Tenhagen is editor-in-chief of the independent consumer website Finanztip. Insured persons can change the fund every 18 months. If the fund has increased the premium, as has just happened across the board, a special right of termination applies within the first month of the new premium. This applies even if you have just changed. You can leave the old cash register at the end of the month after next.

Based on today’s date, you would be in the new fund on April 1st. How often can you change the fund? Regularly every 18 months – as often as you want. Where do you get an overview – can you compare services? We have over 80 Viewed comparison calculator. Unfortunately, even the two best free portals and do not offer a complete overview. Ultimately, I must therefore advise you to look at the portals mentioned above and then to compare the services with the information provided by the health insurance of your choice. Or you can look at the Stiftung Warentest.

Here you can find a good overview of the services offered, albeit for a fee. Axel WitteQuelle: spoke to Hermann-Josef Tenhagen: “Many people are currently sewing cotton masks. They are reusable after washing. (Photo: imago images / Kirchner -Media) Now it’s time to go on the bus and train or when shopping: put on a mask, face mask or scarf to keep the risk of infection for the general population as low as possible. But many citizens are wondering how they can get the mandatory accessory – after all Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, there has been a shortage of medical mouth and nose protective covers. But there are now several ways to get protective masks. The most important questions and answers at a glance: Can I make a protective mask myself?

Yes, you can sew protective masks yourself. Either you use new cotton or an old T-shirt and some elastic band. There are many sewing instructions and video tutorials on the Internet that clearly show how you can design a mask yourself. In a series of pictures, we will also show you how you can make a protective cover from a tea towel.

Shawls and scarves are also allowed as a mask substitute. I cannot sew – how do I get a cotton mask? If you cannot sew or do not have the necessary equipment, you can either hire a small tailor shop or look for sellers online and in brick and mortar stores search. There are many volunteers on social networks who sew masks on a donation basis. Of course, you can also ask friends and acquaintances whether someone can help out and sew. Can you get mouth and nose protection in the pharmacy?

According to the Federal Association of German Pharmacists’ Associations (ABDA), the delivery situation for masks in pharmacies is still tense. “” Not all pharmacies offer masks continuously.