Bundestag decides controversial care reform – changes already from July

The Bundestag has passed the controversial care reform of the traffic light coalition. Lauterbach’s initiative is intended to relieve those in need of care and their relatives.

The Bundestag decided on Friday the controversial care reform of the traffic light coalition. 377 MPs voted in favor, 275 against, two abstained. The legislative plans of Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) provide for relief for those in need of care from 2024 in view of the sharp rise in costs.

To stabilize long-term care insurance, higher contributions are to come as early as July 1st – except for families with several younger children. The government factions had recently agreed on improvements that should benefit caregiving relatives at home. The plans are not enough for social associations, nursing care funds and the opposition.

The reform is intended to financially secure care until 2025 and mobilize 6.6 billion euros more annually, as Lauterbach has made clear. An overview of key points:

  • Experts classify: That means Lauterbach’s care reform for you

These changes are planned

Care at home: The nursing allowance, which was last increased in 2017, is to rise by five percent on January 1, 2024, as will the amounts for benefits in kind. Care allowance is intended to support those in need of care who do not live in institutions. You can use it freely, for example for care. Depending on the level of care, it is between 316 and 901 euros per month. Around four million people are cared for at home.

Care in the home: Relief surcharges for residents introduced at the beginning of 2022 are to be increased by January 1, 2024. The personal contribution for pure care should be reduced by 15 instead of the previous 5 percent in the first year in the home, by 30 instead of 25 percent in the second year, by 50 instead of 45 percent and from the fourth year by 75 instead of 70 percent. The background to this is that nursing care insurance – unlike health insurance – only bears part of the costs for pure nursing care. In the home, there are also payments for accommodation, food and investments in the facilities.

Nursing contribution should increase

The care contribution is currently 3.05 percent of the gross wage, for people without children it is 3.4 percent. It is to be increased on July 1, in combination with changes due to a judgment by the Federal Constitutional Court. Accordingly, a distinction must be made more according to whether one has children or not. All in all, the contribution for childless people should rise to 4 percent and for those who pay contributions with one child to 3.4 percent. The employer’s contribution contained therein is now to be increased from 1.525 percent to 1.7 percent.

Contributions II: Specifically, the care contribution for larger families is to be reduced more significantly for the duration of the upbringing phase up to the 25th birthday of the child in question – gradually for each child. From two children would have to be paid less than today – based on the employee share of currently 1.525 percent. With two children, the employee share should be 1.45 percent in the future, with three children 1.2 percent, with four children 0.95 percent and with five or more children 0.7 percent. If a child is older than 25 years, “his” deduction does not apply. If all the children are out of the child-rearing period, the one-child contribution applies permanently, even if you are retired.

More flexible budget for dependents

A budget that can be used flexibly with relief for caring relatives is now to come. It is intended to bundle preventive care and short-term care services – i.e. that care is secured if relatives cannot do it. From July 1, 2025, 3,539 euros should be usable annually. For parents of children in need of care with care grade 4 or 5, the budget should be available from January 1, 2024 with 3,386 euros and then increase to 3,539 euros by July 2025.

Two tiers are also envisaged to further increase all cash and in-kind benefits. On January 1, 2025, there should now be an increase of 4.5 percent instead of the initially thought 5 percent – in return for the budget that was still recorded. On January 1, 2028, the benefits are to increase based on the inflation rate of the three previous years.


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