Insurers argue over cost of swine flu shots

Insurers argue over cost of swine flu shots
Photo: DPA
German health insurers are urging the government to take on the costs of immunising the population against swine flu, daily Leipziger Volkszeitung reported on Tuesday.

“Fundamentally the handling of a pandemic is the concern of the public health services, a spokesperson for health insurance alliance VDEK told the paper, warning that otherwise costs would be transferred to their customers.

The cost, estimated at some €600 million, is an “amount that was not factored in and that can’t be compared to petty cash,” head of AOK Plus health insurer Rolf Steinbronn, adding that such a sum can ruin an insurer.

Resistance from insurers comes after a spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Health recently said insurers would take on the immunisation fees.

In mid-July, the Health Ministry announced that the first A/H1NI virus vaccinations – enough for 30 percent of the population – would be delivered in September. So far there have been more than 700 cases of the virus in the country.

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