German health insurers in surplus:
This article was originally published in Clinica
Germany's health insurance funds recorded a surplus of Euros2.64bn ($3.48bn) in the first nine months of 2004, against a deficit of Euros1.86bn in the same period in 2003. Health minister Ulla Schmidt said that the health reform and the health fund modernisation law had effectively spared contributors from having to increase their payments. Without the reform, an extra Euros8bn would have been needed to keep the funds "stable", meaning an average contribution rise of 15%.