For several years, nursing home placements for those in need of care have posed a growing financial burden for many families. While augmented subsidies aim to alleviate the strain, recent data from the Association of Replacement Funds reveals that nursing home care continues to become more expensive, even with reinforced cost containment measures.
As of January 1st, the average out-of-pocket expense for the first year in a nursing home across Germany was €2,576 per month—€165 more than at the beginning of 2023. Despite the higher relief supplements introduced with the Ampel Coalition’s reforms in January 2024, the co-payments for care recipients have risen. These supplements, which increase with extended stays in nursing homes, now mitigate the cost growth for pure caregiving more effectively. However, expenses for accommodation and meals have continued to climb.
On average, self-payments with the highest supplement from the fourth year in a nursing home increased to €1,750 per month. This represents an increase of €79 compared to January 1st, 2023, as indicated by the latest analysis. In the third year, monthly contributions rose by an average of €140 to €2,095, while in the second year, they increased by €187 to an average of €2,370 as of January 1, 2024.
These figures encompass the individual’s share for pure care and support, as the nursing care insurance only covers a portion of the costs, unlike health insurance. Residents also incur costs for accommodation, meals, and facility investments. Since 2022, special relief supplements, increased at the beginning of each year, have been provided in addition to the payments from the nursing care fund. This has reduced the individual’s share for pure care by 15% in the first year, 30% in the second, 50% in the third, and 75% from the fourth year onwards.
However, the analysis reveals that the individual’s share for pure care has also increased without these supplements, averaging €1,377 as of January 1, 2024—an increase of €238 per month compared to the beginning of 2023. This is partly due to higher personnel costs associated with the shortage of sought-after nursing staff. Accommodation and meal costs have risen to an average of €921 per month nationwide, an increase of €64 compared to the start of 2023, while investment costs have increased by €13 to €485.
Ulrike Elsner, the head of the Association of Replacement Funds, stated, “Nursing home placements have once again become more expensive for those in need of care.” The increased subsidies from the nursing care funds only partially offset the rise. If the states adhere to their political commitment to cover the investment costs of the facilities, individuals in need of care could be relieved by €485 per month. The association anticipates relief supplements totaling around €5.5 billion in 2024. Regional disparities persist, with the highest overall self-payment costs in the first year in Saarland, averaging €2,981 per month, followed by Baden-Württemberg (€2,907) and North Rhine-Westphalia (€2,892). The most affordable nursing home placements in the first year were in Saxony-Anhalt, averaging €2,017 per month.
The data analyzed pertains to compensation agreements between nursing care funds and care facilities in all federal states, focusing on residents with care levels 2 to 5. The Association of Replacement Funds includes major health insurers such as the Techniker Krankenkasse, Barmer, and DAK-Gesundheit.
Source: ntv.de, awi/dpa