Long-term Care in Germany

This chapter provides an overview of the German long-term care insurance. This work documents care needs and wellbeing of the elderly population. Moreover, it provides a detailed description of the German long-term care institutions (sources of finance and types of benefits), the professional care work force, and informal caregivers. Finally, it documents expenditures on long-term care and estimate the value of informal care. The cost of long-term care for the elderly (65+), including both cost of nursing home and home health agency, reached 61 billion euro in 2019. Half of these spending are for nursing homes while only about 22.5% of beneficiaries use these institutions. Out-of-pocket spending differs greatly between modes of care. Out-of-pocket expenditures make up only about 7% of total expenditures for home care. In nursing homes, 41% of expenditures are out-of-pocket payment. Most of the expenditures are covered by the long-term care insurance. The share of other governmental schemes in expenditures for inpatient care is relatively high. This is explained by a high rate of benefit recipients who cannot afford co-payments for nursing homes: about one-third of all nursing home residents receive means- and wealth-tested social assistance. If added the costs of informal care the share of privately financed care amounts to nearly 60% of total expenditures.