German Socialism Lacks Billing Transparency

One thing we can learn from the United States is how much more transparent their medical billing service is.  Medical insurance policy holders get to see their medical bills before being passed on to the insurer. But some bills might make you sick after you have just been cured from some other ailment such as in the case of a friend of mine.

She wrote:

“Guess how much just my Dilation and Curettage (DNC) hospital bill was for the out patient surgery?. $30,000.00, just for the hospital, plus 925.00 for the doc and 225.00 for lab work, I am sure I will get more  bills. 80% should be covered by the insurance and my 2,500 deductible. Can you believe this? America is so messed up with health care….“

– end of quote –

Go back twenty years: The same friend had to use her credit card to charge the delivery of her daughter. It took her five years to pay off the birth of her child. This makes me wonder how much hospitals charge for a birth over here in Germany. Does the average German know? I doubt it.

At the same time I have to question the American medical system and wonder whether it is partially to blame for the credit crunch. I wonder what percentage of “purchases” is actually going to clinics, hospitals, doctors, and medicine in form of paying for medical care?

In the case of most Germans, under the national insurance package, they never get to see any bills at all. But I think the time has come that all charges should be accessible to the patient. We need to take more control as paying citizens and value the insurance company’s money as if it were our own. For the longest time, Germans – and I am sure others – have not cared how much the billed amount was until they had to pay it out of their own pocket. I believe we should have more transparency in the billing system for medical purposes, as well as educational services.

In the educational sector, homeschooling is illegal in Germany. Attending school is not only compulsory, but also police-enforced, and therefore placing the sole control of education in the hands of the German government. If German taxpayers could see how much elementary schools, secondary schools and universities are charging the German government per student enrollment (click here for a list of charges), then they might reconsider the value of education. Homeschooling should be an alternative to conventional education and the choice should be left up to each family.

Germany’s university education is rather inexpensive. Last year some German university students went out to demonstrate against the recently implemented college tuition charge of €500 per semester. Consider this amount (at two semesters a year) to be a fragment of what universities are charging the government for each enrollment in return. The student’s seat in the lecture hall of a German university is valued at €10,425 a year, which leaves the student only paying 10% of the total charge. I wish German college students knew how much a university education costs in other countries, e.g. Duke University in the U.S.A costs about $51,000 a year. This is why we international parents start college funds as soon as a child is born. Germans feel entitled to free education. On the other hand, they have no qualms about spending lots of money on holidays. Some Germans find our family’s two-week summer holiday too short to recuperate….

There are just too many hidden bills wrapped up in socialistic packages. Germans need to know how much their visit to the doctor costs in order to appreciate it and to question a possible overcharge, if warranted, as well. Right now we are like little kids in this Vaterland, with Daddy covering all our bills. All forms of public services, such as education (primary, secondary) is free, tertiary education is very low-cost, vocational training is free, medical care is free, rehab for overly fatigued mothers is free, etc. But SOMEBODY is getting paid well by being a service provider: BIG business buoyed along by taxpayers’ ignorance.


  1. When I tell my friends here in the US about the FREE stuff all Germans have, I now will remember that nothing is really FREE.
    “There are no free lunches.”
    I think my friends here don’t believe it anyway, it sounds like I am making it up.
    In reference to the medical costs in the US, why is it that there are different prices for a proceedure, depending on if you have insurance or not.
    Hey and by the way, I get 2 weeks vacation per year and 5 sick days/year, after that if I get sick, I don’t get paid ! That’s that !
    I am lucky if I keep my job if I should be out for more than 5 days.
    My taxes are 40 hours/week until March 1st. each year. That part of my yearly pay goes to tax. I want some free stuff !!!!


  1. […] which swallowed the amount of four weekly pay checks and left my cupboards empty. The USA has more transparency in its medical billing compared to Germany, but the fees are outrageous at times. My friend was charged over US Dollars […]

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