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The “Bismarck-Model”: Germany’s health insurance system in its historical context.

Blümel M, Busse R
World Hospitals and Health Services 54(1): 42-47


The German system of statutory health insurance, commonly referred to as the Bismarck model, has developed during its 135 years of existence from a compulsory workers' insurance to a system that provides universal population coverage, a generous benefit basket and low cost-sharing arrangement. This articel gives a short account of German health insurance history on its way to universal health coverage along the country's historical and political periods, as well as an overview of its current operation.

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