The latest health care reforms in Germany increased the scope for competition in Germany's compulsory health care system. Health insurances can now negotiate bilaterally contracts with service providers as well as so-called rebate contracts with pharmaceutical firms. In addition, health insurances can offer a greater variety of contractual options (returns and allowances) to their customers. In this paper we examine the still existing restrictions on the application of competition law in the field of health care and how they affect customers, insurances and health care provider. Given our economic analysis, we recommend to abolish still existing restrictions and to apply the German antitrust law fully to protect competition and its positive effects on efficiency more effectively.
Keywords: Health Care Markets, Social Insurance, Competition Policy