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The nationwide initiative to integrate work and health promotion will be further expanded

The project is already being implemented at 129 locations, in all 16 Federal States. In 2019, there will be a further expansion to new locations.
27 Feb 2019 | Press Release No. 8

Mainz, February 27, 2019: he statutory health insurance companies have been working together since 2016 with the Federal Employment Agency, the German Rural District Association and the German Association of Cities and Towns to improve the health situation of unemployed people. The partners combine work promotion and health promotion by, among others, developing and delivering health promotion and prevention services tailored to the needs of unemployed people.

The common goal of the cooperation partners at the federal and local level is to improve the health-related quality of life for unemployed people, and to raise awareness of maintaining physical and mental health. This can increase the chances of resuming employment.

Job-centres and employment agencies sensitize unemployed people to health-related counselling sessions for their own health and motivate them to use specific health promotion- and preventative services provided by the GKV Alliance for Health, on a voluntary basis. Job-centres, employment agencies, health insurance funds and other municipal partners such as the health department, (sports) clubs and initiatives support unemployed people with affordable and sustainable offers.

The CEO of the Federal Employment Agency, Detlef Scheele, emphasizes: "Health problems are often a hurdle for successful integration into work. At the same time, we know that unemployment itself can become a health-burden for people. Therefore, we are pleased that the voluntary offer in our employment agencies and job-centres was so well-received that we can now expand it. In the future, we will be able to support even more clients to strengthen their health and thus increase their employment opportunities. "

The project is already being implemented at 129 locations, in all 16 Federal States. In 2019, there will be a further expansion to new locations.

"With this collaboration, we are taking important steps together to bring the prevention law to life, and are contributing to reducing social inequality in health opportunities," explains Gernot Kiefer, head of the GKV (Gesetzlichen Krankenversicherung, in English: National Statutory Health Insurance) Umbrella Organisation. "As the first results of the accompanying evaluation show, the program is well-received both in the job centres and employment agencies and by the unemployed people. What we are particularly pleased about: job centres and health insurers have formed a regional steering committee at almost all locations; in many of them, other partners are already working on site. This networking makes it possible to offer the unemployed people tailor-made measures to maintain their health. "

The alderman of the German Rural District Association, Irene Vorholz, M.D. explains: "Long-term unemployed people often have health problems that hinder their integration into work. The job-centres counteract this at an early stage, for example, within the framework of preventive health promotion projects. The municipal job-centres and the communal facilities in the districts and independent cities are therefore ideal partners of the health insurance companies. Together, we aim to improve the opportunities for support for these people and to further promote the integration of work- and health promotion. That's why the German Rural District Association likes to be involved in this important project. "

"Anyone with ongoing health-problems has a greater risk of losing his / her job. Long-term illnesses often prevent those affected from gaining new career prospects, "explains Helmut Dedy, Managing Director of the German Association of Cities and Towns. "That's why it's a great win-win situation to both improve people's health and take a look at the opportunities in the labour market. The pilot project provides easy and voluntary access to preventative- and health services in an increasing number of communities, across the country. This is a successful contribution to opening up new opportunities for people. "

Background notes:

The GKV Alliance for Health is the joint initiative of the Statutory Health Insurance funds for the further development and implementation of health-promotion and -prevention in living spaces. The project for the integration of work- and health promotion in the communal living environment goes back to a model project of the GKV-Umbrella Organisation and the Federal Employment Agency (BA), developed in 2014 and tested at six locations. Building on the experience gained, the approach has been further developed since 2016 within the framework of the GKV-Alliance for Health.

The project is funded by the health insurance community and the job-centres, as well as employment agencies, in accordance with their respective legal responsibilities. For the project coordination at the sites and the offers of health promotion- and prevention, the GKV spent nearly EUR five million, in the years 2016 to the end of 2018. For the further implementation of the program, including accompanying scientific research, the GKV-Alliance for Health provides more than EUR eight million, annually.

The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) takes over the nationwide coordination of the program as part of the commissioning by the GKV-Umbrella Organisation and supervises the evaluation process. It supports the health insurance funds and / or contracted leadership in the regions. The GKV funds for the program are borne by the budget, which the health insurance funds of the BZgA, in accordance with § 20a Abs. 3 SGB V for Health Promotion and Prevention in Living Spaces.

Implementation of the project in Rhineland-Palatinate

In Rhineland-Palatinate, the program is currently being implemented at twelve locations. The responsible leader of the implementation into the job-centres that started in 2017 is the National Centre for Health Promotion of Rhineland-Palatinate e. V., appointed by health insurance companies. The project is also part of the "Healthy Community" network for the Implementation of the National Framework Agreement. This networking results in concrete nationwide offers such as, for example, a nutritional offer for unemployed people of the Rhineland-Palatinate Consumer Centre, which will be supplemented by the Ministry for Public Food Administration, from 2019 onwards. Courses on topics such as exercise, healthy eating and stress management are offered at all locations. There are also additional measures in collaboration with municipal partners. A total of 120 employment promotion institutions are actively involved in the project.

Media contacts:

Press Office Federal Employment Agency Aneta Schikora Tel. 0911 179-2214; - 2218; Fax 0911 179-1487;
E-Mail: central.presse@arbeitsagentur.de

Press Office GKV Umbrella Organisation Ms. Claudia Widmaier Tel. 030 206 288-4201; Fax. 030 206 288-84201;
E-Mail: presse@gkv-spitzenverband.de

Press Office Deutscher Landkreistag (German Rural District Association) Dr. Ing. Markus Mempel Tel. 030 590097-312; Fax. 030 590097-412, E-Mail: markus.mempel@landkreistag.de

Press Office Deutscher Städtetag (German Association of Cities and Towns) Ms Daniela Schönwälder Tel. 030 37711-135; Fax. 030 37711-139, E-Mail: daniela.schoenwaelder@staedtetag.de