North Rhine-Westphalia’s Health and Social Affairs Minister Karl Josef Laumann (CDU) has called for participation in this year’s social elections. From Thursday onwards, those entitled to vote will find red envelopes with the voting documents in the mail. You can cast your vote until May 31, 2023. For the first time this year, online voting is also possible as an alternative to postal voting at the substitute health insurance funds.

Members of the five substitute health insurance companies (Techniker Krankenkasse, DAK-Gesundheit, Barmer, KKH and Handelskrankenkasse hhk) as well as the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund can vote. Around 52 million people are entitled to vote in the third largest election in Germany – around ten million of them in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The voters decide on the composition of their social parliaments – the administrative boards of the substitute funds and the representatives’ assembly for pension insurance. Elected every six years. All insured persons who pay contributions and are at least 16 years old are entitled to vote.

Minister Laumann said on Wednesday that a high turnout also means that politicians are becoming more cautious about increasingly restricting self-government. “For many millions of people, this is about not only paying contributions, but also having a say in what is done with the election.” The elected representatives had a say in health services, preventive measures as well as the budget and staff of the social security institutions.

The federal electoral commissioner for social elections, Peter WeiƟ, appealed to those entitled to vote to take the election seriously. Social elections are sometimes overshadowed by political elections. However, the elected men and women make important fundamental decisions regarding pension and health insurance. It becomes concrete for insured persons, for example, when it comes to filing objections or applying for pensions.

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