With Covid-19 still around, nobody should leave home without a suitable protective mask. Until the 6th of January 2021, people aged 60 and over or younger but with certain risk factors were able to obtain 3 FFP2 masks free of charge at the pharmacy simply presenting their identity card. Under the new national regulations, protective masks will no longer be distributed free of charge and this procedure will now be replaced by the issuing of forgery-proof vouchers, so-called Berechtigungsscheine, to be presented in pharmacies.
The Bundesdruckerei has already sent the vouchers to all the Krankenkasse, which will send them by post to their insured who fall into the risk categories. Once the policyholder has received the vouchers, he can use them to obtain FFP2 masks (or equivalent masks) by simply going to the pharmacy.
One voucher entitles the insured to obtain 6 protective masks, each person can obtain a maximum of 2 vouchers. The first Berechtigungsschein is valid until the 28th of February, the second can be redeemed from the 16th of February to the 15th of April. In order to receive the masks, the policyholder has to present the voucher at the pharmacy and pay a surcharge of 2€.
What are the risk groups?
So-called risk groups include all persons, legally resident in Germany, over 60 years of age or younger with significant health problems, such as: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or bronchial asthma; chronic heart or kidney failure; cerebrovascular diseases, in particular stroke; type 2 diabetes mellitus; active, progressive or metastatic cancer.
In addition, all persons who: are undergoing treatment that damages the immune system; have undergone an organ or stem cell transplant; pregnant women at high risk.
The Ministry of Health has also reassured that all those who have not yet received the voucher from their health insurance should be patient because they will certainly receive it by post shortly.