Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Does Germany Have Private Health Insurance

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An Overview Of Private Health Insurance

Public vs Private Health Insurance in Germany | How Much Can You Save by Switching Health Insurance?

Health insurance in Germany works slightly differently to many other developed countries, in that the type of insurance you can access depends on precise earning amounts: those earning more than 62,550 EUR a year can choose private insurance, while those who earn less than 62,550 EUR are automatically enrolled to public health insurance.

Do You Need Private Health Insurance in Germany?

If you are covered by the state health system, then you do not need to have private health insurance.

Private health insurance is also available to self-employed people and German civil servants. For instance, civil servants, such as professors, are not obligated to be part of the state health insurance system. And, if youre a freelancer, you can have private health insurance no matter your income.

The self-employed now pay less to contributions than before 2019, after public health insurance providers reduced the hypothetical income they expect self-employed workers to earn on average per month from 2,284 to 1,038 EUR . Previously, if you were earning 1,000 EUR you had to pay 420 EUR now its around 190 EUR per month.

Also, if you earn less than 450 EUR per month and your partner earns a higher salary, you might be able to use your partners health insurance for free.

The application process for private health insurance is a bit more complicated. You may have to have medical tests, be required to answer a questionnaire concerning your medical history, and submit proof of your income.

Should I Go Private Or Public

Do I get better treatment, if Im privately insured? How expensive is statutory health insurance in Germany? These are common questions that foreigners and expats face upon their arrival in Germany. Weve made life easier for you: Find out the main advantages and disadvantages of private and statutory health insurance below.

Can I Live In Germany Without Health Insurance

Germans laws require those who live in Germany including citizens from EU countries to have health insurance.

If you are a non-EU citizen, you are required to present proof of health insurance when applying for a visa.

If you dont have health insurance, youll need to pay a back charge for the entire period when you were uninsured.

The back charge rate is usually around 50% of the insurance premium you needed to pay at the time. For example, if you were uninsured for two years and your average premium per month was 400 euros, then you need to pay a back charge of around 4,800 euros.

The government will find out that you are uninsured and you will need to pay a back charge as soon as you sign up for public insurance, such as when you become employed or self-employed. They will perform a background check on you and find out that you have been uninsured for a certain period of time.

If you decide to get private insurance, chances are that they will do a background check on you and consequently ask you to pay a back charge.

To avoid paying back-change, its recommended to get health insurance upon moving to Germany.

Regardless of the reason for your stay, the type of insurance you should have doesnt need to be health insurance it could be travel or student health insurance..

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Health Insurance In Germany

If you are an employee and you earn less than 57,600 a year , you have to take part in the government health scheme Gesetzliche Krankenversicherun or GKV taking out health insurance as soon as you have signed your work contract.

The scheme is administered by around 110 Krankenkassen which must all charge the same basic rate of 14.6% of your eligible gross salary up to a maximum of 4,350 a month in 2017 . This amount is shared equally between you and your employer. You have to stay with a particular Krankenkasse for 18 months, after which time you can switch to another government scheme. Employed workers only pay contributions if they earn over 850 per month.

GKV covers you for primary care with registered doctors, hospital care and basic dental treatment. Non-working dependents living at the same address and registered with the Krankenkasse are covered at no extra cost.

GKV does not cover consultations with private doctors, private rooms in hospitals, alternative or complementary treatments, dental implants, or glasses/contact lenses for adults. You can read more in our guide to health insurance in Germany.

What Treatment Is Covered By Private Health Insurance

Private Health Insurance Germany

Private health insurance offers comprehensive coverage, usually giving you access to all areas of the German healthcare system, including visits to the doctor and specialists, health checks, treatment in hospital, dentistry, and prescriptions and medicines. It is also possible to tailor your plan to meet your needs by choosing optional extras .

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Global Health Insurance For Foreigners Living In Germany

Foreigners move to Germany with dreams of good jobs and a good life. And they are not disappointed. Two-thirds of expats rate their job security positively. This is a significant increase compared to the global average of 57%. About 66% of international workers say that they have a good work-life balance and only 2% of expats in Germany worry about personal safety. . Another great aspect of life is the countrys superb standard of healthcare. The country has very low rates of infant mortality and high per capita ratios of practicing physicians in the population. No wonder its such a popular destination! To access that high level of care, you need a high-quality German health insurance plan to cover you in Germany but also worldwide, including back home. Here is what foreigners and expatriates need to know about enrolling in private health insurance in Germany.

What Is Gesetzliche Krankenkasse

In total, there are more than 200 healthcare providers for public health insurance.

They are not allowed to charge more than what is set out by the state.

So the services and fees are all roughly the same for all public health insurance providers.

AOK is by far the largest healthcare provider in Germany.

It is also the only one that has specialised in healthcare for foreigners in Germany.

Thats why AOK is the most popular health insurance providers for newcomers in Germany.

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The Assessment Ceiling And Compulsory Insurance Limit

Although public health insurance is calculated on the gross income, the assessment ceiling is the maximum insurance contribution one has to pay per month. The maximum insurance contribution is 4,837.50 per month in 2020 . The assessment ceiling is often decisive for members of the public health insurance to switch to private health insurance.

The compulsory insurance limit, on the other hand, is the income limit that enables employees to switch to private health insurance. The current limit for 2021 is 5,362.50 per month in 2021 .

Expat Health Insurance In Germany

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Expat health insurance is also called incoming health insurance. It is temporary health insurance that covers you for a maximum of five years. If you need to get voluntary health insurance in Germany, you will make your move easier by getting expat health insurance.

As a non-EU citizen, you can get quality expat health insurance from Ottonova. What do I mean by quality? The expat health insurance from Ottonova has a full private insurance cover and will allow you to renew your residence permit, should you want to stay in Germany longer but less than five years.

International health insurances like Mawista, CareConcept, or aLC are not approved by the German Federal Financial Services Authority . They may work to get your first resident permit, but they will most likely not be accepted by the immigration office the second time around for renewal of your residence permit.

Feather also provides expat health insurance. It is 100% approved to get your visa, but will most likely also not get you a renewal of your residence permit. However, Feather recently introduced a premium version of their expat health insurance, which also covers dental and preventative check-ups. So if you only plan to stay in Germany for a year or two Feather is your best option.

If you, however, plan to stay in Germany longer and you are on an expat health insurance other than from Ottonova, you need to change to proper German health insurancebefore your residents permit expires to stay in Germany.

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Private Health Insurance Tips

It is mandatory for everyone living in Germany, even temporarily, to have valid health insurance for the entire time they are in the country. If you will opt for private health insurance, try to organize this online and with the help of provider support before you arrive.

One way to lower your monthly private insurance contributions is by opting to increase the excess that you will pay yourself each year for certain treatments this is known as Selbstbehalt. Remember to budget for paying for your doctors visits and treatments as you will have to do this before being reimbursed.

If you have private health care cover in your home country, you may be able to move to Germany and still be covered by the terms of your insurer to use private doctors and hospitals in Germany, but its really important that you check this first.

If you have public healthcare insurance then your children are covered under your plan. This may not always be the case for private healthcare. Make sure you choose a provider that covers your family.

What Is Being Done To Promote Delivery System Integration And Care Coordination

Many efforts to improve care coordination have been implemented for example, sickness funds offer integrated care contracts and disease management programs for chronic illnesses to improve care for chronically ill patients and to improve coordination among providers in the ambulatory sector. In December 2017, 9,173 registered disease management programs for six indications had enrolled about 6.8 million patients .16 There is no pooling of funding streams by the health and social care sectors.

Since 2016, the Innovation Fund has been promoting new forms of cross-sectoral and integrated care with an annual funding of EUR300 million, or USD382 million . Funds are awarded through an application process overseen by the Federal Joint Committee.17 So far, the fund has sponsored care models in structurally weak and rural regions and care models using telehealth.

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How To Find A Doctor Or Dentist

Chances are that while you are in Germany, you might get sick or need treatment of some sort, so you will need to know how to find a doctor and dentist. If you arent self-employed or a stay-at-home parent, your company requires a health insurance certificate from a doctor in Germany in cases where you need to take sick leave.

The first step is to start looking for a general physician or family doctor in Germany . If you suffer from a condition in need of special treatment and are wondering how to find specialists , your GP can recommend you one or refer you to a hospital .

If you are wondering how to find a family doctor, or how to find a dentist, every doctor in Germany is listed in the local phone directory , under Ärzte. In major cities, there are a great number of physicians, with more than one doctor in most neighborhoods.

If you dont know which doctor to choose, please contact your embassy or consulate for advice. They usually have lists with recommended doctors for most regions, especially in urban areas. However, those physicians tend to be in high demand.

Then theres always the internet: German websites, like and, allow you to search for doctors, and offer ratings and rankings from other patients. Another way of finding a trustworthy doctor is by word of mouth: ask people you are in contact with which doctors and specialists they recommend. InterNations expat communities in Germany are full of people willing to give advice like this.

Which Health Insurance Company Is Responsible For Issuing Certification Of Insurance

Health Insurance In Germany: Choosing Public or Private

Applicants receive the certification of insurance required for initial enrolment from the health insurance company or private insurer with which they are insured or are assumed to be insured as a member or as a family dependent at the time of commencement of studies.

Applicants who wish to be exempted from mandatory insurance receive their certification of insurance from the health insurance company that issues the exemption.

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Who Needs Health Insurance In Germany

By law, all German residents must be insured for hospital and outpatient medical treatment, and it is mandatory to show proof of health insurance when applying for a German visa.

The vast majority of German workers remain on the state German health insurance system, but it is possible to take out more extensive private health insurance in some circumstances.

German health insurance contributions are split between employers and employees, regardless of whether you use a private or public scheme.

Contributions For 2019/20 Are As Follows:

  • Public Health Insurance Premium
  • Guest scientists, post-graduate students, scholarship holders
  • Participants in German language courses or those attending study colleges
  • Students who are aged 30 and above

Students from countries with which there are social insurance agreements

Social insurance agreements are in place with some countries, including member states of the European Union and the European Economic Area. If you have statutory health insurance in your home country, you can apply to have this insurance cover recognised by a statutory health insurance company in Germany.

Students from EU states usually obtain an international insurance card in their home country . This is also recognised in Germany . Please use this certification to register with a statutory health insurance company.

This company will then provide confirmation that the health insurance required for enrolment at an institute of higher education is in place.

It may be the case that your insurance does not cover all costs in Germany.

Please make precise enquiries as to which benefits you are entitled to receive in Germany before entering the country. Health insurance policies that limit costs of treatment or duty to provide benefits are not recognised in Germany! If you do not have any insurance cover in your home country, you will still be required to take out insurance in Germany just like all other students.

Recognition of health insurance for extension of the right to remain

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Health Insurance In Germany Your Options

The most common and the most economical choice for health insurance is the government-regulated public health insurance system. The public health insurance is administered by approximately 113 Krankenkassen or sickness funds.

The price of the public system is based on gross income. The cost is traditionally split between employer and employee per month, making insurance coverage a bargain price. Even better, spouses, civil partners, and children are also covered under this plan. Its cheap, its comprehensive, and its easy thanks to the fact that employers handle the paperwork.

Health Insurance For Pensioners

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Pensioners are also obliged to take out health insurance. If you have been contributing to a statutory health insurance scheme for 90% of the second half of your working life, you must contribute to a statutory health insurance for pensioners scheme.

The premiums will be deducted from your pension . Your pension fund will contribute 50% of the premium taken from your statutory pension.

If you do not meet the criteria, you can voluntarily contribute to GKV, but your premiums may be higher. Alternatively, you can take out private health insurance for pensioners, and your pension insurance fund will usually supplement your contributions.

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How To Get Health Insurance As A Freelancer Or Self

If youre a freelancer or self-employed, its all up to you to do the following steps:

  • Choose a provider and find the right application form on their website

    • Provide basic personal information like your name, address and nationality

    • Provide employment information like your job title and start date

    • Provide previous insurance information like whether youve been insured in Germany before, and by whom

    • Send the completed form to the appropriate address, which is usually written on the form

    • Submit a recent passport photo to put on your insurance card

    • Set up a direct debit to get billed automatically

    3. If you choose private health insurance, you must also choose your particular plan, and plans vary by cost and coverage. People typically recommend choosing a private plan if youre young, in good health and dont plan to live in Germany permanently.

    Who Should Get Private Health Insurance

    Around one-in-10 residents opt for private health insurance in Germany. Some 40 companies oversee the private medical insurance market. As a result, there are many packages available to suit different budgets.

    Whether youre eligible to switch from a state to private health insurance fund is largely dependent on your employment status.

    If you earn less than 60,750 per year , you must stay on the statutory system.

    However, you can choose either state or private insurance if you:

    • are self-employed
    • earn above the salary threshold
    • have no basis to join a state insurance scheme
    • are a student who renounces their state insurance.

    Switching to a private fund isnt always advisable. Premiums are based on personal factors and prices increase with age, health risks, and added family members.

    If youre young with few health issues and have sufficient income, switching to private insurance is a viable option.

    However, if you have serious health issues and have trouble being accepted into a private scheme in Germany, you can opt for a Basistarif. This obliges insurers to accept all cases under the same conditions as the government system.

    Membership of an insurance fund typically runs for 18 months. You can usually change health insurance company by giving two months notice before the 18-month expiry date, or whenever a supplemental increase has been announced or increased .

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