Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How To Get Health Insurance In Germany As A Foreigner

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Who Can Opt For Private Health Insurance

How to get Comprehensive Health Insurance in Germany as a foreigner

Around 11% of Germans opt for private health insurance . By choosing private health insurance, you can expect to receive a wider range of medical treatments.

In theory, everybody not in the categories above can choose a private insurance scheme including german civil servants and people working part-time earning less than 450/month. However, once you’ve opted out of the state insurance scheme, it can be very difficult to go back. Switching back to state insurance is possible under the following circumstances: when someone has lost their job your salary is below the 54,900EUR a year, you used to be self-employed but now have a full-time position with a similar salary. Before you make this decision, you should therefore carefully compare the advantages and disadvantages of the two systems.

If you opt-out of statutory health insurance and cannot go back, the private insurance companies will be forced to offer you a basic tariff with the same fees as the statutory insurance from 2009.

Which Benefits Does An Incoming Insurance Policy Offer

What is insured?
    • Medically advisable and justifiable return transport to a suitable hospital close to your place of residence.
    • Medically necessary transport to a hospital abroad and back again to your accommodation
    • Medically necessary treatment, medication and medical devices
    • Pain-relieving dental treatment and denture repairs
    • Rooming-In for the in-patient treatment of children under the age of 18
    • Information about other benefits and services can be found in our General Terms and Conditions of Insurance.
    What is not insured?

    X Dental treatments going beyond pain-relieving treatment or denture repairs

    X Psychoanalytical and psychotherapeutic therapy

    X Medical treatments for which the travel was planned

    X Medical treatments known to be required in advance of travel

    X Addiction treatment

    X Medical devices such as spectacles or hearing aids

    X Medical check-ups during pregnancy, childbirth after the 36th week and abortions not medically indicated

    X Treatment of injuries sustained during sports competitions, for which you earn a participation fee

    Private Health Insurance Companies In Germany

    There are a number of private health insurance companies operating in Germany. These include large multinational insurers as well as local German providers, offering full and supplementary policies. German health insurance providers include:

    You can compare private health insurance providers in Germany and get free quotes on our special health insurance page, and with the following tools from GKV and PVK .

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    Private Health Insurance For Foreigners In Germany: What You Need To Know

    Germans can take out private or public health insurance. Public health insurance offers solid basic health care, while private health insurance offers more extensive coverage and benefits. Whether private health insurance is right for you depends on two factors.

    No matter which system you choose, it is important that you have health insurance by the time you start working in Germany. It is also a prerequisite for your visa or enrollment.

    Private Health Insurance In Germany For Foreigners

    German Health Insurance For Foreigners ...

    While the majority of persons earn below the compulsory insurance limit and thus need to be insured with public health insurance, there are instances where this limit does not apply. Foreigners in Germany who can have private health insurance in Germany are:

    • Freelancers and self-employed
    • Public servants and
    • Employees who earn above the income threshold for compulsory insurance.

    The income threshold for compulsory insurance in 2021 is 64,350 per year or 5,362.50 per month. If you meet these criteria you can however also become voluntarily insured within the public health insurance and additionally get private supplementary health insurance for increased coverage.

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    Why Do You Need It

    People have different reasons for getting health insurance. Some want it to safeguard their pockets. Some want it to have extra peace of mind. Some want it so that they can visit a hospital without having to pay large medical bills.

    When it comes to most expats living in United States, here are the top two reasons why they get health insurance:

    Cost Of Health Insurance In Switzerland


    The cost of a health insurance premium can be determined by area, so an average cost can be sought by canton. It is interesting to note that the most expensive canton, Basel-Stadt, is nearly 60 per cent more expensive than the cheapest.

    In Switzerland, schemes are designed to cover individuals, not families, so separate insurance plans should be sought for each member of the household. You are usually charged a monthly premium fee, and this figure varies.

    It is not unusual for fees to vary year on year. This is because insurance fees are reviewed according to different factors, for example company debt, healthcare costs and so on. Some premiums have risen 15-20 per cent year on year. In 2017, there were substantial hikes to health insurance costs.

    Children up to the age of 18 do not need to be with the same company as their parents and are given price reductions. However, once a child turns 18, they are responsible for their own health insurance and the local authority will usually send a letter before their birthday in their eighteenth year. If parents have not paid past insurance for the child, at 18-years-old, the child will become liable for the total bill. Some children have been presented with hefty bills, so it is best to ensure this does not occur.

    The government has compiled a full list of fees.


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    Do I Qualify For Private Health Insurance In Germany

    As a foreign worker in Germany, you can only opt for private health insurance if you meet the following requirements:

    • You have an income of at least 59,000 per year or approximately 4,900 per month.
    • You are a freelancer or self-employed in Germany.
    • You only get private health insurance as a supplement to your already existing public/statutory health insurance. In this case, you would pay for both public and private health insurance.

    If you meet all the requirements above, you can purchase a private health insurance plan for foreign workers at Dr Walter.

    Foreigners in Germany who do not qualify for private health insurance sometimes choose to get it as an addition so they can receive coverage for things not included in their public health insurance plan.

    Additionally, some German private health insurance companies will only accept to cover you if you have been living in Germany for a minimum of two years.

    Health Insurance In Switzerland For Foreigners

    How to Get Health Insurance in Germany as an International Student or Foreigner

    EU citizens who are visiting for less than three months are eligible for state Swiss healthcare at a reduced cost through the European Health Insurance Card . If you are commuting over the border from a neighbouring country, you have the option of insuring your healthcare needs in either country.

    If you consider your health insurance to be unsuitable and you wish to change Swiss health care insurance companies, you can do so by giving three months notice before the end of June or December, provided youre on a package in which you are paying the standard CHF 300 tariff. Otherwise this can be changed at the end of the year with one months notice.

    The Federal Office of Public Health provides a full list of health insurers in Switzerland.

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    The Healthcare System And Health Insurance In Belgium

    The Belgian healthcare system is one of the best in Europe. It receives generous funding through compulsory health insurance and social security contributions in Belgium.

    It achieves near-universal coverage. According to OECD data, 99% of Belgian residents can access treatment through the public healthcare system.

    In the 2019 Health Care Index, Belgium ranked ninth out of 89 countries on the overall quality of its healthcare system. Austria, Denmark, Spain, and France are the only European countries to rank higher.

    Health Insurance For Preparatory Course Students

    Do you need to take a preparatory course before you start university in Germany? You must have health insurance.

    Many German universities require you to enroll in a preparatory course and pass the final test before you can begin studying and attending lectures in the normal university program. This depends on your education and in some cases, preparatory courses are not required.

    If the international office of the university youre planning to study in has instructed you to come to Germany to first take a prep course, they surely mentioned you need to have health insurance in addition to the rest of the required application documents.

    The German law requires you to have insurance, and you can pick a private plan depending on your needs. You cant get insured under the public health insurance plan as a preparatory course student.

    Some companies have custom-tailored plans for foreign students and can have you covered for the full duration of your preparatory course, with the option of extending your insurance in case you stay in Germany to continue your studies.

    If the international office of the university youre planning to study in has instructed you to come to Germany to first take a prep course such as the Studienkolleg, they probably mentioned you need to have health insurance in addition to the rest of the required application documents.

    You cant get insured under the public insurance system as a preparatory course student.

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    Private Health Insurance In Belgium

    With mutuelles only covering up to 75% of medical costs, many residents also have private health cover to cover any remaining costs. This is particularly useful if you have an existing medical condition.

    Some employers also provide supplementary health cover as part of their employee benefits package. If this is the case, make sure you check the premium on offer covers your actual medical needs.

    The cost of private health insurance varies, so its important to thoroughly research your options prior to committing to a specific package.

    If you have children, its worth asking about specific family packages which may help lower the overall cost. Children dont generally receive coverage under private insurance plans, unlike with state health insurance.

    If you frequently travel abroad, you may wish to purchase a package that covers your medical expenses while out of the country. Note that EU citizens can use their EHIC card when seeking medical assistance within the EU.

    How To Get Health Insurance In Switzerland


    There are two different types of health insurance in Switzerland. Compulsory basic insurance ensures you receive comprehensive basic medical care. Meanwhile, voluntary supplementary insurance enables you to enhance your basic cover to suit personal requirements. It is important to note this is not inclusive of dental treatment, which must be paid for separately.

    People from foreign countries who are living or working in Switzerland will usually need Swiss health insurance once they are resident and have received a permit. There are a few exemptions, such as students who are temporarily resident in Switzerland and have comparable insurance from their home country. It is always important to check with the insurance agency.

    In Switzerland, it is your responsibility to arrange your own state Swiss health insurance, and healthcare cannot be provided until they have applied for a Swiss residence permit, registered with the local municipality. The municipality will often pursue foreign nationals to provide proof of sufficient health insurance, so that the matter is taken seriously by the authorities. The official website of the Swiss Authorities allows you to check where your communal administration is.

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    Differences Between Private And Public Health Insurance

    Understanding the difference between private and public health insurance in Germany can be a little tricky, especially if you are an expat who is just learning about it. Here is a handy comparison between the two to try and alleviate some of the confusion:

    German Public Health Insurance
    Yes, it is.
    How long are waiting times for doctor appointments?Depending on your situation, you may be expected to wait a few days or a couple of weeks for a doctors appointment.Waiting times tend to be shorter than in public insurance.

    German Health Insurance: The Law And The Facts

    Health insurance in Germany is a long-standing national legacy established back in the 19th century. Initially set up by Chancellor Bismarck, it was created to protect workers in a bid to prevent social unrest. Employees and workers have been looked after by the countrys social security system ever since and through the years, the scheme has evolved. Today, the German health insurance system also provides protection for civil servants, handicapped individuals, farmers and artists and continues to garner much prestige for its high quality of health coverage.

    Since 2009, persons not automatically insured in the statutory health insurance scheme must take out insurance either voluntarily in the statutory health insurance scheme or through a private health insurance company. Foreigners who choose to live in Germany for longer than 90 days are also required by law to have German health insurance.

    In Germany, employees enjoy special social security protection which sees employers typically pay half of an employee’s monthly health insurance contributions. These contributions can be viewed on all payslips. This is in accordance with the law of parity which runs through the entire social security system in Germany. At the start of a new employment contract, employees have the responsibility of determining which provider theyd like to be insured by. Employees can also choose to be privately or publicly insured provided they meet the necessary salary thresholds.

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    Travel Medical Insurance For Visitors To The Us

    If you are an expatriate living in the United States, it is highly recommended that you purchase additional medical coverage throughout your stay in the country. You want to ensure you are covered in case of an accident, a medical emergency, or sudden repatriation.

    Make time to research if you will need travel insurance before entering the country. You must also research if the insurance needs to come from your home country, the US, or both.

    If you plan to stay in the US for less than a year, a travel medical insurance plan may be enough to cover your needs. This is also an excellent option for younger travelers who need basic medical coverage for emergencies.

    Most travel medical insurance plans provide coverage for accidents and illnesses, saving you from large medical expenses associated with doctor check-ups and hospital visits in the US. At the same time, this type of insurance will give you access to pharmaceutical care and translation services, should they be required.

    For more information on travel insurance plans, see:

    If you are an immigrant or an international citizen living in the US, it is recommended to get a global medical plan. We have guides that will help you choose the best international health insurance plan for your needs.

    Which Public Health Insurance Should I Choose

    German health insurance for foreign students

    It does not really matter. Public health insurance companies are almost the same. Their prices and coverage are set by the law1. The biggest difference between them is their extra contribution , and their customer service1.

    If you don’t speak German, Techniker Krankenkasse and Barmer have support in English.

    I was with Techniker Krankenkasse for 6 years before I switched to private health insurance. I was very happy with them. AOK, Barmer and DAK are three other important public health insurers.

    If you don’t know which health insurance to pick, ask a health insurance broker. Their help is free. They get paid by the insurance companies when they bring new customers.

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    Questions About Incoming Health Insurance

    The Incoming-Krankenschutz policies is valid in all member states of the Schengen Agreement, as well as Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, San Marino, Vatican City and Cyprus.

    Allianz Travel’s Incoming-Krankenschutz is valid in the following countries:


    Yes, it can be renewed under the following conditions:

    During the prior insurance period, no insured event/loss has occurred and the insured person is/are currently healthy

    The application to extend the cover must be submitted and the insurance policy arranged before the end of the prior insurance period.

    The insurance term can amount up to a maximum of 93 days in total

    The cover can be renewed only if all the conditions are met. If Allianz Travel consents to the extension, the regular premiums shall apply. The application to extend the policy can be found here . Please send the completed application to .

    Yes. If you cannot travel because, for example, you have failed to obtain a visa, the policy can be cancelled and the premium will be reimbursed. This can also be done after the insurance starts.

    We need proof from the visa office that your application was denied. Please send your cancellation request along with the relevant proof to .

    You can cancel before the insurance period commences, without providing any proof.

    If your inbound journey is postponed, the start of the Incoming Health Insurance cover can also be postponed.

    What It Covers Your Ehic

    The biggest and the foremost problem people have when taking their EHIC card is not precisely knowing what it covers. It is important that the EHIC is strictly limited to a number of medical services to the insurer. Furthermore, its coverage may change depending on the countrys national health care system.

    At its best, the European Health Care System is designed to cover the insurers basic medical needs while being in a foreign country. This includes pre-existing chronic illness like the kidney dialysis, the emergency cases and unexpected accidents. Holding this insurance card doesnt cover your medical treatment if you travel abroad for the purpose of giving birth in the destination country. As an expectant mother your EHIC will cover only if you give birth to a child even though you were not expected to do during that period.

    Below are some important notes everyone holding this health insurance card must be aware of:

    Your EHIC card can be pursued in your home country and can be issued by your statutory health insurance provider. The application process as mentioned before can be carried online.

    Your EHIC card is not an alternative to your travel insurance. Being so, the EHIC wont cover any cost that the travel insurance is supposed to cover, for instance, your stolen things, your ticket for flying back home.

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