Health insurance services in Germany are provided by health insurance companies – Krankenkasse. The insurance can be purchased by both residents of the country and foreigners.
Medical insurance for foreigners
German citizens have insurance from birth, visiting foreigners upon arrival in Germany.
Insurance funds are divided into 2 types:
|Tourists, guests permanently residing in other countries
|Only travel insurance for the duration of your trip to Germany, covering the risks of sudden illness or injury after accidents. Concluded before departure. Does not include treatment of chronic diseases, examinations. Does not replace basic health insurance in Germany.
|Poor people without income – late settlers, Jews, refugees
|Social assistance recipients are covered by state insurance. Contributions are paid by the state.
|Students are insured at discounted rates. It is allowed to choose between private and public funds.
|By default, workers are covered by government insurance. With a salary above 62,550 € in 2020, it is allowed to voluntarily conclude a contract with private insurance.
|Business immigration, freelancers
|Entrepreneurs from abroad are not eligible for state insurance. You must contact a private cashier.
|Family reunification – spouses and minor children
|They are included in the state insurance of workers without additional payment, if they fall under the conditions of family insurance. Not included in employee private insurance. If the caller is employed by a private fund, the family needs separate insurance.
How to choose health insurance in Germany?
There are about 100 public and more than 40 private health insurance companies in Germany.
Private insurance in Germany offers many benefits, such as skip-the-line appointments and hospital stays in a double room instead of a triple room. But the main advantage is the price. For some categories of citizens, with a certain income, it is cheaper to pay a fixed contribution to the private treasury than a percentage of the salary to the state.
State insurance in Germany
Government services also include payments for alternative medicine, homeopathic medicines, additional vaccinations, preventive examinations, and other similar services. Here the cash desks differ in their capabilities and limits.
The cost of public health insurance in Germany
The German public health system is funded by contributions from the insured and employers. The level of health insurance contributions depends solely on the level of income. Every insured burger has the same right to receive medical care, regardless of the number of monthly payments. Roughly speaking, an unemployed or retired person receives the same quality of service as a workaholic who pays the maximum health insurance contributions.
Working burghers pay compulsory insurance premiums as a percentage of wages, 7.3-8.4% of gross. Each employee can insure his wife and minor children in the state krankenkass without additional contributions. For the poor and the unemployed, German compulsory health insurance is paid by the state.
Individuals insured under private contracts pay a fixed amount per month regardless of income. One contract in private insurance only covers the treatment of the premium payer. Each family member will have to be insured separately at a private ticket office.
The price of public health insurance in Germany depends on income. The standard contribution is 14.6% per year.
Every year, the state sets a limit for Beitragsbemessungsgrenze – an annual income, above which insurance premiums are no longer charged. For 2020 the level is set at 56250 €. Due to the limit, it turns out that the maximum contribution to the German state treasury is 684.38 € per month.
However, to the total premium, each insurance company has the right to establish an additional Zusatzbeitrag, if last year they spent more than they received from customers.
- The average additional contribution for 2020 is 1.1%.
- The maximum is 2.2%.
- The minimum is 0%.
- The total amount of the collection for health insurance is 14.6-16.8%.
How can a foreigner conclude a health insurance contract?
It is easy to conclude a contract for a resident of Germany – go to the branch of the selected company or fill out an application on the website. The main problems for immigrants are the lack of a mandatory postal address immediately after moving and poor knowledge of German.
Settlers and migrants along the Jewish line, as poor people, are insured at the regional offices of the AOK.
As long as they are paid social assistance, the amount of the contribution does not matter.
Immigrant workers rarely think about health insurance at all. According to the law, the employer has the right to independently ensure the employee in any company if he has not figured out the problem before the first salary.
State insurance for employees and students
The most popular insurance company in Germany is Techniker Krankenkasse. This is the best German medical insurance according to the opinion of the reputable financial magazine Focus. Die Techniker has been ranked first for 14 consecutive years in extensive annual testing of public insurance policies.
How to use health insurance in Germany?
You can fill in the data online (including your mailing address) on the website of the insurance company and conclude a contract. After the conclusion of the contract, the cash desk sends by mail an insurance policy – a standard-size plastic card containing a microchip. The card stores the owner’s name, contact details, date of birth, and other administrative information required by doctors.
In the waiting room of a German doctor or clinic, when registering a client, the card is first swiped over the reader. At the end of the appointment, the medical institution sends the invoice for services directly to the insurance company.
In Germany, insured persons can independently choose their doctor. The insurance does not reimburse, for example, travel expenses to a remote clinic, if there were no special reasons for this choice. But the treatment and medicines prescribed by the doctor are paid in full or with a small surcharge.
Thanks to the compulsory insurance system in Germany, there are no problems with obtaining the necessary medical support, regardless of the cost of therapy, surgery, or medicines. And the inclusion of family members instate insurance allows an unemployed spouse and minor children to be insured free of charge.