Relocating to a foreign country can be challenging and downright overwhelming, until you become accustomed to the way things work. Understanding German healthcare and how to obtain German health insurance is something that should be a top priority if you are employed by a German company. Many expats feel like it´s the highest hurdle in moving to Germany.
In Germany, choosing your health insurance is completely up to you. You can’t rely on your employer to organise your policy for you. This means the decision to choose the best German health insurance provider rests solely with you. Your employer does not have a say in the matter whatsoever. If you lose your job, you do not lose your health insurance. But typically, your income and job status determine your insurance options.
The German healthcare system is a complex one and the many questions you might have may leave you trawling the internet for hours in search of answers.
You might wonder:
- Am I eligible for private German health insurance as an employee?
- Will my family be covered, or just me?
- How do I ensure I receive easy access to the best doctors and hospitals?
- Will the health insurance plan I choose cover pre-existing conditions?
- Is private or public health care better in my situation?
Getting answers to basic questions is difficult enough. Making sure your choices fit your unique needs is even harder – and it has to be done before unexpected health problems arise.
The good news is that KLforExpats provides expertise in navigating German health insurance without cost to you – and we have a professional obligation to offer you choices that fit your needs as best we can.
First, let us answer some of the basic questions. Then we can help you find a specific solution that really fits you.
German Health Insurance for Employees Made Simple
In Germany, it’s compulsory to have some form of health cover when starting employment. No German health insurance means no pay cheque. If you choose to stay in Germany for longer than 90 days, you are required by law to have German healthcare. It is illegal not to do so. There are primarily two types of German health insurance:
You are granted the option to choose between either the public or private health systems, regardless of your employment status. However, the type of cover you can choose depends on what you earn. For example, if you are employed by a company, you may only opt for private German health insurance if you earn more than the salary threshold of €62.550 (2020). If you earn less than this, you must join the public health scheme. If you are self-employed, you have the choice to join a private health plan regardless of your income.
The Pros of Private German Health Insurance for Expats
- Private health insurance is often the preferred choice for expats in Germany. It allows you to get medical attention faster and with less red tape than what’s involved in the public system
- Private German healthcare can also offer more extensive coverage and can be tailored to your specific needs which is more difficult to obtain within the standardised public system
- Many in the private system also find the quality of care is superior that the public health system. It also allows greater access to English-speaking healthcare providers
- If you have a private health insurance plan from a company that issues a certificate recognized by the German Government, you are eligible for the same employer subsidies as someone with a public health insurance plan. This means your employer will subsidise you with 50 % of your monthly contributions up to approximately €350 per month on your private health insurance policy.
The Cons of German Private Health Insurance for Expats
- Unlike public German healthcare plans, private health insurance does not automatically offer healthcare coverage for children and partners for free
- As a result, if you don’t have kids, private health insurance plans can be cheaper, but more expensive if you do have kids
- If you have pre-existing serious health issues, private insurers have the right to reject your application
Whilst many expats choose to select the private German healthcare system, ultimately what will influence your choice of health insurance is down to your age, salary, occupation, benefits, legal status and dependent family members. These are all factors which you should carefully consider to derive maximum benefits before selecting the health insurance plan that’s right for you.
How to Obtain German Health Insurance
Obtaining health insurance in Germany is a breeze with KLforExpats. If the complexities of the German public health insurance system seem overwhelming, you can depend on our insurance brokers. We will personalise the service for expats that are looking for a one-to-one approach to finding the right German health insurance plan. With a reputable health insurance broker that speaks English, you have a reliable partner on foreign land to guide you through what may otherwise be the toughest part about your move to Germany. From finding the right health insurance plan and negotiating premiums, all the way through to making a claim.
If you would like to discuss your health insurance options, get in touch with us today!