Private or Public Health Insurance?

We help you to understand the pros and cons and choose the best option for you.

Here are a lot of pros and cons to look at, before you decide which German health insurance scheme fits you best – public or private. Only a few German Health Insurance companies accept foreigners without huge amounts of bureaucratic paperwork – some do not even accept foreigners until they have been resident here for at least two years. Reason enough to trust the experts from KLforExpats, your Independent Insurance Brokers in Cologne. We know our way around the labyrinth of the German Health Insurance industry. So let us help you before signing on the dotted line.

How does the German Health Care System look like in general?
Germany is well known for having one of the best health care systems in the world, providing its residents with comprehensive health insurance coverage. Approximately 85% of the population are mandatory or voluntary members of the statutory health insurance, whereas the rest have chosen private health plans. What keeps up quality is, luckily, that both systems are in a way competing with each other.
Do I have to take out health insurance in Germany?
Yes, Health Insurance is mandatory in Germany. Every resident is bound by law to be insured by a German provider for at least hospital and out-patient medical treatment. Listen ladies! This must also include coverage for pregnancy.
I am only a short-term visitor in German - Do I need comprehensive health insurance?
o When you are a temporary visitor here in Germany you are allowed to take out limited international travel health insurance as long as it fulfills the specific requirements of the Schengen Agreement.
I am an employee earning less than 59.400 Euro gross per year. Can I opt for a private plan?
You are compulsorily insured in the statutory health insurance if you are earning less than the so called social ceiling of €59.400 € gross per year (2018). This threshold is slightly lifted by law every year.
Who can opt for a private health insurance plan?
Generally everybody who ist not a mandatory member of the statutory health insurance can switch to private. This is: Self-employed people, freelancers and public servants. Employees, too, may switch to private when they earn more than the so called social ceiling which is 59.600 € gross at the moment. The social ceiling is slightly lifted by law every year.
Are there people who can not enter the private health insurance system?
Bankrupt people or applicants with chronic deseases might have problems to apply for private health coverage.
And employees who earn less than 59.400 € gross/year cannot switch to private, because they are mandatorily insured in the statutory health scheme. But the good news for those people is: You may take out supplementary private health insurance on top to improve benefits.
Mirja Link-Lundehn

Mirja Link-Lundehn

co-founder of KLforExpats and licensed insurance expert

Feeling lost within the

German Health Insurance ‘Labyrinth’?

© 2017 KLforExpats – a division of KremerLundehn GmbH