Germany boasts a robust healthcare system that combines both public and private options to ensure its citizens receive quality care. One significant component of this system is private health insurance (Private Krankenversicherung), which covers around 10% of the population, particularly those with higher incomes and the self-employed. In this guide, we’ll delve into the world of private health insurance in Germany, exploring its benefits, eligibility criteria, and key considerations.
Eligibility for Private Health Insurance:
Before diving into the details, let’s first understand who is eligible for private health insurance in Germany:
- Income Threshold: If your annual income exceeds 66,600 euros, you have the option to opt for private health insurance.
- Self-Employment: Self-employed individuals, including freelancers and business owners, are eligible for private health insurance.
- Civil Servants: Civil servants in Germany can choose private health insurance coverage.
- Foreign Students: Foreign students studying in Germany may qualify for private health insurance under specific conditions. For more details, refer to our page on student health insurance.
Private Health Insurance Companies:
Several companies cater to expats seeking private health insurance in Germany. These include:
- KLforExpats: A highly rated independent brokerage tailored for expat professionals.
- Versicherungsbüro Weiss: An English-speaking health insurance broker.
- Ottonova: Offers full support in English and is designed for expats, with incentives like Amazon vouchers.
- Expat Brokers: An English-speaking broker based in Berlin and Frankfurt, specializing in visas, freelancers, and employed individuals.
- Muffin: Independent insurance experts providing transparent services with WhatsApp support.
- Feather: Ideal for high-wage earners or self-employed individuals, with insurance provided by Hallesche.
- ERICON Broker: An independent expat broker offering statutory and recognized private health plans.
- Advigon: Offers temporary health insurance with customer service in English, provided by Feather.
Private Health Insurance Coverage:
Private health insurance in Germany provides comprehensive coverage, including:
- Visits to doctors and specialists.
- Health checks.
- Hospital treatment.
- Prescriptions and medicines.
Additionally, you can customize your plan by opting for various optional extras to suit your needs.
The amount you pay for private health insurance is influenced by several factors, including:
- Your occupation.
- Your age.
- Pre-existing medical conditions (which may require a medical examination).
- The healthcare plan you choose.
- Your voluntary excess (Selbstbeteiligung).
On average, premiums range from 400 to 700 euros per month, with students enjoying significantly lower rates. If you’re employed, your employer typically covers approximately 50% of your contributions, up to a maximum of around 403.99 euros per month in 2023. Self-employed individuals must cover the entire premium themselves.
Private health insurance allows you to purchase additional extras, such as:
- Additional dental care, including professional tooth cleaning.
- Private hospital rooms.
- Access to consultant doctors.
- Sickness benefit or child sickness benefit.
- Direct access to specialists, bypassing the need for a family doctor.
- Coverage for alternative medicine.
- Fixed-rate premiums that remain constant as you age.
- The option to reduce your voluntary excess, which can lower your monthly premium.
While statutory health insurance covers your family and children at no extra cost, private health insurance is typically individual. If you want to cover your spouse or children, consider this when deciding between statutory and private health insurance.
Private Health Insurance for Pensioners:
Pensioners not eligible for statutory health insurance can opt for private health insurance. If you have a statutory pension, you can inquire with your pension fund about contributions toward private health insurance costs.
Private Health Insurance Card: (Card für Privatversicherte)
Once you’re enrolled in private health insurance, you’ll receive a private health card. While not always necessary, having it on hand during appointments and insurance claims can expedite the process. Depending on your insurer, you may need to pay upfront for medical fees and prescriptions, later applying for reimbursement.
Private health insurance premiums may increase over time. Should you consider switching providers, note that you typically need to provide three months’ notice before the end of the year. An exception is made if your premiums rise, allowing you to change providers within two months of being informed of the increase.
To save on taxes, you can claim your private health insurance contributions as tax-deductible expenses in your annual income tax return.
Sickness Benefit and Maternity Benefit:
Private health insurance covers sickness benefits and maternity benefits, providing flexibility in choosing the amount and timing of these payments.
Long-Term Care Insurance:
All private health insurance companies in Germany are required to offer long-term care insurance as part of their packages since 1995.
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In conclusion, private health insurance in Germany offers a comprehensive alternative to statutory health insurance, catering to various income levels and needs. Understanding the eligibility criteria, coverage options, and additional benefits can help you make an informed choice about your healthcare coverage in Germany.
The information provided in this post is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal, financial, or medical advice. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and currency of the content, health insurance policies and regulations can change, and individual circumstances may vary.
Readers are encouraged to consult with qualified professionals, such as insurance brokers, tax advisors, and legal or medical experts, to obtain personalized advice and guidance related to their specific situations. Any reliance on the information presented in this post is at the reader’s own discretion and risk.
The inclusion of specific insurance companies and products is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation. Insurance products and offerings may differ based on individual needs, eligibility, and geographic location. Readers should conduct their own research and due diligence before making any decisions regarding private health insurance in Germany or any other financial or healthcare matters.
The author and the platform make no warranties or representations regarding the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information provided in this post. Any action taken by readers based on the information herein is their sole responsibility. The author and the platform disclaim any liability for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, arising from the use of or reliance on the information presented in this post.