Foreigners who come to Germany for whatever purpose are required to have adequate healthcare insurance that covers the entirety of their stay in the country. This can be private or public insurance but must be issued by a licensed medical health insurance provider.
Hence, you must have some sort of public or private health insurance in Germany before arriving. However, the German healthcare system can often be confusing to understand, especially considering how there are different types of public and private healthcare plans to choose from.
If you plan to visit Germany, it is essential that you learn all about healthcare insurance and get yourself the most suitable one. This guide details everything you need to know.
German Healthcare System
The German healthcare system of insurance is divided into public, private, and public-private sectors. Depending on income, residents can choose between the three. Everyone has access to high-quality and affordable healthcare through their insurance, regardless of income and social standing.
Germany’s healthcare system is considered the best in the world, which is why most expats and German residents opt for public health insurance. However, residents and expats with considerably higher salaries may also opt for private health insurance in Germany. Otherwise, they can choose a combination of both private and public.
Regardless of whichever they choose, every resident is required by the law to have healthcare insurance. You must choose a plan with at least the minimum level of coverage.
What Does German Healthcare Insurance Include?
Your health insurance can include costs of nearly all of your doctor’s visits, medical and dental treatment, prescription medication, and surgeries. However, you will still need to pay a partial amount for your doctor’s visit and medical prescription. Additionally, you will also need to pay partially for your hospital stays. However, people with the best private health insurance would have all of these costs covered.
How to Get Public Health Insurance
As an expat or foreigner arriving in Germany, you should have your employer register you with a healthcare insurance company. You can choose whichever you want or go with their suggestion. These providers may offer different rates and slightly different benefits in the insurance. Hence, it is essential that you do plentiful research on your options before settling on one.
Once you have been registered with an insurance provider, you will receive an insurance card. This card contains all your personal information and should be presented at every doctor and hospital visit.
If you don’t have an employer, you must register yourself with the German authorities by signing up at the registration office. You will then be provided with a German social security number, which you can use to register with a German health insurance provider.
How to Get Private Health Insurance
To get private health insurance in Germany as a foreigner or expat, you must first inform your employer that you don’t want to be subscribed to public health insurance. Employers tend to enrol you in the public one automatically, so make sure to inform them beforehand. Then, you should research the best private health insurance providers and choose a suitable one.
Once done, you can inform your employer about which provider you have chosen so that they enrol you, or you can do it yourself with your German social security number.
Cost of Health Insurance in Germany
The cost of public and private health insurance varies. With public insurance, the amount is fixed at 14.6%, in which the employee pays 7.3% while the employer pays the remaining 7.3%. However, there is no definitive amount when it comes to getting private insurance. The cost primarily depends on various factors, including your age, health conditions, how much coverage you have, and more.
If you are wondering which type of health insurance would be cheaper for you, this also depends on various factors. For example, if you have any dependent family members, they will be part of your insurance plan, adding to your overall cost. Moreover, in some cases, it is common for companies to increase the cost of your plan if you are older.
Lastly, you must also note that your private insurance cost might change depending on your pre-existing health conditions, and they may charge you more. However, if you have opted for public health insurance, the price will likely not change if you have pre-existing health conditions.
In sum, expat health insurance in Germany is mandatory for all foreigners visiting or residing in the country. It falls between opting for private or public health insurance. Whichever you choose, it is essential that you do a lot of research on your options and the insurance plan and then choose the right insurance providers.