Germany has a reputation for offering health care, sick leave and long-term health insurance benefits for its inhabitants to one of the largest and most generous schemes in the world.
Roughly 90 per cent of the population is an obligatory public health member or a voluntary member, while the remainder are covered by private health insurance.
As a result of the 2007 health care overhaul, all German residents have at least a hospital and outpatient treatment insurance plan. If you have some holes in coverage, you have to pay a heavy penalty.
As a result of both demograms and inflation in medical costs as well as of the vast bureaucracy, which continually grows with each change, the cost of German public health is enormous and continually increasing. The public health system is forecast to lose more than EUR 1,7 billion in 2020.
Financing is achieved by contributions by the German public health system employees and their employers and increasing tax allowances. The current Ministry of Health passed 20 new regulations, all of which will cost the system more money than before, in 2018/2019 which were implemented in the year 2020.
The objective is that benefits will be improved, healthcare (which is still very old-fashioned and analog) digitized and areas underfunded in recent years will be subsidized. Some proposed improvements would include you having the option of accessing a doctor online, calling a special telephone number to select a doctor, using the doctor’s latest applications for certain disorders (e.g. diabetes), and having your children vaccinated against the measles after 1 March 2020. Women over 19 years of age can receive cervical cancer screening.
This will cost the system more as the years go by, among other upgrades. Reforms may also go the other route, reduce and rationalize benefits.
This is the future of the German public health system, which is a social health system and does not have any future contractual protection. The Covid-19 pandemic has yet to identify its impacts.
Your employer pays 50% of the overall public health premium if you are working in Germany. The average declared percentage sum is approximately 1,3 percent, which means that the total amount of gross pay of the Kassen is about 15,9 percent by2021. Each Krankenkassen will request an additional payment from their members to satisfy their expense.
If you need a health insurance proof: a governmental public health insurance scheme (GKV), private health insurance of a German or foreign insurance provider (PKV) and a combination of GK V and complementary PKV, you will have three options for health insurance while living in Germany. If you have an earnings threshold of EUR 64.350 gross wage (in 2021), if you are a self-employed individual, not employed (no mini-employment), or are over 55 years of age and not in employment, you are eligible for a full private health insurance plan.
Searching for the best public health insurance service provider or seeking the most appropriate coverage from a private health insurer at an affordable rate is not always straightforward, but worthwhile.
Since people have different health care needs or preferences, it is important to understand the framework to filter out the right option in Germany. It is necessary to point out that, when many conditions exist, you cannot easily move between the public health system and private health insurance at will. It is highly advisable to get independent guidance from professional insurance agents, who appreciate both the pros and cons in both schemes and considering the circumstances.
Health insurance is not a product to be purchased at the lowest price but is a major financial benefit in the event of an accident or in the event of disease.
Return to the top health system of government (GKV)
The majority of inhabitants of Germany (around 73 million) are part of the health system of the country. If your gross wage is under EUR 64.350 a year or EUR 5.362 per month by 2021, you have an obligation to join GKV. 103 Krankenkassen manage the government’s health insurance program and charge the same minimum rate of 14.6 percent, plus a possible average 1.3 percent of the qualifying gross salary with a limit of 4.837 Euros per month (2021 figures).
You don’t pay a greater insurance premium if you make more than the annual income level. You are also a volunteer and your own contribution would be roughly EUR 385 with your employer paying the other EUR 385 if you assume a gross monthly health insurance premium of EUR 770 as an employee earning at or below the income level.
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The minimum general membership term is currently 12 months for any Krankenkasse. You can switch health funds providers from government by notifying you for two months after 12 months or by increasing your additional premium.
If you choose to use a private health plan and have been approved as an insurance provider of your choice, you can opt-out at any time, as a volunteer member of GKV, with 2 months’ notice.
The health services provided by the GKV include hospital care with your doctor in duty, out-patient care with licensed physicians (Kassenaerzte), and primary dental care.
The GKV offers medical care as a ward patient. Please be aware that private physicians or surgeons, semi-private or private hospital rooms, complementary / homeopathic medicine, non-fundamental dental aids and vision products or any other medical advantages outside Europe are without coverage.
Your non-workers staying at your domicile in Germany are currently covered for no extra costs and simply register as your paying member at the same Krankenkasse.
You can register with one of the 103 health insurance companies that administer the government system if you wish to become a member of the German Government system.
Others are very big and they have millions of members, and others are just few thousand members (often called BKKs, for example AOK, TK, SBK, BEK, and DAK). This does not mean the benefits are very different because all health insurance funds must comply with the government’s benefits regulations.
The prices could differ a little as a result of changing legislation, as well as research on the voluntary supplementary programmes, such as a no-claim incentive, free checks or discounts on health plans, which the Krankenkasse provides. Tip: Make sure that you ask for the opportunity to communicate in English to make your life easier, even though this service is offered by only a small number of Kassen and English speakers.
You and your employees must also be part of the long-term care system of the government (Pflegepflichtversicherung). This includes a part of the feeding costs for personal care needs for people with significantly disabilities, such as feeding and bathing. In 2017-2019 the cost was further increased due to significant changes to the nursing system. This expense is 3.05 percent of your Gross Salary (maximum EUR 160 per month) (or 3.3 percent if you do not have children), and is only paid by an employer for up to EUR 74.
This applies to a total of 930 Euros per month if you earn 4,837 Euros as your employee or more per month. If you earn 4,837 Euros as employee or more. About 459 Euros is paid by the employer. If you register your dependent and children residing in Germany, they will be included in your membership free of charge.
For example, if you would like to have access to and reimbursement of expenses for a privately held doctor or a private hospital space, for homeopathy as well as for other alternatives or higher dental reimbursements, you may buy a policy in order to supplement the system’s benefits.
Emergency evacuation from areas outside Germany, e.g. from ski resorts covered by a private travel insurance policy should also be taken into consideration, as the State health insurance program would not pay for them and payment of such benefits out of the pockets will be very expensive.
Often public health insurance funds provide a community rebate for additional insurance policies from a specific provider. These tied schemes are not necessarily desirable because in the private health insurance sector you usually have a broader range of benefits and may have to stick with your Krankenkasse longer than you want to.
Return to the Top Health Insurance (PKV)
Private health services cover a broader choice of medical and dental treatments than is the case in the governmental scheme. You are considered a private citizen by private health insurance and may receive a higher quality of medical services. Hospitals and physicians rely heavily on private customers in order to supplement their incomes. Doctors who speak their mother tongue can also request and receive private patients sometimes.
Around 40 German insurance providers cover the private medical insurance sector and most budgets can be matched with premium/benefit combinations. The costs for full medical insurance per person are dependent on the amount of coverage selected, the entry age and any medical conditions pre-existing. A significant portion of the health insurance rates (up to 80%) has also been tax deductible since 2010.