When you are living in Germany it is mandatory to register with either a public German health insurance scheme or a private health insurance scheme. In Germany, all foreigners that are living and working there have access to subsidized state healthcare. All German residents are required to have a health insurance by law and it is compulsory to show proof of this insurance when you are applying for a German visa.
Public Health Insurance
The majority of German residents are insured with the compulsory state health insurance which is called the gesetzliche Krankenversicherung (GKV) in German. This health insurance is funded by employers as well as employees through social security insurance contributions, however, it is also subsidized by the government. People who are in paid employment and earn less than 60,750 Euros per year, are covered by the public healthcare system. For everyone who is employed, the enrolment in the public healthcare system is usually automatic and the contributions are taken out of the pay check. However, employees are able to choose which provider they use. Once someone is registered, they will receive a public healthcare insurance number and card, which should be brought to every doctor appointment, treatment or hospital visit. The public healthcare in Germany covers appointments, in-hospital treatment, out-patient treatments, surgery, maternity services and basic dental care.
Health Insurance for Self Employed People
As a freelancer in Germany you are still required to have health insurance, however, it is a bit more complicated. Those who are not self-employed generally pay half of their health insurance costs, while their employer pays the other half. However, self-employed people need to cover their entire health insurance contributions on their own. On the other hand, freelancers are able to choose whether they want to register with public or private health insurance. The cost of a freelancer’s health insurance mainly depends on their income and whether they have chosen to register with public health insurance or private health insurance. If a freelancer is registered with public health insurance cost, the minimum monthly cost that they may have to pay is between 160 and 190 Euros.
Health Insurance for Students in Germany
If you have decided that you want to study at a state-approved university in Germany, you will need to pay a premium for healthcare. This costs around 80 Euros per month if you are older than 25 and do not have any children. However, if you are under the age of 25 and are in full-time education, your health insurance can be covered for free or under a family health insurance plan. Once you turn 30, the premium increases by around 50 Euros a month. If you are an international student and do not have healthcare in your home country and are unable to join the state system, you can access health insurance for around 25 to 30 Euros a month.
Private Health Insurance
In the private health insurance market, there are many different packages that include different services and therefore come at different prices, to suit everyone’s individual budget and needs. If you earn less than 60,750 Euros per year, you must keep your public health insurance. You are eligible for private health insurance if you are self-employed, a civil servant, earn above the salary threshold or are a student that renounces their state insurance. Some advantages of private health insurance in Germany is that it generally offers more extensive services and the waiting times are shorter. You will get more specialist treatments and better accommodation as well as access to doctors who are available solely to private patients. You are also not required to make any additional payments for medicine. The cost of private health insurance depends on your risk profile which depends on your age and medical history.