Germany Health Insurance

A new look for a New Year

Since June 2004, EU citizens within the European Economic Area [EEA] are able to receive medical assistance and hospital treatment whilst in Member States. This is achieved via an European Health Insurance Card which replaces Form E110, E111, E119 & E128.

New Law effective 2008

It has been made obligatory to have at least State Health Insurance and subject to earnings level, an option for Private Medical Insurance.

All self-employed persons must be insured by January 1, 2009

Premiums for private health care are more expensive than for the State run scheme but the cost of your private insurance can be reduced if you insert a higher deductible. Note: State Health insurance covers you and all non-working dependants whereas private policies are on a per person basis.

There are many German insurance companies offering premium / benefit permutations to suit most budgets. A policy premium is based on the benefits chosen and includes factors like age, gender, prior medical conditions etc.

Should you have a Private Medical insurance policy, you must obtain a certificate recognised by the German government, called [Arbeitgeberbescheinigung].

Private health insurance policies usually cover a wider range of both medical and dental treatment in Germany, some abroad. You can also expect more services from the medical professions, including doctors who speak their native language.

If you have a policy from an international insurer then check that you are covered for living in Germany. You may be able to keep your existing policy but note: you still have to pay the mandatory long-term nursing care scheme [called Pflegeversicherung].

The cost of health insurance is usually tax deductible.

Options subject to Income Level

If your 2008 annual gross income is more than 48,150 euros and was over 47,700 euros in each of the previous 3 years, then you have the option of taking out a Private Health insurance [Private Krankenversicherung or PKV] instead of joining the State run health scheme.

Government Health System

If your 2008 annual gross income is under 48,150 euros [4,013 euros per month] then membership in the GKV is mandatory.

The cost of GKV is approx 14.8 % of gross income to a maximum of 3,600 euros per month [rate subject to which Kasse is selected]. Usually there is no cover for outside of Europe. You are required to pay 10 Euros per quarter to each of the first doctor and dentist you consult. You pay a portion of prescription medicine and 10 euros a day for the first 28 days in hospital. Non-working dependants living at your address in Germany are included in your policy at the same level of cover at no extra cost.

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