Private or public health insurance?
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You want to discover the world and develop professionally? Perhaps you would like to immerse yourself in the everyday life of Germany for a while: The modern democracy in the heart of Europe attracts many people from different nations every year.
Germany has made immigration easier for skilled and highly qualified workers. Another plus point is the German healthcare system, which is one of the best in the world. Here, no one has to fear high costs when visiting a doctor or hospital, or if they are dependent on care services.
If you want to work or study in Germany for a while, you can see for yourself. However, the high level of medical care does not come without complexity. The following article therefore provides clarity and makes it easier for you to get started with the topic.
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Germans can take out private or public health insurance. Public health insurance (GKV) offers solid basic health care, while private health insurance (PKV) offers more extensive coverage and benefits. Whether private health insurance is right for you depends on two factors.
By the way: No matter which system you choose, it is important that you have health insurance by the time you start working in Germany. It is also a prerequisite for your visa or enrollment.
Are you coming to Germany from Europe or will you be travelling a long way to work in hip Berlin or sophisticated Munich? Your answer determines how you can insure yourself.
If you are an EU citizen and are only staying in Germany temporarily, you are usually covered by the health insurance in your home country. It is still being negotiated whether this will also apply to Britons who come to Germany from 2021.
If you want to stay longer and work here, you have to take out health insurance in Germany. When it comes to the question of "private or public health insurance", the same conditions apply to you as to German citizens: If your salary is above the annual income limit (JAEG) of currently 64,350 Euros per year, you can take out private insurance. As a private patient, you enjoy first-class benefits for your health.
In the case of temporary stays by non-EU citizens, Germany may also accept foreign health insurance under certain circumstances. This is the case, for example, with countries of origin with which Germany has a social security agreement, such as Turkey or Israel.
However, if you want to live and work in Germany for a longer period of time as a non-EU citizen, you must also take out insurance here - and observe the upper limit if you want to take out private insurance.
You want to develop your career in Germany? Regardless of their origin, all foreigners working in Germany must take out health insurance here.
This applies to the different positions:
Germans are known for taking everything very seriously. That's why we'll also address the question of what an expat actually is and how you can insure yourself as an expat.
In Germany, the term expat is classically used for specialists and managers who are sent to a branch office in Germany by an international company abroad. In the meantime, however, many foreigners who come to Germany on their own initiative for a certain period of time to work here also consider themselves expats.
For your health insurance, it makes a difference whether you are considered an expat or not. With the PKV for expats from ottonova, for example, you get the best benefits for your health and even save money.
For expats, as for all other foreigners, the following applies: As an employee with a salary above the JAEG or as a self-employed person with corresponding prior insurance, private health insurance is open to you. ottonova offers a special expat tariff for some expats:
Regular private health insurance tariffs build up so-called age reserves. This means that you pay a little more than necessary today to keep your premium stable in the future. However, if you are an expat who is only staying in Germany temporarily, you can save this buffer and invest in an investment instead - because it doesn't matter where you enjoy your retirement.
What does PKV offer for foreigners in Germany compared to public health insurance? Here is an overview of the most important differences:
We put together an essential life admin for you, so you can understand and embrace Germany's peculiarities.
Whether private health insurance is worthwhile for foreigners in Germany depends on their individual life plans. Many people choose private health insurance out of conviction because it gives them full coverage for their health.
With private health insurance, you are more flexible in terms of benefits. With an expatriate plan, you can even save money. If you want to find out whether the German health system lives up to its reputation in the world, the best way to do so is with private health insurance. Because only as a private patient do you have access to modern treatment methods.
With private health insurance in your luggage, you can enjoy even the most exciting trip of your life with peace of mind. If you opt for public health insurance, you can upgrade your benefits with private supplementary insurance if you wish.
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