Premiums in the public system
Public insurance premiums are a complex calculation. Let’s break it down:
- All public health insurance providers charge a basic premium of 14.6% of your gross income, plus an average surcharge of 1.1%.
- Premiums in the public insurance system are capped by the premium assessment ceiling (Beitragsbemessungsgrenze) of €58,050 per year (2021). This figure also determines the maximum employer contribution.
- Employees and their employers share health insurance premiums 50/50 for salaries up to the premium assessment ceiling, with each contributing 7.3% of the employee’s gross salary.
- The government adjusts the ceilings and thresholds every year. Public premiums are rising steadily – and at a faster rate, on average, than private premiums.
In the public system, everyone has access to the same treatments and services whether they earn €10,000 or €100,000. The more you earn, the more you pay – but your benefits will stay exactly the same.
Premiums in the private system
Premiums in the private system depend on the policy selected. As in the public system, premiums do rise over time due to inflation, medical advances, and the need to cover cost increases caused by demographic change. However, private premiums have risen by only 2.3% per year since 2010, compared with 3.8% in the public system.
Employers contribute 50% to private insurance premiums, up to the maximum they would pay for publicly insured employees – a figure capped by the premium assessment ceiling at around €368 per month for health insurance.
How do public insurance changes affect privately insured people?
When the premium assessment ceiling rises – as it does every year – the maximum premium for publicly insured people rises. This means that employers’ contributions also rise. If you are privately insured and have a salary around the assessment ceiling, this means that the proportion of your premium covered by your employer will increase over time. Bonus!