An outstanding payment is an amount you owe to your health insurance provider but have not yet paid
Since the German government made health insurance mandatory for everyone living and working in Germany in 2009, insurance providers have not been able to routinely cancel the contracts of policyholders who fall behind on their premiums. As a result, outstanding payments can mount up and accrue interest if the policyholder is unable to pay.
If premiums remain unpaid after two months despite warnings, the benefits and services arising from an insurance contract will then be limited to pain-relieving or emergency medical care, as well as treatment for pregnant women and standard screenings. The full benefits and services of the contract will be restored once all outstanding payments are settled.
In the public health insurance system (GKV), insurance providers sometimes agree to restore full services in return for a commitment to settle outstanding payments in instalments – though this is subject to specific conditions and is at the provider’s discretion.
In the private health insurance system (PKV), policyholders who fall behind on their payments will be switched to an emergency tariff (Notlagentarif) in which they do not accrue any old-age provisions. They can be switched back to the normal tariff once all outstanding payments have been settled.