Premium relief

The German private health insurance system includes a specific mechanism for obtaining relief on your insurance premiums in old age.

Premium relief involves paying an additional amount on top of your private health insurance premiums in return for reduced premiums after retirement

If you are privately insured, you can proactively reduce the premiums you will pay during retirement by making an additional monthly payment on top of your premiums. These additional payments are known as premium relief components (Beitragsentlastungskomponente – BEK).

In most cases, these payments are partially subsidized through either employer contributions or, in the case of self-employed people, by the fact that these additional payments are tax-deductible. In addition, although your health insurance premiums are likely to rise to reflect inflation, such influences will not affect your premium relief components.

The additional payments you make to obtain guaranteed reductions in your premiums once you retire are invested by your insurance provider. At ottonova, we tend to be conservative in the investment returns we offer, so that we can avoid the need to increase premiums to cover the cost. However, premium relief components represent a very safe investment for later in life – and the earlier you start paying them, the higher your returns will be.


The payment is different than in the public system. With private health insurance you pay the full tariff to us at the beginning of the month. If you are employed your employer will contribute their part to your health insurance through your salary.

After your policy is finalized it will not be adjusted again based on the variables of aging, increases in health care needs or increases in salary.

The initial online enrollment is in German due to legal requirements. However, we are doing this together on the phone and we will of course help you through step by step. So no worries!

ottonova for Expats

Saving on health insurance and still getting the best coverage isn’t possible? With signing in for ottonova you can make it happen!

Related articles