Top-up insurance

In Germany, it is common for people with public (also known as statutory) health insurance to take out top-up insurance policies with private insurers. But why do they do this?

Limited nature of public health insurance

The public health insurance system offers everyone living and working in Germany a decent standard of healthcare. It ensures you receive treatment if your life is in danger. It also includes a series of preventive medical check-ups to identify common diseases, such as skin cancer and glaucoma – though these are covered by private insurance providers, too.

Book V of the German Social Code (Sozialgesetzbuch V, or SGB V for short) sets down the minimum coverage that public health insurance providers must provide by law. However, insurance providers (Krankenkassen) in the public insurance system do not typically go far beyond the legal minimum. Some may specialize in certain areas or vary their coverage to differentiate themselves, but the basic scope of coverage remains similar.

As a result, many public health insurance providers offer little or no coverage for dental treatments or psychotherapy.

Types of top-up insurance

Insurance providers offer top-up or additional insurance policies to cover the gaps in public health insurance. Common top-up insurances include:

Benefits of choosing ottonova

ottonova is Germany’s first fully digital health insurance provider. In addition to our innovative and modern approach to healthcare and communication, we also offers outstanding insurance coverage.

We also offer a special Expat tariff tailored to expats’ needs and lifestyle. If you would like to find out more, book a personal consultation with one of our English-speaking insurance experts.


If you are eligible for private health insurance and you are in Germany on a visa or a limited permit, we can offer you the Expat Tariff up to five years.

ottonova is fully regulated by the BaFin and therefore fulfilling the requirements (§ 257 7Abs. 2a Satz 1 SGB V and the § 61 Abs. 5 SGB XI) for you to be able to apply for a visa with your ottonova insurance, which also includes our Expat tariff of course.

We can help you write your cancellation letter for your current insurer and send it to you by email. You simply need to add your insurance number and signature and then send it to your insurer. We are unfortunately not allowed to contact your current insurer directly.

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!

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