Private health insurance for families

Whether you’re newly married or already expecting your first child, the health of your loved ones will be your top priority. Your choice of health insurance allows you to influence the healthcare services you would receive if the worst were to happen. In this article, we’ll outline the benefits that private health insurance could offer you and your family.

Private health insurance for families

I’m planning to start a family. Why should I choose private health insurance from ottonova?

Here are three good reasons:

1.   Access to the best healthcare, whatever happens: If you have a young family, you’ll always strive to do everything right. Keeping your loved ones safe and healthy will be your top priority – and somehow, health issues rarely seem to line up with your doctor’s opening hours. If you’re ever uncertain or need help or support, ottonova’s Concierge service will be at your side to answer all your questions. Our app makes this very simple and avoids any time-consuming paperwork. It also gives you an overview of your upcoming check-ups, appointments, and medical bills. Plus, we reimburse those bills at lightning speed.

2.   All-around health protection: Unlike public health insurance, private health insurance allows you and your family to access top-quality healthcare services – including dental care and during hospital stays – without having to worry about restrictions or limitations. This means you’ll have more time for each other and less to worry about. For example, if your child needs a doctor’s appointment urgently, you’ll be able to book an appointment with ease using the ottonova app.

3.   Total control: In the private health insurance system, you can choose between different tariffs and adjust certain components to your needs, such as your daily sickness allowance and your deductible – and thereby also influence your monthly premiums. You decide exactly what your family needs and always stay in total control.

Want a no-obligation quote to see what your premiums would be?

Try ottonova’s premium calculator:

Income limits for children and partners

Close relatives covered by family co-insurance are only permitted to earn a certain amount before they have to take out separate insurance cover for themselves. This applies for co-insured partners and children.

The income limit is €470 per month. However, their actual total income might be somewhat higher if dependents take advantage of work-related tax deductions.

Private health insurance for spouses: Can I co-insure my spouse?

If you are privately insured and married, it is possible in certain circumstances to take out private health insurance for your spouse if they are unemployed or on a low income. Just like for children, each family member must have their own insurance policy. In the private health insurance system, the spouses of civil servants are also entitled to Beihilfe – a benefit for medical treatments – if their income is below a set annual limit. The income limit for civil servants is between €9,744 and €20,450 per year, depending on applicable regulations.

When is private health insurance worthwhile with a family?

The decisive factor here is your family’s income situation. If you and your partner both work and your salary is above the annual income limit (JAEG), you will pay the maximum rate in the public health insurance system. This means you can make big savings in the private health insurance system – and, if your partner earns more than you, you could also be eligible for co-insurance through your spouse. Switching to the private insurance system can be far more cost-effective. Even with two children, private insurance could still be worth it. Private insurance providers charge separate premiums for each family member. Families with several children should therefore examine and compare the costs of private and public insurance very carefully. 

When can I privately insure my child?

If you and your spouse are privately insured, you’ll have no issues arranging private health insurance for your child. If one of you is privately insured and the other has public insurance, the following questions are key:

If the answer to at least one of these questions is “yes”, you have the choice of private or public insurance for your child. In the public health insurance system, co-insured children do not incur premiums.

How much does private health insurance cost for families?

There’s no hard-and-fast answer to this question because, in the private health insurance system, each family member must have a separate insurance policy with individually calculated premiums. Given that private health insurance premiums depend on a person’s health and age when they take out a policy, premiums for children are often very affordable. This is because young children usually incur lower healthcare costs than adults. In addition, private premiums do not include aging reserves until the policyholder reaches the age of 21, which significantly reduces the cost for young people.

We’re expecting our first child. I have private insurance. What should I bear in mind?

If you decide to arrange private health insurance for your child, you can submit an application for your child to your insurer in the first two months after their birth. If you insure your child on the same tariff as you, they will not have to pass a health examination, provided that your own insurance has been in place for at least three months. As an expectant mother, private health insurance gives you access to a wide range of additional benefits, such as prenatal courses.

By the way: At ottonova, you can insure your child with us for free for the first three months of their life.

What will happen to my premiums while I’m on parental live?

During parental leave – a period of up to 36 months after the birth of your child – you will continue to pay your private insurance premiums as usual. Employer contributions are suspended for this period. Depending on your insurance provider and your chosen tariff, you may be able to stop paying your premiums for a short period.

Does private health insurance include a maternity allowance?

While pregnant and as a new mother, you are entitled to continue receiving your salary (and, if you are publicly insured, a maternity allowance) during the maternity period – six weeks before the due date and eight weeks after the birth for one child, and twelve weeks after the birth for two or more children. This allowance depends on your salary and amounts to a maximum of €13 per day. Your employer pays the difference between the allowance and your net salary. If you are privately insured, you will continue to receive your net salary, minus the €13 per day maternity allowance. You can apply to have this difference reimbursed – in the form of a one-off payment of €210.

Self-employed and hoping to start a family?

Here’s what you need to bear in mind!

What benefits can children access with private health insurance?

Privately insured children can access exactly the same benefits as their parents. Here’s a selection:

Offsetting your child’s private insurance against tax: How it works!

Your child’s premiums are considered expenses of a provident nature, which makes them tax-deductible under the German Citizens’ Relief Act (BEG).

This is subject to certain conditions:

1.   You must submit a tax return.

2.   You must be eligible to tax abatements for dependent children or child benefits.

3.   You must fulfill your child support responsibilities.

But remember, only expenses within the basic tariff are tax-deductible. The base tariff differs from provider to provider.


FAQs about private health insurance for families


What is the income limit for children and partners?

Children and partners with no income or an income less than €450 per month can be insured in private health insurance.


Can I co-insure my spouse on my private health insurance policy?

If you are privately insured and married, it is possible in certain circumstances to take out private health insurance for your spouse if they are unemployed or on a low income.


What about if my partner’s income is too high?

If your partner or children’s earnings exceed the income limits, you must inform your insurance provider. They will then have to arrange their own insurance – potentially with a public insurance provider.

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ottonova Magazin Autor
HIER SCHREIBT Marie-Theres Rüttiger

Marie-Theres is online editor for health and insurance topics at ottonova. She designs the editorial plan, researches and writes mainly about (e-)health and innovation that make life better.