Is private health insurance worth it for women?

As a women, you can benefit from private health insurance (private Krankenversicherung – PKV) every bit as much as men. In this article, we’ll look at why this wasn’t always the case, what you can expect from private health insurance, and important things to bear in mind in relation to family planning.

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Reviewed by our insurance experts

Whether you’re a Head of Finance or the Head of the Household, as a powerful women you have more than earned the right to excellent cover and the best care for your health. Private health insurance offers just that. 

Despite this, the majority of people in Germany with private health insurance are men. Yet the private health insurance system offers unbeatable benefits for women – particularly for ambitious, career-focused women, but also for expectant mothers.

Private health insurance – a male domain?

Women who choose to take out private health insurance will find themselves in the minority. Only one-third of fully insured private policyholders are women; men account for almost half, and children just under one-fifth. At 32%, the proportion of women in the private health insurance system  is even lower than the proportion of women on supervisory boards in Germany

Most women with private health insurance are civil servants. For civil servants entitled to Beihilfe – of whom 57% are women  – private health insurance remains the best form of health protection. 

Is the private system more attractive for men?

This raises the question of why female employees and self-employed women tend to opt for public rather than private health insurance. In its annual data report, the Association of Private Health Insurance Providers (PKV-Verband) speculated that women may still have a lower income then men overall, and are therefore less likely to meet the eligibility requirements for private health insurance.

In 2012, the German government took steps to enshrine equality of status in private health insurance by passing legislation that prohibits insurance providers from making the costs of private health insurance dependent on a person’s sex. As a result, private insurers introduced so-called unisex tariffs. These tariffs replaced the previous system in which women had to pay 30% more on average for private health insurance than men.

Why private health insurance used to be more expensive for women:

Since the introduction of unisex tariffs, women are no longer disadvantaged by their cautious approach to health and the fact that they bring children into the world.

In the years since, it is self-employed women in particular who have increasingly chosen private health insurance. However, private health insurance offers benefits for all women, not only for the self-employed.

What are the benefits of private health insurance for women?

In Germany, there are two health insurance systems: the private health insurance system (PKV) and the public (or statutory) health insurance system (GKV). Both serve to protect your health, but differ significantly in terms of their cost and benefits. We’ve put together an article that sets out the differences between the public and private health insurance systems. It summarizes the most important benefits of each system for you.

Overview of private health insurance benefits for women:

Private health insurance: Benefits and costs for women

Health is an important topic, especially for women. Women tend to be more acutely concerned with their wellbeing, and the wellbeing of their family, than men. The benefits of private health insurance, which far surpass those of public health insurance providers and sometimes even include cover for natural health treatments, meet women’s high expectations. The same goes for the preventive healthcare, and women can access a more extensive range of screening and check-up services in the private system than with public health insurance.

Exactly what benefits private health insurance will offer and how high your premiums will depend on which tariff you choose. In addition, your age and current health status determine your level of risk and therefore also have an effect on your premiums. And, unlike in the public health insurance system, the private system allows you to adjust components such as your deductible, which means you can influence your monthly premiums. The public system puts high-earning women at a particular disadvantage, as public health insurance premiums increase in line with your salary.

Privately insured and pregnant? Things you need to know

Many women know the value of extensive screening and healthcare services, especially during pregnancy. After all, there’s nothing better than a happy, healthy family.

Pregnancy and private health insurance are an excellent combination. Depending on your chosen tariff, your private health insurance provider could cover the costs of:

What will happen to my private health insurance premiums during and after pregnancy?

In both the private and public health insurance systems, women continue to pay their premiums during pregnancy. Women with private health insurance can apply for a one-off payment of up to €210, plus an employer contribution. Pregnant self-employed women can access financial relief by taking out sickness allowance insurance.

The private health insurance system does not provide family cover in the same way as the public system. Instead, each member of your family needs their own policy. However, contracts for newborns are very affordable and do not require your baby to undergo a health examination. This means your child can enjoy the very best medical treatments from the moment they arrive.

How will having a child affect your premiums? And what will happen if your partner has public rather than private insurance? We’ve answered these and another key questions for you:

Private insurance for people with families. Is it worth it?

ottonova answers the most important questions

What benefits does ottonova offer for women and mothers? 

As a women, if you opt for private health insurance from ottonova, you can expect transparent tariffs and first-class services, including digital features such as an appointment planner.

If you become pregnant during your time as an ottonova customer, you’ll be able to access even more benefits. Want some examples? Here are three key benefits for you:

Is your health your top priority?

ottonova can help you become an eat-move-mind expert

Conclusion: Is private health insurance a good choice for women?

There are very few reasons why women should reject the notion of private health insurance out of hand, particularly since the introduction of unisex tariffs. The public health insurance system is only likely to remain the better choice if you are a mother and plan to work part-time for the foreseeable future. However, for full-time employees, civil servants, and self-employed mothers who expect high-quality healthcare, private health insurance offers numerous benefits – for years to come.

Want to find out which insurance system is best suited to your life plans? Our savings calculator can outline the figures for you in detail. Get in touch with us!

Marie-Theres Rüttiger
HIER SCHREIBT Marie-Theres Rüttiger

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

ottonova sales experts
HIER SCHREIBT ottonova sales experts

Our ottonova team of experts has over 40 years of experience in private health insurance and answers questions about it every day. What are old-age provisions and for whom does private health insurance make sense? What is the actuarial interest rate and which tariff is right for you? They know!

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