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Private health insurance for Germany

Private comprehensive health insurance offers above-average medical care with high savings potential. Here you can find everything about costs, requirements and benefits.

Most important facts about private health insurance in Germany

1.

Best possible medical care

In the event of illness and for preventive examinations, the insurance cover provided by private health insurers offers a better range of services at a lower monthly premium than the public health insurance.

2.

Contractually guaranteed benefits

The benefit level of a private health insurance is contractually agreed and valid and binding for the entire contract period. In the case of public health insurance, the benefit level is often adjusted or restricted without the consent of the insured person.

3.

Individually tailored tariffs

Private health insurance can be "tailored" to one's own health, as well as personal needs and preferences, even before the contract is signed. For example, with treatments by alternative practitioners, etc.

4.

Contribution independent of demographics

Private health insurance builds up financial reserves (aging reserves) for the higher costs in old age and does not burden the next generation. Public health insurance (GKV), on the other hand, does not build capital reserves. GKV contributions depend on politics and are influenced by the increasing proportion of older insured persons.

What is Private health insurance?

Private health insurance is a private offer of a private insurance company. By signing a contract you can choose the best possible medical care.

In Germany, health insurance is compulsory: everyone must have health insurance. For health protection, there are two insurance systems in the German health system:

  1. public health insurance
  2. private health insurance

While premiums in public health insurance are calculated on the basis of income, premiums in private health insurance are calculated on the basis of age, the health status of the insured person or persons, and the desired insurance benefits.

By means of an individual risk assessment prior to the conclusion of the contract, the insurance collective of the private comprehensive health insurance is protected from excessive charges. This means that each cohort pays for the benefits that are required in the course of life. If illnesses present at the time the contract is concluded lead to statically higher expenses compared to a healthy newly insured person, this is compensated for in the form of the risk surcharge. Even though private health insurance is oriented toward the individual, there is still solidarity between the healthy and the sick.

In private health insurance, insured persons provide for rising health care costs later on with their premiums. This means that, unlike in public health insurance, premiums remain independent of demographic change.

How does the reimbursement of bills work in Private health insurance?

Unlike in public health insurance, where the doctor bills the health insurance company directly, the doctor bills the privately insured person directly. The person then submits the bill to the private health insurance company and is reimbursed for the cost. Reimbursement can take up to one month with most private comprehensive health insurers.

ottonova, on the other hand, reimburses invoices in a flash, regardless of whether you have comprehensive or supplementary insurance. Simply scan or photograph the invoice, upload it to the app, and the money is in your account within 48 hours.* This way, insured persons usually don't even have to pay in advance.*

(Mo-Fr, up to €500)

Advantages of private health insurance

With a private health insurance, you can cover yourself in the best possible way. The benefit modules that you have agreed upon with your insurance company are contractually guaranteed. Nobody can cut your benefits again.

In private health insurance plans, you pay for what you want. Privately insured persons cover themselves with their premiums and can structure these much more flexibly than insured persons in the public health insurance system.



1.

More extensive benefits in the event of illness

The scope of benefits of the private health insurance is considerably larger than in the public health insurance. Access to specialists, cost coverage for alternative practitioners, glasses and contact lenses, treatment by a chief physician and a single room in the hospital are just some of the benefits of private health insurance that those with public insurance must cover with supplementary insurance.

The rates in private health insurance also cover up to 100 percent reimbursement for dental prostheses, professional dental cleaning or orthodontics. For a similar scope of benefits, people with public insurance must first take out supplementary dental insurance to be reimbursed for these costs.

2.

Flexibility in the choice of tariff and premium amount

Choose the insurance coverage that suits your individual needs? That is possible with private health insurance. Here, insured persons have the option of choosing from various tariffs and putting together insurance coverage with the desired scope of benefits that suits their needs.

They can also make the amount of their premium more flexible, for example by choosing a higher deductible and thus lowering their monthly premium. In this way, privately insured persons can contribute to their own healthcare costs and thus save money each month.

3.

Benefit security for a lifetime

Having private health insurance means receiving contractually guaranteed benefits for life that cannot be cut. In public health insurance, on the other hand, more and more benefits have been cut for years and premiums have been rising. This is because the population is getting older and older and therefore has to make use of more and more health services.

Insureds in private health insurance can safely plan for the future with what they agreed with their insurer when they signed the contract. In addition, innovative and new treatments are covered more quickly by private health insurance than by public health insurance.

Innovations reimbursed sooner by Private health insurance?

Privately insured patients can reap the benefits of medical innovations much more quickly, because while public health insurance must wait for lengthy approval procedures, private health insurance is generally much more open to new technologies and medications.

The reimbursement hurdles are much lower under private health insurance, and if there is a medical need, the latest drugs and innovative examination and treatment methods are reimbursed.


Want an example?

Bone density measurements in cases of suspected osteoporosis were covered 8.5 years earlier by private health insurance compared to public health insurance.

You don’t want to wear glasses anymore? Private health insurance covers Elective Vision Correction Surgery. Public health insurance doesn’t.


Providing for tomorrow today

With private health insurance, policyholders take responsibility for their future, because they are already providing for later with their current premiums. The monthly premium includes a considerable amount for provisions in old age. In addition, the premium relief component can be used to reduce the premium in retirement age.

As a private patient, you can thus ensure that your contributions remain as stable as possible in retirement and do not rise sharply. This is different from public health insurance, where contributions rise year after year due to the aging population, which has to make use of more and more health services.

Advantages of ottonova

Your health in the best hands.

Public health insurance gives you solid basic protection. However, for many services it only covers part of the costs. With our tariffs, you can close this gap forever.

Access to doctors and specialists.

When you're sick, getting help quickly is our top priority. As a privately insured person, you don't have to wait long or go to different doctors. Our concierge will make an appointment for you.

State-of-the-art treatment methods.

You can count on us to pay for therapies that haven't even been invented yet. Because we are enthusiastic about innovations - after all, we are one ourselves.

Only the best for your children.

Over 20% of all ottonova customers are families and have chosen ottonova for the best possible coverage for their loved ones.

Would you like to enjoy all the benefits ottonova has to offer?

Don't hesitate and get in contact with our amazing English speaking support team.

Requirements for a German private health insurance

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Employees

Whether private health insurance is an option for salaried employees depends on their gross income. This is because they are not exempt from insurance until they earn above the compulsory insurance threshold, also known as the annual income limit (JAEG). If your income is above the limit, you can take out a private health insurance.


The income limit for employees is €64,350 per year or €6,362.50 per month (as of 2022). However, this limit is adjusted every year to the current wage development and usually increases. Incidentally, in addition to monthly wages, Christmas or vacation bonuses are also included, provided the employer pays them regularly.


For high-earning employees, switching to private health insurance is particularly worthwhile. This is because they not only receive the best possible medical care, but also pay lower insurance premiums for significantly better insurance coverage compared to membership in a public health insurance fund. While employees who earn above the compulsory insurance limit pay the maximum contribution (€934) in the public health insurance system, they can really save in private health insurance.

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Self-employed

Self-employed persons or freelancers make decisions on their own responsibility every day and must also do so when choosing their health insurance: they are basically free to decide whether public or private health insurance makes sense for them and where they would like to insure themselves.


Anyone who is self-employed at a young age and pays the maximum contribution in the public health insurance scheme, values high-quality benefits for their health and wants to make themselves independent of demographic change, should consider taking out private health insurance. This not only saves self-employed people money, but also provides them with individual coverage in the event of illness and in the future thanks to aging provisions and daily sickness benefits.


In life as an entrepreneur or self-employed person, flexibility is a high value. This should also apply to insurance. In private health insurance, premiums can be made much more flexible and adapted to individual needs (for example, by contributing to one's own health costs through a higher deductible).

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Civil servants

94 percent of civil servants choose private health insurance. And for good reason. The employer contributes a share of the health care costs of civil servants through the allowance. For the remainder, private health insurance offers a special tariff with which civil servants can cover their other costs.


In most federal states, civil servants do not receive a contribution subsidy for public health insurance and therefore pay their own contributions. In this case, the more you earn, the higher your contribution will be.


The rates for civil servants in private health insurance, on the other hand, offer all the advantages that employees or self-employed private insurants also enjoy. High-quality treatments for dental health such as dentures, remedies and aids such as bandages, glasses or contact lenses and alternative medical treatments are just a few examples. In public health insurance, on the other hand, additional costs quickly arise (e.g. for medication, etc.).

How expensive is private insurance?

The cost of private health insurance depends mainly on 3 factors:

  1. the state of health
  2. your entry age
  3. desired services

This is based on the principle of equivalence - it ensures that insured persons pay for services that correspond to their individual risk and state of health.

In private health insurance, monthly premiums are calculated individually and depend on various factors, so it is difficult to make generalized statements. How high the monthly costs are in private health insurance varies from case to case. We will try to illustrate this with two examples:


Example 1: Costs for private health insurance for salaried employees

Let's assume you are 34 years old, a salaried employee with no children and no pre-existing conditions, and you earn 64,500 euros gross per year. Then the costs for public and private health insurance are as follows:

Private health insurance (employee share incl. compulsory long-term care insurance, insured person has supplementary dental insurance*): 498.21 euros per month

Private health insurance (employee contribution for ottonova's business class tariff): 282.86 euros per month**.


Example 2: private health insurance costs for self-employed persons

In the case of self-employed persons, the employer's contribution does not apply, so they pay the full contribution themselves. For a 34-year-old self-employed person without children and without pre-existing conditions with a gross annual income of 50,000 euros, the cost comparison looks as follows

PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE (monthly premium incl. compulsory long-term care insurance, insured person has supplementary dental insurance*): 951 euros per month with sick pay entitlement.

Private health insurance (monthly premium in ottonova's Business Class tariff): 528.83 euros per month***.

Taking out a private health insurance contract therefore makes particular sense for high earners, because the public health insurance premium increases with income. If you earn above the contribution assessment limit (4,837.50 euros gross per month), you pay the maximum rate in the public health insurance, which is currently around 934 euros per month.

If you earn more, the contribution no longer increases, but the contribution assessment limit is not rigid, but is linked to the development of income in Germany. Since wages have been rising for years, the income threshold has also been increasing. High earners therefore pay more for their public health insurance year after year. In private health insurance, on the other hand, nothing changes in your contribution, no matter how big your salary jumps.

*To ensure comparability of benefits, at least for the care of the insured's teeth, we have added the cost of supplemental dental insurance to the public health insurance premium

** BC100-10 + daily sickness allowance KTA43/120 + PVN = 565.74 EUR = 282.86 employee share

*** BC100-10 + daily sickness allowance KTS43 + PVN = 581.24 EUR, without daily sickness allowance KTS 524.94 EUR

BC100-25 + daily sickness allowance KTS43 + PVN = 528,83 EUR, without daily sickness allowance KTS 472,53 EUR

Private health insurance becomes unaffordable in old age?
Not true!

When it comes to private health insurance premiums, many people think of high financial burdens in retirement.

In fact, cheap tariffs can lead to private health insurance becoming unaffordable in old age. To prevent this from happening, private health insurance has developed many mechanisms to keep its premiums stable for a longer time:

  1. With the beginning of your retirement the 105 statutory surcharge is taken away as well as the pension insurance contribution, which will lower your contribution.
  2. you can also lower the premium you pay in retirement today by adding a premium relief component to your premium.
  3. private health insurance builds up a financial cushion for you with age reserves to keep your premiums stable in old age.
  4. if you want to reduce your costs in private health insurance, you have a lever to do so with the deductible. If you increase it, your monthly premium will be lowered. Attention: A reduction is often only possible with a new health check.
  5. If a risk surcharge was agreed when you took out your contract and your health has improved since then, you can have the surcharge removed.
  6. another option for optimizing your health benefits or premium is to change your tariff - because changes are part of life and should also be reflected in your tariff.

Private health insurance knowledge

Actuarial interest rate

Unlike other private health insurers, ottonova calculates premiums with a low and future-proof interest rate of 1.25 percent. In this way, we can guarantee the most stable coverage possible into old age.

The earlier you decide on private health insurance, the better. Because if you are young and healthy, you can save a lot of money right from the start and usually pay less than for public health insurance. For pre-existing conditions, risk surcharges are added to the individual private health insurance premium, but even then, it is worth comparing with the public health insurance.


Premium refund (no claim bonus)

The premium refund in health insurance is a premium for insured persons who have not claimed any benefits in a year. If privately insured persons do not submit any bills for a year, there are some insurance companies that reward this and pay a refund.

However, these insurances already include the guaranteed premium refund in your monthly premium, which increases it. You can only get back what you have already paid. Wouldn't you rather have that money available right now?

Refunds also affect your annual tax refund and can reduce it.

That's why ottonova does not offer premium refunds or a no claim bonus. We prefer to calculate premiums in such a way that we can avoid premium increases as far as possible.

We also do not want to create a false incentive to postpone a necessary treatment into the next year so that a refund can be made. Often, these postponed treatments are much more cost-intensive afterwards, leading to premium increases for the whole insured community.

Last but not least, we want to make it as easy as possible for you. Do not collect invoices and check whether it is worthwhile to submit them. Instead, submit them immediately and receive reimbursement within a short time and then transfer the bill to the doctor/dentist without having to pay in advance. Done.

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Andrea

English-speaking insurance expert

Do you have any questions?

We'll do everything we can to help you make an informed decision.

+49 89 121 896 09

Private health insurance benefits

Much more important than the amount of your insurance premium is what you get for it.

In the public health insurance, your health is covered with basic benefits. However, the scope of benefits can change at any time. In order to save money, the government can cancel or reduce benefits.

In private health insurance, insured persons not only receive first-class benefits - they can even decide for themselves which benefits they place particular value on (e.g. preventive medical check-ups, alternative practitioners, etc.) by choosing their tariff.

Once the private health insurance contract has been concluded, the insured benefits are guaranteed for life.


Better insured with private health insurance

Wondering if private health insurance makes sense? Here are three everyday situations where you'll notice the benefits of private health insurance.


1.

Visual acuity correction

Keep your vision

Jens is nearsighted and has been wearing glasses and sometimes contact lenses for years. How fortunate that he is insured with private health insuran. Because ottonova pays him up to 500 euros every two years for vision aids. Now he has decided to have his visual acuity corrected by laser. After a few days, he was able to see clearly without glasses. Now he starts every day with full vision.

The public health insurance would not have paid anything, but ottonova did.

2.

Private room

First class in hospital

Tanja rides her racing bike to work every day. When she got caught in a streetcar track and fell off her bike, she broke her collarbone and needed surgery. Her ottonova tariff covers both treatment by a chief physician and a private room in hospital. And so she was able to recover completely undisturbed.

Eva, who is in the same hospital, is insured with publich health insurance and unfortunately has no supplementary hospital insurance. She regularly wakes up every night in the multi-bed room because Bettina, her fellow patient, snores loudly.

3.

Dentures & orthodontics

For your best smile

Thomas had a large gap between his incisors for a long time, which is why he often didn't dare to smile broadly and show his teeth in public. Unlike public health insurance, his ottonova tariff made orthodontic treatment possible for him, even as an adult.

His wife Marina is also insured with ottonova and needs dentures. She is missing a tooth in the lower right-hand corner, which needs to be replaced. That, too, is covered up to 100 percent in her tariff.

Private health insurance from ottonova

  • 100 percent reimbursement of outpatient medical treatment and direct specialist treatment
  • Free choice of doctor and clinic and more doctors to choose from thanks to access to private practices and clinics
  • Reimbursement of many treatment methods in contrast to PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE in considerably more cases: e.g. acupuncture, alternative practitioners, chiropractors, laser operations to correct visual acuity, as well as considerably more preventive services without age limit
  • We reimburse you for alternative medical treatments such as naturopathy or homeopathy.
  • 100 % reimbursement of alternative medical treatments performed by physicians
  • You need medication? All prescribed medicines (as well as high-priced medicines) are reimbursed.
  • Your advantage: ottonova will also cover medicines prescribed by your doctor that do not necessarily require a prescription, such as headache tablets or vitamin preparations.
  • 100% reimbursement of remedies such as massages, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, fango, etc.
  • Do you wear glasses? Depending on the tariff, we also cover up to € 500 every 2 years for visual aids such as glasses or contact lenses.
  • Aids such as hearing aids, prostheses or wheelchairs are also reimbursed at 100%.
  • 100 % coverage of dental treatments such as fillings or root canal treatments
  • Would you like to have your teeth professionally cleaned? We will reimburse you for professional dental cleaning up to twice per insurance year.
  • Up to 100 % reimbursement of dental prostheses such as implants, crowns, bridges, ceramic inlays and onlays
  • Do you want to have malocclusions corrected? We also reimburse up to 100% of orthodontic services for adults, depending on the tariff.
  • Your child needs braces? ottonova reimburses up to 100% of orthodontic services for children (up to the age of 21).
  • 100 % reimbursement of birth preparation courses (also for partners), pregnancy and postnatal gymnastics
  • Comprehensive prenatal diagnostics (3x during pregnancy)
  • Midwife services before, during and after birth as well as intensive care up to three times a day
  • 6 months worldwide insurance coverage without additional premium
  • Unlimited insurance coverage within the European Economic Area
  • Reimbursement of return medical transport from abroad

Would you like to enjoy the most comfortable health insurance for Germany?

Take your chance and let's discuss how we can protect your health.

Differences between private health insurance and public health care system in Germany

Who can be insured where?

PRIVATE
  • Employees with a regular income above the annual income limit (64,350 €)
  • self-employed persons
  • Civil servants (allowance + residual cost insurance)
  • students
  • children, if parents are insured in private health insuranc
PUBLIC
  • Generally open to all
  • Employees with a regular income below the annual income threshold must contribute to the public health insurance.

What is the composition of the premiums and how do they develop?

PRIVATE
  • Independent of income - contribution for health insurance and compulsory long-term care insurance is calculated on the basis of health status and entry age.
  • The employer pays half of the contribution - maximum as much as for a legally insured person. (max. 384,58 € for health insurance and max. 73,77 € for long-term care insurance).
PUBLIC
  • Income-dependent - 14.6% of income up to the contribution assessment limit of € 58,050.
  • 3.05% of income for compulsory long-term care insurance, which is always included; child-free persons pay slightly more at 3.4% in 2022.
  • The employer pays half of the contribution, but not for the supplement for child-free persons.
  • In addition, individual surcharges (1.3% on average) shared by employee and employer.

Is health status relevant?

PRIVATE
  • Yes, health check required.
  • Not for newborns under child supplementary insurance.
PUBLIC
  • No, no health requirements.

Is there an age limit for switching?

PRIVATE
  • Switching to private health insurance theoretically possible at any age
  • The change becomes more expensive with increasing age
PUBLIC
  • Switching back to public health insurance is only possible when insurance becomes compulsory and is generally no longer possible after the age of 55.

How is my family insured?

PRIVATE
  • Independent of entry age and profession: separate contribution for each family member - spouse and children are insured independently.
  • Children cost significantly less than adults.
PUBLIC
  • Children cost significantly less than adults.

How secure are my benefits?

PRIVATE
  • Benefits are defined by contract and are valid for life. If you want to extend benefits, a new health check is due.
  • Scope of benefits is contractually guaranteed.
PUBLIC
  • - Benefits are defined by law and can be changed at any time.

What is the legal basis of private and public health insurance?

PRIVATE
  • Reimbursed benefits depend on the contract concluded.
  • Wide range of rates - from low benefits to comprehensive premium coverage.
PUBLIC
  • Insured persons are reimbursed for sufficient, appropriate and necessary services in accordance with the Fifth Social Security Code.
  • Benefits determined by legislature; follow the principle of economic efficiency.

All private health insurances aren’t the same

If private health insurance is an option for you, when comparing offers, find out not only about the benefits offered and the level of premiums, but also about what reserves the insurance company builds up and where and how these are invested.


Beware of cheap rates

Some private health insurers may offer very low-cost premiums now, but that won't pay off later. Because then your premiums will rise and the prejudice that you can no longer afford private health insurance in old age could become true.

With ottonova, you get more out of your private health insurance.

Our digital features make your life easier. In addition to the best coverage for your health, the ottonova app offers you many innovative digital services - free of charge in all our tariffs.

Ground-breaking service.
Always just one click away.

ottonova is there for you, wherever you are. You can easily access all of ottonova's features and services from your smartphone.

Concierge team
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  • Ulrike Leicht lächelndes Gesicht
  • Andrea Rotes Herz
  • Matthias Sprechblase
Concierge team

We do the legwork for you.

ottonova is health insurance that does the legwork for you. We can arrange doctor's appointments for you, find you the right specialist, and answer any questions you may have about health and health insurance.

Telemedicine appointments
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Telemedicine appointments

Don't drag yourself to the doctor's office for a simple cold.

Our app offers telehealth appointments, so you can get diagnoses, prescriptions, or sick leave quickly and easily.

Of course, you can still go see the doctor of your choice in person if you want.

No paperwork
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No paperwork

Perfectly organized, with zero red tape.

Your everyday life is already fully digitalized. Yet you still have a file folder for your health insurance? We sort all your documents and events chronologically in your digital patient record in the ottonova app.

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Your Bank You have received €155,94 from ottonova.
Fast reimbursement

We reimburse bills in no time.

Get your money back within 48 hours?* This is a pipe dream with other insurers. ottonova makes this dream a reality! Simply upload your bill via the app and receive the money for your claim long before you are due to pay your doctor.

* Monday to Friday for bills up to €500.

Switch to private health insurance

You want to leave the public health insurance?

You can always do so at the end of the month after next - i.e. with two months' notice. The basic prerequisite is, of course, that you are voluntarily insured in the public health insurance, i.e. that you are not subject to compulsory insurance in the health insurance.

After you received our advice, decided on a tariff and have submitted your application to ottonova, someone from the ottonova team will contact you to arrange a telephone appointment for your health and risk assessment. Based on your health data, we will then tell you about the exact premium for the tariff you have chosen.

Switch from another private health insurance to ottonova

In your insurance documents, you will find the notice period and the minimum contract term.

We will be happy to help you find the data in your documents. Depending on the private health insurance with which you are insured, you can usually terminate your contract on December 31 of each year or at the beginning of the month in which you took out your insurance.

In addition, you always have a special right of termination if your premiums increase. Please contact us and we will help you to find the right time.


Take out private health insurance with ottonova

Before we can insure you, we need an application from you.

This is done online at ottonova as a digital insurance. Then you go through the risk assessment, in which you are asked health questions. Your individual premium is calculated on this basis.

Once you have checked your contract and canceled your old health insurance, all you have to do is activate your ottonova app and you can enjoy all the benefits of your new digital health insurance.

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Digital health insurance

That's how easy private health insurance is today with ottonova.

7 easy steps to ottonova. 100% digital.

And it's as simple as this:

  1. make an appointment & have a consultation
  2. submit application via premium calculator
  3. answer health questions
  4. check and conclude insurance contract
  5. cancel your current insurance
  6. activate account in your app: all documents at a glance
  7. enjoy all the benefits of your new digital health insurance policy

Our 2-year money-back guarantee

Private health insurance companies build up aging reserves to keep the price stable in old age. If you change insurers, you can only take part of these reserves with you to the new insurer. This has left insurers with billions in ageing reserves.

Other private health insurers build up reserves to keep prices stable in old age. If you change insurers, you can only take a small part of these reserves with you to the new insurer. In the meantime, billions in aging provisions are "trapped" in Germany. That can't happen to you with us and this is why we are the only insurance with a money-back guarantee.

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