Family private health insurance: How to insure your partner and children?

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 family private health insurance could offer you and your family.

Medizinisch geprüft - Siegel
REVIEWED by our insurance experts

Table of Content

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

Here are three good reasons:

1. 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.

2. 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 in family health insurance and always stay in total control.

3. 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 english-speaking 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.

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 who want to have family health insurance with several children should therefore examine and compare the costs of private and public insurance very carefully.

How much does private health insurance cost for families?

The cost of family private health insurance can vary a lot because all family members needs their own insurance policy. The price you pay for this insurance depends on each person's health and how old they are when they start the policy. For example, insurance for children is usually cheaper because they tend to be healthier and don't need as much medical care as adults. This keeps their insurance costs low.

Families should know that the price of insurance can change over time. As kids grow up or if anyone in the family gets sick, the insurance might get more expensive. Adults' insurance prices also depend on things like their age, if they have any ongoing health issues and their habits that might affect their health.

There are many different insurance plans out there, and they all offer different things. Some plans might be more expensive but cover more medical services, while others might be cheaper but cover less. Some insurance companies give discounts if the whole family signs up together. Families need to look around and find a plan that fits what they need and what they can afford. This way, they can make sure everyone in the family is covered without spending too much.

Private health insurance for families

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.

Income limits for partners for private co-insurance

Partners that can be co-insured by private family health insurance are only permitted to earn a certain amount. Otherwise they have to take out a health insurance plan for themselves.

The income limit is €485 per month. However, their actual total income might be somewhat higher if dependents take advantage of work-related tax deductions.

Great for families:

With the First Class Pro+ plan, you pay no premiums for up to 9 months when you receive parental allowance

Now available: The new ottonova tariff with guaranteed no-claim bonus:

Get a free consultation or find out more on our tariff page!

Here is an example of how the no-claim bonus can benefit you financially:

Annual health costs that do not affect the no-claim bonus (preventive care according to statutory programs, professional teeth cleaning, vaccinations excluding foreign travel vaccinations); are covered.

400 €

Annual health costs that would affect the no-claim bonus (e.g., sick note, medication bills); voluntarily paid for*

150 €

First Class Pro+ no-claim bonus (1 monthly contribution - statutory surcharge, sick pay, nursing care, contribution relief component)

549 €

Your financial advantage (no-claim bonus - personally paid bills)

399 €

*If you pay for these invoices yourself, they will not have a negative impact on your no-claim bonus and you will receive the full amount back.

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:

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. Find out more about our tariffs!

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

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.

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.

What do you need to insure children in private health insurance?

One way is the "Kindernachversicherung" (Subsequent child co-insurance). This is when you are already insured with a private health insurance for at least three months, or with ottonova before the 21st week of your or your partner’s pregnancy. Then you can co-insure your child right after birth with your private health insurance with no medical check-up. After the birth, you have two months to register your baby with your private health insurance.

ottonova advantage: the new-born is insured free of charge in the month of birth and the following 3 months.

However, if you co-insure your child later than two months after childbirth, or you haven't been in Germany before the birth of your child and you want to take out private health insurance for you and your child(ren), you will have to do a medical check-up before the private health insurance can offer you coverage.

How does the medical check-up for children work?

Your health insurance will ask about any pre-existing conditions during a medical check-up before offering coverage. You will have to answer some medical questions and potentially undergo a medical check-up by a medically trained and certified professional.

If your child needs a medical check, the private health insurance will probably ask for the U-Heft (short for “Untersuchungsheft” = examination booklet). It the easiest way to get an overview of your child’s health, as all relevant health history is noted in the U-Heft.

Where do I get a U-Heft?

You can get the yellow U-Heft from a pediatrician. Most parents will receive the 72-page booklet at a clinic upon the childbirth in Germany, or the midwife/obstetrician will give it to them. During ten preventive check-ups, the doctor collects all the observations made on his or her little patient: information about weight, growth, motor skills, vision and hearing, mental and emotional development is recorded. This enables doctors to assess whether a child is growing up in line with their age.

If you came to Germany later, you might have a similar medical record of your child from your country of origin. Potentially, you can see if their translation works for ottonova as a substitute for the U-Heft. If not, and you are a newcomer to Germany, ottonova will support you in making an appointment with a medically trained person to get and fill these out.

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.


Of course, your family is very welcome at ottonova. We have even come up with some special advantages for children and teenagers!

We have structured our plans such that your children will also get optimal coverage.

If you insure your family privately, you will need to pay a separate premium for each family member. As an employee, you will also get an allowance from your employer for your family's premiums.

Under the private health insurance system, every family member needs their own individual policy, and the cost (premium) is calculated based on each person's health and age when they enroll. Because of this, children's premiums are typically quite affordable. To insure your children in private health insurance can have a lot of advantages. Read more in our article about private health insurance for families!

There are three obvious advantages.

  1. You can trust that the level of coverage won't change. Public health insurance policyholders have to accept that their coverage may be restricted at any time by the state. The coverage that is listed in your policy when your insurance kicks in is guaranteed for life.
  2. Private health insurance is fair to all generations. You use your old-age provisions to finance your own healthcare costs in old age, and thus do not burden the next generation.
  3. In many cases, private health insurance is cheaper than public health insurance, despite offering better coverage.

Do you fancy your health insurance at the moment? No? Just imagine living in a world where your health insurance is as much a part of you as your smartphone. And just as easy to use.

If you're sick, you can get an initial assessment in seconds via chat. If necessary, the concierge will arrange a doctor's appointment, which will appear in your app's timeline. You scan the bill with your cell phone and have your money in your account within two days - prepayment is usually no longer necessary. Or you can simply go to the doctor's appointment digitally via videostream, with ottonova covering the costs. That's unique.

Our comprehensive insurance plans provide you with excellent coverage. The premiums are not surprisingly low, but they remain more stable when you get old. We are the health insurance that makes being insured easy and pleasant for you. Best medical services at the best price.

Children and partners with no income or an income less than €485 per month can be insured in private health insurance

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.

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.

Health insurance costs vary from person to person. There are a lot of factors which are important for the costs:

  • the price of the tariff
  • age
  • your medical history
  • what should be included in your tariff (e.g. some extras other tariffs do not have)
Marie-Theres Rüttiger
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.

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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