People in employment
By which we mean people who have an employer, i.e. not people who are self-employed (freelance) or business owners. As with many aspects of the German healthcare system, employer and employee contributions depend on whether the employee has public or private health insurance.
Public health insurance (GKV)
Premiums in the public (statutory) health insurance system are calculated using gross income. This means that the more you earn, the more you pay. In brief, the public contribution rates are:
- Health insurance: 14.6% of employee’s gross income up to the premium assessment ceiling (Beitragsbemessungsgrenze, BBG) of €56,250 (2020) – if you earn more than this, your premiums will not continue to rise.
- Health insurance surcharge: on average, 1.1% of gross income – levied by health insurance provider.
- Long-term care insurance: 3.05% of gross income.
In the public health insurance system, employers and employees split the costs 50/50. Based on an average surcharge of 1.1%, this means that the total sum of these three contributions is 18.75% of an employee’s gross salary – with employers and employees contributing roughly 9.375% each. However, this figure does not take any top-up insurances into account.
Private health insurance (PKV)
Unlike public insurance premiums, private health insurance premiums are contractually defined and are not subject to amendment by legislators.
Employers again contribute 50% of health insurance costs up to the maximum amount they would contribute for an employee with public health insurance. Based on the 2020 premium assessment ceiling (BBG) and average surcharge, this means employers can contribute up to €367.97 per month for private health insurance and €71.98 per month for long-term care insurance.
People who are self-employed evidently do not have employers. However, the majority of health insurance, long-term care insurance and even income protection insurance premiums are tax-deductible for freelancers in Germany.