Helpful hints about healthcare in Germany
Moving to a new country is often unsettling. From finding an apartment to navigating complex public transport systems, getting started in Germany can feel daunting at first. However, the German health system is relatively straightforward. Here are a few tips to help you find your way:
- Hospitals (Krankenhäuser) can be publicly, privately or charitably funded, but will treat all patients.
- Pharmacies (Apotheken) are usually signposted with a large, red capital A or a green cross.
- Co-payments in Germany are miniscule compared to those in the USA. In many cases, you can expect to pay your local doctor as little as €10 per quarter. Public health insurance rarely covers dental care in full, meaning patients can be left facing expensive bills. However, all of ottonova’s special expat tariffs cover the full cost of dental treatment.
Which health insurance is right for me?
All employees and students in Germany are legally required to pay into some form of health insurance. Most people pay into public health insurance, also known as statutory health insurance. This gives everyone equal access to the same decent level of healthcare. However, a growing number of people are opting for private health insurance. Not everyone is eligible for private health insurance, but you might qualify if you are a high earner or self-employed. By choosing a private health insurance policy, you can benefit from:
- Shorter waiting times
- A more extensive range of treatments (including dental)
- Greater flexibility
- More privacy during inpatient stays
- Greater choice
There are numerous factors to consider before making your choice. To help you decide, we’ve put together a guide to different insurance types plus an explainer of the benefits of private health insurance.