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Insurances in Germany

Thinking about crossing borders means that one gets engaged with topics like residence permit and health insurance. In this country, drugs, doctors as well as hospitals are very expensive, so it is crucial to have a health insurance. Furthermore you will not get a residence permit, if you don’t have a health insurance. Although Germany is called the „El Dorado“, protection isn’t granted in every area. That’s why each emigrant is called upon to compile his insurance cover according to his needs.
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If you have any questions concerning specific insurances, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Using our Inhouse-Translator we can also give you advice in your native language. 

The National Health Service in Germany

Germany is known as one of the world’s best health systems. Here, the health system has an extensive network of hospitals and doctors, even in the remotest areas of Germany.

Medical devices are equipped with the latest technology
In case of treatments you don’t have to prepare yourself for long waiting periods, as waiting lists are rarely spread. Unlike other countries the medical health service is provided with the latest technologies and facilities. Moreover it doesn’t make any differences when it comes to providing insurance benefits. That means, that everyone has access to the National Health Service regardless of income group or social class one belongs.
German National Health Service belongs to the most expensive one's

Although the German National Health Service has many advantages, it still has some drawbacks. The most significant drawback is the cost point of the national health insurance. Above all it’s the most expensive in the world. Due to the fact that the free health care does not exist, any medical care by the insurance or the policyholder is paid itself.

Compulsory insurance

Since January 2009, every in Germany living person is obliged to have a health insurance.The national health insurance is compulsory in particular for the following groups:

  • Employees whose gross income is higher than 400 euros and below the annual income limit of 60,750 Euro
  • Students in public or state-approved universities
  • Trainees or students of lower secondary
  • Elderly pensioners who have been insured for most of her professional life in the statutory health insurance
  • Unemployed who receive financial support from public bodies such as the Federal Employment Agency
EHIC enables German health insurance
Students from countries with which the Federal Republic holds social security agreements may continue to be insured with the health insurance of their home country. In that case theso-called EHIC provides support. As a result the owner of the EHIC receives medical care according to the same conditions as a German citizen. If you plan to stay for a long time in Germany, an appropriate health insurance must be signed with an insurance company.By Contrast self-employed and freelancers should think about signing a private health insurance.
Short-term stays require exemption
Immigrants, who plan a short-term stay in Germany and don’t want to change their health insurance, have to submit a confirmation of their health insurance. Presenting this document in English and German, it should confirm that any medical expenses are covered. After that it will be forwarded to the national health insurance for exemption.

Private or national health insurance?

In Germany exist two healthcare systems:

criteria National Health Insurance Private Health Insurance
working method social solidarity
basis of assessment of insurance premium salary
  • individual risk
  • personal condition
  • age at entry
claim to insurance benefits
  • depends on medical necessity
  • in case of several treatments, take on costs of the treatment with the lowest costs
 integral assumption of costs
deduction public health insurance company patient pays in advance
reimbursement of medicine and treatments statutory co-payment no extra payment
benefits
  • checkups for early diagnosis of diseases
  • vaccinations
  • free choice of doctor and [simple_tooltip content=’The public health insurance company agrees to pay the costs only for approvded hospitals. In case of a National Health Service patient the insurance company can refuse the reimbursement of the additional costs completely‘]hospital[/simple_tooltip]
  • hospitalization to a daily allowance of 10 euro
  • drugs and aids
  • stays at a health resort
  • psychotherapeutic treatments

 

 

 

 

 

  • checkups for early diagnosis of diseases
  • treatments via non-medical practioner
  • head doctor treatment
  • free choice of doctor and hospital
  • expensive dental treatments
  • drugs and aids

 

payment of insurance premiums employer and employee – one half each freelancer pays the insurance premium itself
 circle of insurants relatives are co-insured the individual insured

Who can enter the private health insurance?

In general, anyone who doesn’t find himself in any of the above mentioned groups may take a private health insurance into account.

Private insured have to pay in advance

While the public health insurance handles the deduction of insurance benefits, another manner can be observed within the private health insurance. Here the patient acts as contractual partner of the doctor.n doing so  The doctor charges the patient for the undrawn insurance benefits, while the private patient passes the invoice to his private health insurance for reimbursement.

Private health insuurances are not allowed to refuse a person because of its increased health risk

If you are interested in becoming a member of the private health insurance, you have to prove an annual income of at least 60,750 euros. If the level of income among workers plays an important role, it can be left out with officials and freelancers. If an increased health risk is identified, the insurance company isn’t allowed to reject him/her. Contrary to this the insurance has to offer him at least little powerful base rate.

Unisex-tariffs

The unisex tariff is an insurance tariff which doesn’t specify the gender of the policyholder as basis for calculation. If women had to take consider high costs for the tratments, the unisex tarriff  guarantees the alignment with the insurance benefits of the male sex. This will give women the same insurance benefits as men, without having to pay higher contributions. By aligning the two sexes men get the insurance protection  for a  30 percent more expensive insurance rate, while women get the same  the same insurance protection to lower contributions. The level of the bonus depends on the age of the policyholder. If one looks at the benefits of unisex tariffs, they are similar to the benefits of the public health insurance. Currently a unisex tarriff is offered at an insurance contribution of 639.38 euros. 

Provisions protect from higher costs of treatment in the future

With increasing age, the policyholder must accept the fact that they have to pay higher sums for treatment and medication. To protect the policyholder from high costs of treatment in case of illness, the private health insurance sets up provisions. Here, a part of the to be paid insurance premiums is invested on the capital market. If a change of insurance is planned insurants have got the possibility to take on until then saved provisions.

change back to the national health insurance - only under certain circumstances

A change back to the national health insurance can only take place if the following requirements are given:

  • A policyholder has lost his job
  • The annual income is less than 50,850 euros
  • Previously worked as an independent practitioner and receives the same salary now, as an employee 

Responsibility is a top priority in Germany

Not only is the health insurance crucial, but also other form of insurances. If an accident occurs with physical injuries and material damage you will be blamed for it. Being involved in small accidents can happen so quickly that it’s useful to take a look on to some important insurance:

Liability insurance

The majority of Germans considers the personal liability insurance as the most important private insurance among all insurance policies. In case of damage, the liability insurance covers all the costs. The cost limit of the insurance depends on the coverage amount which was negotiated in the insurance contract. Besides, spouses as well as children are covered by the liability insurance. Liability insurance can be signed for an annual insurance premium from 100 euros.

Third-party motor insurance

If you own a car or motorcycle this insurance is mandatory. The registration of a car can’t be carried out without this policy. In case of damage the insurance will cover all costs. The insurance premium can vary greatly depending which tariff you pick. Furthermore the size of it depends on criteria like vehicle class, age of vehicle and the number of years without having an accident. The automobile liability insurance is divided into two different areas:

No-fault insurance Partially comprehensive insurance
protection of damages:

  • vehicle damages caused by strangers
  • caused accidental damages by oneself

 

 

 

protection of damages through:

  • glass breakage
  • theft
  • fire
  • explosion
  • storm
  • hail
  • flood
  • lightning
  • thunderstorms

 

suitable for 8 until 15 years old vehicles

Household contents insurance

The household contents insurance protects all in the house or apartment located objects. In case of theft or damage caused by, or thunderstorms the insurance covers all the costs. By it the size of insurance premium depends on the size of apartment. Its worthwhile signing a household contents insurance as soon as precious objects belong to the apartment.

Occupational disability insurance

Next to the accident insurance the occupational disability insurance offers you another possibility to protect yourself from disability. The individual performance of the employee is subject of the occupational disability insurance. In that case the insurance protects an employee from a descent down the job.

Many accidents happen in the free-time

Through the employer you are member of the national accident insurance. If an accident occurs during the working hours or on the way to work and back the employee is insured. Nonetheless, most accidents occur during leisure time. With your signature you insure the accident event that leads to a disability. In this case, the insurance company pays you a disability pension depending on the seriousness of the injury. Anyone who wants to be totally covered can also integrate additional insurance benefits like hospital cash, cosmetic surgery and recovery costs.

Retirement provision

Germany applies the principle of social security. Therefore every citizen is granted a certain standard of living. Similar to the health insurance the insurants vouch for each other. In general, the legal pension is paid from the compulsory contributions of the workers. These are collected from the monthly gross wages of the employees. However, these contributions are not saved up, but immediately passed on to the current pensioners. This phenomenon of handoff is also called generational contract. This means that the younger generation pays for the older population. Due to the fact that fewer and fewer workers finance the pensions of numerous pensioners the government increased the age at entry on 67 years.

German pension insurance

While the national health insurance is dedicated to the health care of their insurants, the German pension insurance draws their attention on to the provisions for the elderly. Except for the payment of pensions the German pension insurance is also responsible for areas like surviving dependent pension and limited incapacity benefit. As responsible of the pension insurance it grants all treatments associated with the medical as well as vocational rehabilitation.

Time spent educating the children is recognized as contribution periods in the Geram pension insurance
How much pension you get at the end of the day depends on the size and number of paid insurance premiums. Not only workers provide a pension structure, but also parents dealing with raising children. The time, spent bringing up one’s children is recognized as contribution periods of an average worker. For every child that is born before 1st January 1992, the parent gets the first 24 months confirmed as contribution period. By contrast parents that have born their child after 31st December 1991 get the first 36 months confirmed.

Private pension insurance

An option to save privately for pension, offers the private pension system. If a policyholder chooses to save via the private pension insurance, he is going to open a savings plan. Every month that passes the policyholder pays a determined amount into the savings plan. If the contract is about to expire the insurant has got two possibilities to get hold of the money. Either he can agree on on-off payment or insists on payment of a monthly pension. By choosing the monthly pension you receive the payment until you die.

Equity-linked pension insurance

In contrast to the private pension insurance the savings share is directly invested into is one or more mutual funds. These mutual funds invest in different securities and assets, such as stocks, real estate or bonds. How the expected pension develops itself depends to a large extent on the performance of the investment fund. That’s why; it is advisable to select the investment funds only after thorough research. If the selected fund shows a positive performance good returns are possible. Nevertheless, one must also take losses into consideration.

Old-age pension scheme devised by Walter Riester is advantageous for low earners and families
As all other forms of private pension insurances too, the old-age pension scheme devised by Walter Riester gives you another possibility to save for your pension. By doing so, you pay monthly contributions into an insurance contract. This type of pension is particularly suitable for low earners and families. The sooner a so called Riester-Rente is signed the more attractive are the returns. If you sign a Riester contract before the age of 25 you get a start-up-bonus of 200 euros. Families with children born before 2008 receive allowances of 185 euros per child. By contrast, families with children born after 2008 receive allowance of 300 euros per child. The state also takes part in the savings period by giving each insurant 175 Euro per year.

Company pension scheme

A company pension scheme is given if the employer offers retirement benefits in situations like retirement, disability or death.

Life insurance

As the name already quotes, the life insurance protects the occurrence of a specific life event. This can be death for example, but also other drawing events. If such an accident occurs the policyholder gets all contractually agreed benefits. Three types of life insurance are generally distinguished:

type of life insurance back ground
capital-sum life insurance saving money for pension
rest-life insurance a specific event occurs (death), survivor’s protection
equity-linked life insurance retirement and survivor’s protection

Conclusion

With the intention to begin a new life in Germany expatriates have to confront themselves be very helpful. That’s why it’s recommended to deal with the issue thoroughly, make comparisons possibly or take consultancies into consideration. In that case you find the insurance tariff that complies with your profile and necessities.

Dieser Artikel wurde zuletzt am 24.04.2019 aktualisiert.
Über den Autor
Claudia Täubner
Claudia Täubner
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