Insurances in GermanyThinking 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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- The National Health Service in Germany
- Compulsory insurance
- Private or national health insurance?
- Responsibility is a top priority in Germany
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.
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.
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
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|
|claim to insurance benefits||integral assumption of costs|
|deduction||public health insurance company||patient pays in advance|
|reimbursement of medicine and treatments||statutory co-payment||no extra payment|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:|
|protection of damages through:|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Company pension scheme
A company pension scheme is given if the employer offers retirement benefits in situations like retirement, disability or death.
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|
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.