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Private or Public – Health insurance in Germany

There are two types of health insurance in Germany: statutory and private.

Health insurance is COMPULSORY for all residents of Germany. Over 73 million people in Germany are members of one of the 97 statutory health insurance funds.
Another 9 million people are members of a private health insurance company.

On the Internet and in the various forums on social media channels, you will find a lot of rumors and half-truths about private health insurance, like:

“Private becomes more and more expensive with increasing age…”
“…with private health insurance, you always have to pay everything up front and wait forever for your money to be reimbursed…”
“…once switched to private health insurance there is no going back to public health insurance…”

With this article and in our free online seminar on health insurance in Germany, we dispel the myths surrounding private health insurance in Germany and provide facts.

Both types of insurance cover the costs of medical treatment and hospitalization.
Health insurance in Germany is a system of compulsory insurance that provides benefits for medical and nursing care.

All residents of Germany are required to have health insurance, which is usually provided by the statutory health insurers (GKV).

There are 97 statutory health insurance funds in Germany (as of early 2022) , the largest of which are AOK, TK and Barmer GEK. The statutory health insurance companies are corporations under public law – a kind of non-profit organizations that are under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Health.
The public health insurance providers are obligated to offer basic care based on the 5th Social Security Code, which includes inpatient and outpatient treatment, preventive measures and prescription drugs. In this context, the “economic efficiency” of the measures offered must always be given priority. The statutory health insurance funds offer “basic” coverage for citizens. For example, a physician can only pay an average of max. 31 euros per patient and quarter to a statutory health insurance company, regardless of the time and cost of the treatment.

The costs of the legal health insurance including the introduction of the legal nursing care insurance (since 1995) and the additional contribution to the legal health insurance (since 2005) rose in the last 52 years around 5,8% per year (maximum contribution 1970: 100 DM / maximum contribution 2022: 933,64 Euros) At the same time the achievements of the legal health insurance were reduced massively by the legislator.
Further price increases and benefit cuts are to be expected in the future due to the current situation in the health care system and in the area of nursing care at the statutory health insurance companies.

The situation is fundamentally different in private health insurance.
The coverage is in many cases significantly cheaper than in the statutory health insurance and at the same time more comprehensive in terms of benefits.

In private health insurance, you sign a fixed contract with a private company. The price is based on your entry age, the health history of the last 3-5 years and the desired service components, which are always higher quality than in the statutory health insurance.

“Have you ever tried to make an appointment with a doctor in Germany?”

The first question you will be asked is not “What is your health problem?” or “What can we do for you?”

They will aks you “How are you insured – Private or Statutory?”

If you answer “private” you can sometimes get an appointment 6-8 weeks sooner and have access to higher quality medications and treatments.

How can we make you private?

In certain situations it may make sense to switch to private health insurance, but this depends on your individual income, family and health situation.

If your yearly gross salary (fixed salary without flexible bonus) is above 64.350 Euros (2022 value) you are eligable to switch to Private – so let’s check your health status and your family situation if it still makes sense for you to switch…

Whether it makes sense for you to become a member of one of the 50 private health insurance companies and which private health insurance company is the most suitable for your individual requirements, we can find out in a 1:1 consultation.

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