German Private Health Insurance
In Germany, health insurance is required by law. In other words, everyone living in Germany must have some form of German health insurance. You can usually choose, however, which insurance you have. You have three options: public health insurance, private health insurance, or a combination of both. This guide explains the German healthcare system and covers private health insurance in Germany for expats in detail.
Sections in this article:
Do I qualify for German private health insurance?
You can get private health insurance if you fall into any of these categories:
- Self employed/Freelancers
- Civil servants (e.g. professors)
- Earn a yearly income above 60,750€ (as of 2019)
- Students who renounce their public health insurance
- You work part-time and don’t earn more than 450€ per month.
When do I need to get German health insurance?
By law, you always need to have German health insurance if you’re living in Germany. You should prepare even before you arrive to Germany if you’re not from the European Union (EU). One reason for this is because non-EU citizens must provide proof of German health insurance when they applying for a German residency permit/ visa. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress by starting this process ahead of time.
It’s a little different if you are from a country within the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. . You can start the process of getting German health insurance after you arrive to Germany. For a limited time, you can use your EHIC card. However, the EHIC card cannot be used as a substitute for German health insurance. It’s for temporary travelers in Germany, not longterm residents. Therefore, you still need to get German health insurance.
A rule that applies to both non-EU expats and EU expats: You must apply for German health insurance within 3 months from when you become a resident of Germany.
How much does private health insurance cost?
The cost of private health insurance depends on your age and health. As a result, how much you pay for private health insurance normally increases as you get older.
What is the best German private health insurance for expats?
The best provider for German private health insurance for expats is Ottonova. Ottonova is nationally recognized as a great option for expats because most of their services are catered towards expats/non-German speakers.
What are the benefits of Ottonova health insurance?
Ottonova has an English website and expats get a discounted private health insurance package!
There is no paperwork involved. You can sign up online and use their app.
They also have 24/7 English support.
One of the best parts for expats – Ottonova health insurance fulfills all legal requirements for getting your visa.
Ottonova will reimburse you for all medications doctors or dentists prescribe you. For example, you can be reimbursed for medications and dressing like compression braces, bandages, casts and other related materials. They also offer reimbursements for contraceptives until age 20.
Ottonova offers reimbursements for visual aids for up to 300€ every 2 years.
You also have worldwide coverage with Ottonova.
You can read in more detail the coverage and rates Ottonova offers on their website.
Can I have both public and private health insurance?
If you have public health insurance but would prefer to have some of the benefits of private health insurance in Germany, there is a third option. You can top off your public health insurance with add-ons from private health insurance companies. In other words, you can purchase extra coverage from certain healthcare providers. For example, you can add more coverage for better dental care.
Benefits of having private health insurance
- For people with very high incomes, private health insurance can be less expensive than public health insurance since the cost of public insurance is based on your income
- Access to private practice doctors
- Sometimes offers more comprehensive coverage for procedures
- Better access to semi-private and private rooms in hospitals
- Access to doctors who speak your own language
- Option to lower the monthly payment if you have a deductible (sometimes referred to as an excess)
Lastly, the second most important insurance in Germany you should get is personal liability insurance. German personal liability insurance protects you from many risks in your daily life, and it’s not very expensive.
Personal liability insurance is one of the most important types of insurance an expat should get in Germany. You can learn more through our article, “Personal Liability Insurance in Germany: A Guide for Expats.”
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