Among the most important things you need to know when you are residing in Germany is health and social insurance in Germany. For example, health insurance in Germany is considered mandatory under German law regardless of your residency status or income.
Anyway, in this article, you will find everything you need to know about health and social insurance in Germany, just read the article until the end.
Health and Social Insurance in Germany
Below, we will present everything you need to know about health and social insurance in Germany and we will start by providing information about health insurance in Germany, which is considered to be one of the most important costs of living in Germany.
Types of Health Insurance in Germany
You will need to have health insurance from the first day you enter Germany.
In general, there are two main types of health insurance plans in Germany:
- Public health insurance scheme
- Private health insurance.
You are free to choose one of the above plans, depending on what you need to cover and how much you are willing to pay.
Health insurance plans in Germany cover the costs of doctor’s visits, hospitalization, and medication (although often partially).
In some cases, the entire cost of medication is covered by health insurance.
How do I register with a health insurance company in Germany?
Once you make a decision and choose the type of health insurance plan that is right for you, you can then register online with any health insurance company in Germany by visiting the website of the company of your choice.
The second way to register with a health insurance company in Germany is to visit one of the company’s branches near you and register in person.
Requirements for registration with a health insurance company in Germany
In order to successfully register with a health insurance company in Germany, you must submit the following documents
- Copy of passport
- Certificate of residence registration (Anmaldong)
- Proof of income or you can get a certificate of assistance from the Jobcentre or the Social Affairs Office in case of unemployment.
Finally, once you have successfully registered with the company, your health insurance card will be sent to you by post and you will have to present it at every visit to the hospital or to your doctor.
Is it possible to change health insurance companies in Germany?
Recently, it has become easy to request a change from one health insurance company in Germany to another, by choosing and registering with the new company you wish to join.
As a rule, you do not have to wait for the expiration of your contract with the old company, but if you want to move abroad, for example, here you will first have to terminate your old health insurance contract with the company.
This is in case you only want to change company, but in case you want to switch from a private health insurance company to a public health insurance company, here it becomes very difficult, and therefore you should think carefully before choosing the health insurance plan you want to do.
What costs are not covered by public health insurance in Germany?
General health insurance in Germany does not cover
- Cosmetic surgery costs
- Vaccinations for special trips abroad or medical treatments
Dental prostheses are only partially covered by public health insurance in Germany, so it is useful to have a so-called “Bonusheft” (print book). In this logbook, the dentist confirms that the person has had regular check-ups (every six to twelve months).
When you stay in the hospital, you will have to pay 10 euros per day, and the rest of the medical costs are covered by the health insurance system.
Family health insurance in Germany (“Familienversicherung”)
Family health insurance in Germany or “Familienversicherung” in German is an insurance that allows people who are covered by the public health insurance system to also benefit from the coverage of their spouse and children without paying additional fees.
Family health insurance can only be obtained if the husband or wife and children have limited or no income.
There are other conditions related to family health insurance in Germany, that concern children, so the age of the child plays an important role in this insurance. Until the age of 18, children can benefit from family health insurance, and the period is extended until the age of 23 if the child is unemployed.
The period can also be extended to the age of 25 if the child :
- Is Studying
- Participates in a vocational training program and has no income
- Is doing a one-year volunteer service (such as a youth volunteer abroad or a year of social or environmental volunteering).
If the child has special needs, he or she will be covered by the parents’ general health insurance for life.
Do insurance companies cover the costs of psychological treatment in Germany?
Yes, the costs of psychotherapy are covered by the health insurance companies in Germany, but if you have a public health system you will have to choose a psychotherapist who is approved by your health insurance company.
Health care for refugees in Germany
According to the German Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz, even if a person is not a legal resident in Germany, he or she is entitled to health care for acute and chronic diseases.
However, the person must first obtain a “Krankenschein” from the social welfare office, because without this document, the person will not be able to be examined by a doctor.
There are also many social organizations that offer treatment to people residing illegally in Germany, and they provide their services free of charge and do not inform the Social Welfare Office or the Immigration Office of the person’s visit.
These organizations can be found in different cities in Germany at the following link: “gesundheit-ein-menschenrecht.de“.
Note: Hospitals are not allowed to share data with other persons or authorities. Therefore, there is no need to hesitate to go to the hospital or to call an ambulance in case of an emergency.
However, there is a slight difference in the quality of health care for refugees in Germany depending on the length of their stay in Germany, as follows:
Health care for refugees in Germany for less than 18 months
If you have been a refugee in Germany for less than 18 months, you will only be entitled to emergency health care, which means that you will only be able to receive medical treatment if you have an acute illness.
Also, Germany often does not cover the treatment of chronic illnesses except in the case of a pregnant woman, in which case pregnant women in Germany can receive all necessary medical services during pregnancy and childbirth in Germany.
An asylum seeker in Germany, even if he/she has been staying for less than 18 months, can receive the vaccine free of charge.
Health care for refugees who have been in Germany for more than 18 months
Those who have applied for asylum in Germany and have been in Germany for more than 18 months, can obtain a refugee health card in Germany or “Gesundheitskarte für Flüchtlinge” in German.
This card allows a refugee to obtain all regular services of legal health insurance in Germany, except for long-term health insurance (“Pflegeversicherung”).
You should know that doctors are not allowed to disclose patient information to other authorities without the consent of the person concerned, even if he or she is residing illegally in Germany. This rule is called medical confidentiality or “ärztliche Schweiigepflicht”.
Costs of health insurance in Germany?
The cost of health insurance in Germany depends mainly on the type of insurance plan you choose.
For example, a public health insurance plan, which is mandatory for everyone in Germany, costs less than a private health insurance plan.
The price you pay in the GKV is regulated by the government and the monthly price of this insurance varies from 70 to 80 euros, but it does not cover all medical needs.
However, if you want to cover more medical needs, you should purchase private health insurance, which usually costs more than public health insurance.
For private health insurance, there is no specific price, as it varies depending on each insurance company and the services they offer.
Best Insurance Companies in Germany
Here is the list of the best insurance companies in Germany:
- Allianz Insurance
- Generali Deutschland Company
- Gothaer Insurance Company
- Hamburger Freukesse Insurance Company
- Techniker Krankenkass
- Classic company IKK
Social insurance in Germany
As is well known, the social security system in Germany is efficient and meets the highest standards, as this system covers the insured against unemployment, sickness, industrial accidents and old age.
Below, we will give you everything you need to know about the social security system in Germany.
The social security system in Germany consists of 5 main pillars, which are
- Health insurance in Germany: This is what we talked about at the beginning of this article
- Nursing insurance: This insurance covers all costs when nursing care is needed, such as in old age, for example.
- Accident insurance in Germany: Accident insurance in Germany covers all costs in the event of an accident at work or occupational illness.
- Unemployment insurance in Germany: Unemployment insurance in Germany ensures a stable income in case of job loss.
- Pension insurance: German pension insurance covers the living expenses of pensioners who are working because of their age or illness.
Who is covered by social insurance in Germany?
If you are employed and your income is more than 450 euros per month, you will have to pay social security contributions in Germany.
If your income is lower than that (less than 450 euros per month), you will be exempt from paying social security contributions in Germany.
Freelancers can voluntarily contribute to the German social security system.
Social security card in Germany – Sozialversicherungsausweis
When you start working in Germany, as mentioned above, you have to contribute to the social security system in Germany and then the person receives what is called a “social security card”.
The social security card in Germany contains the person’s data such as name, ancestry and social security number.
Your social security number in Germany is valid for life. This means that when you start a new job, the employer must receive the same social security number.
If you lose your social security card in Germany, you can apply for a new one at the German Pension Insurance Office.
You can apply for a social security card in Germany online at “eservice-drv.de“.
How much is the social security contribution in Germany?
The amount of social security contribution in Germany depends on the income level of the individual. Each social security recipient in Germany receives a certain percentage of total income, and the rate is adjusted regularly.
You can find more information about social security contributions in Germany at “ihre-vorsorge.de“.
The employer deducts the specified percentage from the employee’s total salary and transfers the amount as well as the amount to be paid by the employer directly to the competent social security institutions in Germany.
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