Health Insurance in Germany

Health Insurance in Germany

Health insurance in Germany is not one-sided, it is beneficial to all German citizens, international tourists, and expats.

Health insurance in Germany might be a bit different from the other European countries but don’t worry we are here to show you how the German health insurance system works, the types of insurance you carefully need to choose when traveling to Germany and how to get insured.

Anyone who has the desire to visit Germany for whatever purpose or duration of time must make sure he or she is covered by adequate health insurance, either statutory (public) or private, issued by a licensed medical insurance provider.

When it comes to Health Insurance for travelers, tourists, and expats in Germany you will face different criteria and requirements depending on the individual’s purpose of visit, length of stay, or country of citizenship.

Also, another thing you should know before you even travel to Germany is the different types of health insurance and a few others that you can get once you arrive in Germany, all explained in much detail in the following links:

Take a look at Germany’s Healthcare System

Germany’s healthcare system is one of the best in the world with the majority of German citizens and residents enrolled under the state-run public health insurance scheme, which is funded by taxpayers’ own national contributions.  In turn, everyone has access to high-quality and affordable healthcare, regardless of income or status.

However, some also turn to German private insurance, especially those who have a higher salary or want to fill in “gaps” left by public insurance.

Under German law, everyone who is a legal resident in Germany must have health insurance coverage. Germany’s health insurance system is divided into public or “statutory” health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) and private health insurance (Private Krankenversicherung). The type of health insurance you can get depends on your salary:

  • If you earn less than €64,350/year, you can only enrol in the public (statutory) health insurance scheme.
  • If you earn less than €64,350/year but are a freelancer, you can opt out of statutory insurance and get a private insurance plan instead.
  • If you earn more than €64,350/year, you can either stay on public insurance or switch to private insurance.

Here are some quick facts about the German health insurance system:

Does Germany have universal healthcare?

Yes, all German citizens and legal residents are required by law to have health insurance. Everyone, regardless of their income, has healthcare coverage and access to affordable medical care.

Does Germany have free healthcare?

The public health insurance system in Germany is funded by national contributions, which are automatically deducted from your salary every month, whether you visit a doctor or not. So, while you are mostly exempt from paying for medical treatment if the need arises, you still pay for healthcare through your monthly contributions.

What does health insurance in Germany cover?

Health insurance will cover most of the cost for doctor’s visits, medical and dental treatment, surgery, and prescription medication, but you still have to pay the following:

  • Up to €10 per quarter for a doctor visit.
  • The first €10 of most prescription medication.
  • Approximately €10 per day for hospital stays, for a maximum of 28 days per year.
  • The full price for prescription vision aids, such as glasses or contacts.

Can I get both public and private insurance?

If you do not qualify for private healthcare, you can still purchase a private plan as long as it is supplementary. This means that it will give you coverage in the gaps of German public health insurance, such as full reimbursement of medications, private or semi-private hospital rooms, more extensive dental care, etc.