Private Health Insurance For Seniors - One of the first administrative hurdles a newcomer from abroad faces is deciding whether to take out public or private health insurance.
For those who are self-employed, the situation is different from that of employees. You can automatically choose between public or private insurance. Insurance options for freelancers are covered separately.
Private Health Insurance For Seniors
However, depending on how you look at it, the good news is that as an employee, it's not
How To Switch From Public Health Insurance To Private Health Insurance In Germany?
If you are employed and earn less than €62,550 (in 2020), you are automatically required to take out state insurance. In fact, more than 90% of the population in Germany lives in the state system.
Although they are all broadly similar in that they are required by law to be covered, there are some minor differences in non-essential coverage that may incur additional costs. We will deal with this later in the article.
Regardless of whether you can sign up and handle them in English or not, it's more likely if you've just moved and are still unsure about correspondence in German.
Now let's delve into the details of who is better served by the public health insurance system and who is advised to go to a private fund.
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If you're an employee earning more than €62,550 and want to better understand your options, I'd recommend first speaking to a friendly English-speaking insurance agent like Miria Link-Londen at KL for Expats.
Let's look at where it might make sense to choose one option over the other, before looking at some of the nuances and other considerations that may be important to you.
As a higher earner, contributing to the state system makes it relatively expensive (because, as we mentioned in our article on the functioning of the German health care system, state health insurance premiums are a percentage of gross wages).
While in private insurance the premium is based on risk, the person is young, in good health, and has no dependent family members.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Health Insurance In Germany
First of all, he is 15 years older. The private health insurance company considers it a higher risk in almost all cases.
Second, you have two dependent children to take care of as well. Let's say in this example, your partner doesn't work full-time, so you can't cover him on your policy.
Ultimately, his move is expected to be final. Let's not forget that as this person gets older, their policy is becoming more and more of a risk to the insurer, and as such, their premium will almost certainly increase over time. It is not relevant in the case of a temporary stay, but it is an extremely important aspect for those moving permanently.
Health insurance in Germany can seem expensive, and it certainly is for most people (unless you live in the US!)
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One reason for this is the cornerstones of the legislation surrounding German health insurance. Insurers must pay premiums upfront, so premium increases gradually increase as patients age and thus represent a greater risk.
Simply put, this means that when you're young and healthy, you support yourself when you get older and sicker.
But what if you don't plan on making Germany your home forever? This is where the 5-year rule comes into play.
Those who have been in Israel for 5 years or less are not required to make a down payment to cover old age risks.
German Health Insurance For Expatriates
Ottonova has developed a product that offers comprehensive private health insurance (in 3 levels of coverage) to foreigners who want "adequate" health insurance but only plan to stay in Germany for less than 5 years.
Registrations and correspondence are 100% in English, they offer an app to find an English-speaking doctor, and the conditions included in the prices are much more understandable than a traditional German private health insurance.
This is not to be confused with bare bones, short-term policies such as those offered by Mawista and Care Concept.
These policies may seem very cheap, but they are designed for temporary residents such as au pairs and exchange students, or for newcomers who need health insurance during the residency application process.
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Private health insurers are not obliged to accept your application. If you have pre-existing conditions that make you potentially dangerous to them, they may deny you coverage.
If you fall into this range, it is better to contact a broker like our partner KL for Expats. They will save you a lot of time and effort and advise you on which insurers (if any) will accept you.
Be sure to consider these points to find the best health insurance for you in Germany
In private health insurance, as in other insurance products, there is a surplus or deductible, to which the insured must contribute when reporting a claim. So while public insurance covers 100% of the cost of policy coverage, private insurance may not reimburse you even if your medical bills are relatively low because of your annual contract.
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Public insurance does not usually cover non-essential treatments such as dental treatments, alternative medicine, cosmetic surgery, chiropractic and physiotherapy, non-critical treatment of sports injuries and nice extras such as hospital stays private room below. Private health care can cover all of these if you're willing to pay for more comprehensive coverage.
While hospitals and doctors usually bill government insurers directly, privately insured people must first pay their bills to each health care provider and then submit a claim to their insurer.
Changing service providers within the private system is not as easy as you might think. The insurance company usually only allows you to cancel the coverage if it increases the cost of the coverage or changes the contract terms in some other way.
Private insurance policies often, but not always, have what are known as premium refund or compensation bonuses. The German word is
Private Health Insurance Premiums Increase
. Depending on the policy, this typically means paying between 1 and 5 months of contributions in a given year.
There are many gesetzliche Krankenkassen, each with its own nuances and affiliations, and specific advantages or disadvantages depending on what one is specifically looking for.
German law states that everyone must meet statutory healthcare requirements, such as inpatient and outpatient care, treatment of chronic diseases and pre-existing conditions.
You will need to shop around to see which insurance company may or may not cover you.
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This is a complex issue, so it's probably best to first contact an insurer that offers online communication in English.
You struggle with a lot of paperwork... German health insurers usually send you a lot of letters... all written in legal German (*ugh*), probably doesn't sound like fun.
No, in Germany it is generally not possible to switch from private health insurance to public health insurance. You can't just back out if your insurance company raises the cost of your insurance policy. Otherwise, everyone would try to do this as they get older and sicker, and the whole system would become unsustainable.
Apart from these, there are some exceptions and loopholes, but it is extremely complex and beyond the scope of this article.
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Just one last note to make sure you are aware of the EU legislation that came into force at the end of 2012. Insurers can no longer differentiate between male and female insurance policies based on gender equality.
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