Healthcare in Germany

If you are moving to Germany to work as an expatriate, there is a lot to think about. Not least the German healthcare system, which can appear complicated at first. We want to help you understand how healthcare in Germany works, how it is paid for and your options as a professional working in Germany.

All salaried employees in Germany must have health insurance which is equivalent to the cover of the statutory health insurance. If you fall within a specific income band, joining a state health care scheme is usually compulsory. However, if your income is above or below these limits you can opt to take out private health insurance which can offer benefits, both financial and in treatment, over state insurance.

View our international health insurance plans for individualsprofessionalsstudents and families.

The principal of social insurance in Germany is not new. It can be traced all the way back to the 19th century when craftsmen paid into insurance funds to cover ill-health.

Today, coverage is based on two pillars, Statutory Health Insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) and Private Health Insurance (Private Krankenversicherung).

Once your income is below the annual income limit of €59,400  you are automatically insured on the statutory health insurance scheme. If your income is above this limit you can choose to be insured on statutory health insurance, however it often works out more expensive than opting for a private option.

Statutory health insurance in Germany provides a range of services and benefits including:

  • Medical and dental treatment
  • Medicines
  • Hospital treatment
  • Sick pay

Health insurance payments in Germany are deducted at source and contributions are split between you and your employer. These deductions will cover the majority of your medical expenses.

However, to cover increasing costs of the state insurance scheme, public patients over the age of 18, are required to contribute to the cost of some services for example:

  • Prescription medicine: 10% of the pharmacy counter price minimum €5 and maximum €10
  • Hospital treatment: €10 per day for a maximum of 28 days in a calendar year
  • Outpatient rehabilitation treatment: €10 per day
  • Most costs are capped at a maximum of €10 a day or 2% of the income per year, in the case of medicines

For more detail on the state health insurance, search ‘Social Security at a Glance’
for a comprehensive overview provided by the German Federal Ministry of
Labour and Social Affairs.

If your salary is above €59,400 a year, you have the option to access private health insurance in Germany. In addition, civil servants or the self-employed in Germany can also choose private health insurance. About 11% of Germans opt for private health insurance.

There are many benefits to being able to access private health insurance while working in Germany, including:

  • For higher paid professionals, private health insurance can be less expensive than the state scheme as contributions to the state scheme are based on your gross income
  • Access to private practice doctors
  • May offer more comprehensive cover for procedures
  • Access to semi-private and private rooms in hospitals

If you want to find out more about private healthcare in Germany, contact us, we would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Our plan, created in partnership with Allianz Private Krankenversicherungs-AG, was designed to suit the needs of expats living in Germany.