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Cost of German Private Health Insurance: How Much To Expect?

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Are you an expat considering a move to Germany? One of the crucial aspects of planning your new life in this country is understanding the cost of German private health insurance.

Private health insurance is a hot topic among expats, and for a good reason. It provides an alternative to the statutory health insurance system and offers a more personalized healthcare experience.

Germany offers two main health coverage types: statutory (public) and private health insurance, ensuring comprehensive options. This choice can significantly impact your healthcare expenses and the quality of care you receive.

The average monthly premium for men ranged from €500 to €600, while women typically paid between €600 and €700 for their private health insurance plans.

Understanding the nuances of the cost of German private health insurance is essential for anyone contemplating this pivotal decision.

In this blog, we’ll discuss private health insurance in Germany, explore the factors influencing costs, and provide insights into selecting the right private health insurance company for your needs.

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How Expensive Is Private Health Insurance in Germany?

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Private health insurance in Germany is an alternative option to statutory health insurance, also known as public health insurance. Distinct from public schemes, private health insurance offers alternative benefits and cost structures, ensuring diverse coverage options.

Often called “private insurance,” it caters to a specific demographic, providing distinct advantages.

When it comes to the cost of private health insurance in Germany, the Association of Private Health Insurance reported that in 2021, the average monthly premium for men ranged from €500 to €600, while women typically paid between €600 and €700 for their private health insurance plans. These costs can vary depending on several factors, which will be explored separately.

Private health insurance is designed for individuals who meet specific criteria, such as income thresholds and occupational status. Higher-income earners and self-employed individuals find it appealing. They can opt out of statutory health insurance and choose private plans.

Also read: 9 Best Cities To Live in Germany For Foreigners

Factors That Affect The Private Health Insurance in Germany

Document that says health insurance

Private health insurance in Germany is not regulated, and the cost can vary significantly based on various factors, such as age, health status, and the type and level of coverage. The following are some of the factors that affect the cost of private health insurance in Germany:

Age at Entry

One of the pivotal factors influencing private health insurance premiums in Germany is the age at entry. Younger individuals enjoy lower private premiums due to their typically better health and reduced likelihood of requiring costly healthcare treatments.

The age-related pricing stems from the lower healthcare costs associated with younger policyholders. As individuals age, they may incur higher insurance premiums as their healthcare needs change.

Acknowledging this, the German government considers it in private health insurance costs, emphasizing alignment with age and income. This sustains accessibility, covering basic dental care, medical fees, and private doctor visits.

Health Condition

The state of one’s health plays a pivotal role in determining private health insurance premiums in Germany.

Private health insurance is risk-based, meaning individuals with pre-existing medical conditions or a higher likelihood of needing medical treatment will face higher premiums. This starkly contrasts with the standardized premiums of statutory or public health insurance.

Private health insurers often base premiums on individual health, adapting coverage for potential healthcare needs. This approach tailors options to diverse individuals.

Profession

One’s profession can significantly influence the choice between private and public health insurance in Germany.

Self-employed individuals, freelancers, and higher-income individuals often opt for private health insurance. This preference stems from the desire for greater control over their healthcare. Private health insurance, offered by various private health insurance companies, allows policyholders to tailor their plans to their specific needs and preferences.

The flexibility particularly appeals to those with the financial means to invest in a private health insurance plan. It enables them to access a broader range of health insurance provider options and enjoy a more personalized approach to their healthcare coverage.

Chosen Tariff and Coverage Options

When considering private health insurance in Germany, the level of coverage and your chosen tariff are pivotal factors impacting the cost. Opting for more comprehensive coverage and higher limits will inevitably lead to higher private health insurance premiums.

Private health insurance differs from public options, offering customization to meet individual needs, unlike standardized public health insurance plans. This flexibility grants the advantage of tailoring private health insurance plans to match specific requirements.

Still, it’s important to consider the associated private health insurance costs when selecting more extensive coverage and higher limits.

Related article: Cost of Dental Care in Germany: Guide 2023

How Do You Pick The Best Private Health Insurance Provider?

A doctor s hand writing on life insurance questionnaire

Choosing the right private health insurance provider in Germany is crucial due to the distinctive dual healthcare system.

Private health insurance offers tailored plans, granting more extensive coverage and quicker access to healthcare services. Selecting an insurance company that aligns with your specific healthcare needs is pivotal, as private health insurance costs vary and may increase with age.

Evaluate health insurance options for an informed choice. Consider extras like nursing care coverage and compare providers meticulously. To help you better, here are the steps to take to pick the right insurance provider in Germany.

Step 1: Determine your needs

When selecting a private health insurance provider, the first step is assessing your healthcare needs.

Your age, health status, and lifestyle are crucial in determining the type and extent of coverage required. This is particularly important for those who are self-employed or have pre-existing conditions.

Private health insurance policies, called private krankenversicherung, offer tailored coverage distinct from public health insurance funds.

Understand your unique needs. Make an informed choice for the right private health insurance, meeting healthcare needs effectively.

Step 2: Researching

The second step in picking the best private health insurance provider is thorough research. A report by destatis.de says that approximately 86% of the population in Germany relies on statutory health insurance (SHI), while the remaining 10% opt for private health insurance or other insurance forms.

Research the diverse private health insurance options by various insurance providers to identify the one that aligns with your unique needs. You can utilize online comparison tools or consult a health insurance broker to gain insights and make an informed decision.

Consider monthly premiums, especially for the self-employed or those with pre-existing conditions. Choose private health insurance that suits your needs.

Step 3: Check the Provider’s Reputation

The next step in choosing the best private health insurance provider is to assess their reputation. Seek out a provider renowned for delivering top-notch healthcare services.

Check online reviews and ratings to gauge customer satisfaction and the provider’s track record. This evaluation ensures that you opt for a private health insurance plan from a trusted insurance company, which is particularly important when considering additional coverage like nursing care insurance.

A strong reputation reflects the quality and reliability of the German health insurance provider you select, offering peace of mind for your healthcare needs.

Step 4: Consider the Provider’s Network

When choosing private health insurance, consider the provider’s network. Ensure that your private health insurance, or “private krankenversicherung” in German, offers a broad network of healthcare providers. This network should include doctors, hospitals, and specialists.

A comprehensive network ensures you access quality healthcare services using your private health insurance card. This factor is vital for those who choose private health insurance. It impacts the convenience and quality of care you receive.

Assessing the provider’s network is crucial. Evaluate private insurance premiums and public or private options in the German health insurance landscape.

Step 5: Compare the Cost of Private Health Insurance

When deciding how to choose private health insurance, it’s crucial to compare costs. Private insurance premiums vary, typically ranging from 80 to 1,500 euros per month, according to germany-visa.org.

Assess factors like deductibles and co-payments. You can use a health insurance calculator to make an informed decision. Private insurance companies offer different plans, and you must consider your family’s needs.

In Germany, you can opt for public or private insurance, with the public health system and employer-sponsored options. Ensure that the health insurance contract aligns with your budget and requirements. Carefully compare the offerings of private health insurers to select the best fit for you.

Step 6:

The last step in choosing the best private health insurance provider is assessing customer service quality.

Choose a provider with excellent customer service, offering a 24/7 hotline. Ensure efficient assistance for health updates, claims, and card concerns in the German health insurance system.

Exceptional customer service distinguishes the provider from the public healthcare scheme, making it a vital factor in your decision among different insurance providers.

Choosing Between Private and Public Health Insurance

Person filling out health insurance document

Germany’s healthcare is renowned for quality and accessibility, vital for expats. It includes public and private insurance, and understanding these differences is crucial for newcomers.

Public Health Insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung – GKV):

Public health insurance in Germany is a government-regulated system that covers the majority of the population.

It is mandatory for all residents, including foreigners, to have health insurance coverage, and this system is often the choice for employees earning below a certain income threshold. Public health insurance in Germany is typically a social insurance program where both employees and employers contribute to monthly premiums.

The contributions are calculated as a percentage of the employee’s gross salary, and the employer pays part of the premiums.

Enrolling in public health insurance is a common choice for expats employed in Germany. This option offers a high level of coverage and is often viewed as the best health insurance option for those who qualify.

Family members can also be included under a single public insurance policy, making it a convenient choice for families. Additionally, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can provide access to healthcare services when traveling within the European Union.

Cost of Public Health Insurance

The cost of public health insurance in Germany is determined through social contributions, calculated as a fixed percentage of employees’ income. According to germany-visa.org, the percentage is 14.6%, with employees responsible for half (7.3%) and employers covering the remainder.

The Federal Ministry of Health sets this rate, which may change if medical service costs are adjusted. Public health insurance is a common choice, especially for those under a certain income threshold, as it offers access to comprehensive healthcare services. These monthly premiums are shared between individuals and employers, ensuring that both parties contribute to the nation’s public health system.

Who Qualifies for Public Health Insurance in Germany?

  • Residency Eligibility: All residents in Germany, whether they are researchers, scientists, foreign workers, international students, self-employed or freelance expats, or retired individuals, are eligible for public health insurance.
  • Income Threshold: According to academics.com, individuals earning a gross salary below €66,600 annually or €5,550 per month are legally mandated to be insured under a public, statutory health insurance scheme. This requirement ensures coverage under the public health scheme and applies to most people in Germany.
  • Income Exception: Those surpassing the annual income threshold have the option to choose either public insurance or opt for private insurance. Public insurance is obligatory for most, with private insurance resulting in higher premiums.

Public health insurance in Germany is facilitated by various public insurance companies, collectively forming the public healthcare system, and it plays a pivotal role in covering healthcare costs, including statutory sick pay.

Related article: Health Insurance If You Are Unemployed in Germany

Pros of Public Health Insurance in Germany

  1. Comprehensive Coverage: Public health insurance in Germany provides extensive coverage, ensuring that essential healthcare services are accessible to all residents, including expats.
  2. Affordability: Monthly premiums are income-dependent, making them affordable for those with lower earnings. Additionally, employers typically share the cost of premiums.
  3. Inclusivity: The system encompasses many individuals, such as self-employed expats and foreign workers, promoting social solidarity and access to quality healthcare.

Cons of Public Health Insurance in Germany

  1. Income Threshold: Those with high incomes can choose private insurance, which may offer more flexibility and tailored coverage but often comes with higher premiums.
  2. Limited Choice: Public health insurance may limit the choice of healthcare providers, as individuals are generally required to visit physicians and hospitals within the statutory system.
  3. Waiting Times: Due to high demand, there can be longer waiting times for certain medical treatments and procedures within the public system, potentially affecting timely access to care.

Private Health Insurance (Private Krankenversicherung – PKV)

Visaguide.world says private health insurance in Germany covers a smaller portion of the population, around 10.5% or 8.7 million people. Self-employed expats who earn above the income threshold or work in certain professions can opt for private health insurance.

Private health insurers in Germany are typically international insurance companies, offering more customized plans with various coverage options.

It can be a compelling option for long-term expats, especially those who are self-employed or earning above the income threshold. It provides greater flexibility regarding the services covered and the choice of healthcare providers.

However, private health insurance premiums are often determined by an individual’s health status and age, making them more expensive than public health insurance.

Private Health Insurance for Expats in Germany

Expats in Germany often opt for private health insurance primarily because they prefer English-language services. The country has 43 private insurance providers, but most don’t offer English support or tailored coverage for expats.

Private insurance is also chosen by unemployed, self-employed individuals, students, and those who don’t meet the requirements for public health insurance. When applying for a German visa, you must select one of the private coverage options.

Two leading private providers in Germany for expats are Feather and Ottonova, with Allianz being a popular choice. Here’s a breakdown of what expats pay for private insurance in Germany:

1. Feather:
  • Feather is an English-speaking health insurance provider based in Berlin, offering various health insurance types, including public, private, dental, and more.
  • You can easily sign up online and receive full English support.
  • Feather provides a wide range of insurance coverage with transparent online rate calculations.
  • Expat health insurance starts at 72 EUR per month and can be obtained in 2 minutes. Dental insurance costs an additional 9 EUR per month.
  • Suitable for new arrivals, university students, interns, and self-employed individuals with low income.
  • Long-term public health insurance is for university students under 30, employees with German contracts, and self-employed EU migrants.

Read this: Insurance in Germany: Feather Review

2. Ottonova:
  • Ottonova is a popular private health insurance provider in Germany, catering to expats, employees, self-employed individuals, and more.
  • They operate digitally and offer services like a concierge service, digital doctor visits, and an app.
  • The estimated cost of German private health insurance for expats is 165 EUR per month, with premium options available.
  • The price of dental insurance varies by age and coverage level.
  • Contributions for private health insurance in Germany don’t depend on your income.

Who Can Get Private Health Insurance?

Private health insurance in Germany is available to a specific set of individuals, providing them with a range of options and benefits:

  • Self-Employed and Business Owners: Self-employed individuals, freelancers, and business owners can opt for private medical insurance.
  • Civil Servants and Public Employees: Civil servants and public employees can choose private health insurance plans.
  • High-Income Earners: High-income earners surpassing the annual income threshold of €66,600 gross annual salary (in 2023) are eligible for private health insurance, which may come with a higher insurance premium.
  • Students Aged 23 to 30: Students between the ages of 23 and 30 can access private health insurance.
  • Excluded from Public Insurance: Individuals who do not meet the criteria for public health insurance due to their income or employment status can secure private health insurance, offering coverage for various health treatments and, in some cases, family insurance through international insurance companies.

Pros of Private Health Insurance in Germany

  1. Flexibility: Private health insurance in Germany offers greater flexibility in choosing healthcare providers, specialists, and treatment options.
  2. Customized Coverage: Individuals can tailor their coverage to specific needs, ensuring access to a broader range of services and treatments.
  3. Shorter Wait Times: Private health insurance often results in shorter waiting times for medical procedures and consultations, leading to more timely access to care.

Cons of Private Health Insurance in Germany

  1. Higher Premiums: Private health insurance typically comes with higher premiums, which can be a financial burden, especially for those with pre-existing health conditions.
  2. Limited Accessibility: Private insurance is not available to everyone and is generally reserved for individuals with higher incomes or specific professions, potentially excluding some individuals from comprehensive coverage.
  3. Complexity: The variety of private insurance plans and options can be complex and challenging to navigate, making it important for individuals to carefully research and choose the right plan for their needs.

Related article: How To Switch From Private To Public Health Insurance in Germany?

Implications for Expats

When choosing between public and private health insurance, expats planning to stay in Germany must consider their specific circumstances and needs. Those with lower incomes or employed by a German company often find public health insurance the most practical and affordable choice.

On the other hand, self-employed expats and high-earning professionals may benefit from the flexibility and comprehensive coverage that private health insurance provides.

Related article: Cheapest Health Insurance in Germany for Students

Final Thoughts About The Cost of German Private Health Insurance

In conclusion, the cost of German private health insurance is crucial for expats considering moving or living in Germany. Private health insurance offers an alternative to the public health insurance system and provides more personalized and flexible coverage. However, it also comes with higher premiums, exclusions, and limitations.

The cost of German private health insurance depends on various factors, such as age, health condition, profession, and chosen tariff and coverage options. Expats should compare different providers and plans and find the best option for their needs and budget.

If you want to learn more about the cost of German private health insurance and how to choose the best provider, please click on the links in this article. By doing so, you will also help us keep this blog afloat and provide you with more informative and engaging content.

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