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Private and Public health insurance in Germany

Welcome to the Topic “Private and Public health insurance in Germany

The health insurance in Germany is probably the oldest of its type and has been recognized for a long time as being among the very finest in all of Europe. Medical insurance in Germany follows the paradigm of a multi-payer system, in which the federal government, companies, and private people contribute to the coverage cost. 

However, around 10 percent of inhabitants choose private medical treatment rather than participate in the public healthcare system. Most people, including foreigners, are registered in the public healthcare system.

The country’s national health insurance program

Since the beginning of 2007, it has been a legal requirement for all people who live in Germany to obtain health insurance. You are required by the law to maintain a policy with an insurance company (known as a Krankenkasse in German) that provides at least the minimum amount of coverage that is legally permissible.

While living in Germany, you have the choice between three different types of health insurance:

  • The government-regulated public health insurance system.
  • Private health insurance is purchased from a German or international insurance company (Private Krankenversicherung, PKV).
  • Combining the two fills any coverage gaps left by your public health insurance policy.

Difference between private and public health insurance

The payment method is the primary distinction between public and private health insurance in Germany. A portion of an employee’s gross compensation is withheld to cover the cost of their public healthcare coverage, which comes from a mix of financial payments made by the employer and the employee. 

In the case of public personnel, private health insurance in Germany can also be paid for by a mix of employee and employer contributions; however, in most cases, payments come solely from the insured person and are sent directly to the health insurance provider.

Those who use the public system in Germany ultimately receive the same level of care as those who use the private system; however, those on a private insurance package may also be able to access additional healthcare add-ons such as advanced dental treatment. 

The quality of health insurance in Germany is excellent, and those who use the public system receive the same level of care as those who use the private system.

How to qualify for public health insurance in Germany

If you already have an employment offer, you should first speak to your potential employer about being registered. However, you can pick your insurance and are not required to go with the one your potential employer advises.

AOK, Barmer GEK, and TK are among the most prominent names in the industry regarding health insurance in Germany. Even though there are over 100, the websites that these firms maintain are of high quality, both in English and in the native language of Germany.

Because various providers might provide somewhat different rates and other incentives, such as cashback if you stop smoking or are participating in regular fitness activities, it is essential to do some research and find out your alternatives to make an informed decision.

After you complete the registration process with an insurance company, the company will provide you with a health insurance card, referred to as a Gesundheitskarte in German. You must provide your insurance card, which has a chip that saves your personal information and must be shown every time you visit a new doctor.

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