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Understanding German Healthcare System

Welcome to the Topic “Understanding German Healthcare System

The German healthcare system is one of the oldest in the world, going back to the 1880s. The system is divided into two parts: public and private health insurance.

The notion of solidarity underpins the German public healthcare system. Regardless of their financial situation, all patients covered by public health insurance get the same medical treatment. This is accomplished by the establishment of an income-based common fund to which everyone pays.

Guide to the German Healthcare System

The German healthcare system is often regarded as one of the greatest in the world. It provides a diverse selection of options as well as wide coverage. Residents seeking insurance have several alternatives and a broad range of health insurance packages to match their financial and medical demands. The coverage, pricing, and particular criteria of various health insurance policies differ.

It’s also worth remembering that health insurance is required by law in Germany. You will not be able to enter Germany as a foreigner if you are not insured. This is true regardless of whether you are a foreign student, a foreign scientist or researcher, a foreign worker, a refugee, or an asylum applicant. The reason for your visit and the duration of your stay is also irrelevant.

Another key aspect of the German healthcare system is that you are not required to have a German health-insurance plan. Germany has previously signed a number of social security treaties with other nations, allowing its residents to join Germany while remaining covered in their home country.

The fundamental concepts of the German healthcare system

Compulsory Insurance

Everyone is required to obtain statutory health insurance (“gesetzliche Krankenversicherung” – GKV) if their gross wages are less than a certain amount (“Versicherungspflichtgrenze”). Anyone earning more may choose private insurance (“private Krankenversicherung” – PKV).

Funding using insurance premiums

Health care is mostly funded by premiums paid by covered workers and their employers. Tax revenue surpluses also help. To give you an understanding of what this entails, consider the following: 

Tax income is used to pay for state-funded healthcare systems such as those in the United Kingdom and Sweden. Many individuals in market-oriented systems, such as those in the United States, must bear the expenses of treatment and lost wages due to sickness themselves or get private health insurance.

Solidarity principle

In the German healthcare system, statutory health insurance members share the individual risks of medical-care expenses in the case of sickness. Everyone covered by statutory insurance has the same entitlement to medical treatment and ongoing salary payment while sick, regardless of income or premium level. The premiums are determined by your income. This implies that the wealthy can assist the needy, and the healthy can assist the sick. These premiums, however, are only computed on a percentage basis up to a specified income level (“Beitragsbemessungsgrenze”). Anyone earning more than this amount is subject to the same maximum premium.

Self-governance

While the German state establishes the conditions for medical treatment, the subsequent organization and funding of particular medical services is the duty of the health care system’s self-governing authorities. Members represent physicians and dentists, psychotherapists, hospitals, insurers, and insured individuals.

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Also Read: Things you need to know about children’s healthcare in Germany