German health insurance for foreigners
The topic of health insurance is an important one for all people. And if you move to a different country, you’ll need to find information about its health insurance system and figure out what kind of insurance you can count on. In this article we are going to talk about German health insurance for foreigners, and in particular about the insurance type that is relevant to self-employed people (and also health insurance for freelancers). You’ll learn what to expect and to pay attention to when choosing health insurance in Germany as a foreigner.
Our company, Nexus-Europe GmbH, assists foreigners with starting a developing their own business in Germany and moving to Germany through business immigration or the EU Blue Card.
German health insurance for foreigners
There are 2 types of health insurance in Germany: public and private. As a rule, all employed people who earn less than a certain officially set income limit have to be publicly insured. The insurance amount is covered in equal amounts by the employer and the employee. All unemployed family members are co-insured free of charge.
We are not going to go into detail about public health insurance in this article. Today, we’re going to talk about private health insurance that comes into question if you move to Germany through business immigration since this would be the type of German health insurance for foreigners you can usually count on in this case.
Watch our video about German health insurance for foreigners:
Private health insurance in Germany
Private health insurance in Germany is available only for some groups of people: self-employed people, students, public officials or, as of 2022, for employees who earn more than 64 350 € a year. In case of employees earning over the set income limit, the situation looks the same as mentioned earlier: the cost of the insurance is covered by both the employer and the employee in equal parts.
The situation with self-employed people is rather different. For some self-employed expats private health insurance might be the only available option, however obtaining it is not as simple as it seems.
Here is what you should know when it comes to obtaining private health insurance in Germany being a foreigner and a self-employed (same goes for health insurance for freelancers):
You pay the full price of your private health insurance yourself. It may be obvious but still you should be aware of that.
Good insurance plans that cover a lot of useful services are quite expensive. The price also increases every year and you should be ready for that.
How much private health insurance in Germany costs depends on your age, health condition and needs. Many providers of private health insurance in Germany require applicants to undergo a medical and dental examination. They do tend to be very critical in this regard and at the slightest suggestion of any pre-existing condition they might either tremendously increase the cost of insurance or you can be declined at all. However it is important to not try and hide pre-existing conditions if you have any. If it is revealed later at some point, you might be declined the services at all even after having bought the insurance. If the provider declines providing you with the insurance based on the examination, the price of the examination won’t be refunded.
Every family member is to be insured separately. So, in case you are the only family member who has income, you will bear the costs of each of your family member’s insurance. Each personal situation affects how much private health insurance in Germany costs.
Unfortunately not all providers work with foreigners. So it might take some time to find a suitable option when it comes to German health insurance for foreigners.
Health insurance that is suitable for a residence permit has to meet certain requirements. The insurance provider will have to provide a written confirmation stating that the insurance meets the requirements defined by law. Otherwise your insurance would not be accepted. So, once again, it might take a while until you find an option of private health insurance in Germany that fits your case, be it health insurance for freelancers or other kinds of self-employed.
Benefits of private health insurance in Germany
Please don’t be scared now that German health insurance for foreigners is such a complicated matter. Private health insurance in Germany has a lot of benefits to offer. Here are some of them:
First of all, you have the opportunity to choose the services and their amount yourself, for example, if you want the insurance to include dentures or treatment by head physicians etc. Your private health insurance in Germany can be adapted to your needs, so you pay only for the things you need.
The services you have chosen are stated in the contract and can’t be taken away from you, which is sometimes the case with public insurances since their conditions might change depending on the situation and you have no control over it.
As a rule, you need to wait less for doctor’s appointments. Often you can get an appointment the next day or in a couple of days with private health insurance in Germany instead of waiting for weeks or even months, which is often the case with public health insurance.
It depends on your insurance plan, however usually you have access to better specialists and services than those that are included into public insurance. It might be especially important in difficult cases and with serious illnesses. This way private German health insurance for foreigners can protect you in a time of need.
In case of hospitalization, you are usually placed in a 1-bed or a 2-bed hospital room, which makes the stay more comfortable.
You have the opportunity to lower your fees for private health insurance in Germany by opting for the so-called deductibles. Basically, it means that you can set a certain amount that you have to pay for your medical treatments yourself, before the insurer takes over the remaining expenses that are over that amount.
All in all, as you can see, there are many aspects that should be considered when it comes to German health insurance for foreigners, and it is important to be informed. The German health insurance system is quite complicated, so it makes sense to find a competent insurance broker in advance who will explain you the differences and help you find the best option for you.
Nexus-Europe GmbH assists foreign entrepreneurs with starting and developing their own successful business in Germany and moving to Germany through business immigration. If you apply for a residence permit through us, we recommend you a reliable insurance broker who is experienced in the matter of German health insurance for foreigners and can help you choose a solution that suits you and will be accepted by the immigration authority.
This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Each situation is unique and professional advice should always be obtained before taking or refraining from any action.