Insurance in Germany; Fast Facts: German Health Insurance
In Germany, health insurance is mandatory. Whether you are on vacation in Germany, residing for a short period of time, or here for the long term, you are required to have health insurance. The main form of health insurance in Germany is the state health insurance which covers the majority of the residence, a significant 80%. For those making less than 4 000 euros per month, the state health is automatically available. The great thing about this insurance is that outside of the financial aspects of things, there is no restriction to who can be insured. So whether you have a pre existing condition or not, and you are in the financial bracket that the state insurance covers, then you will be able to receive coverage. As a result, residents are happier knowing that they won't have to dread going to the doctor and worrying about how much it will cost. This makes for a healthier nation. When something is wrong, there is little to no hesitation in getting treatment. The state health insurance works towards not only promoting good health, but also keeping the insured healthy. Often, medication and other necessary treatments are covered by the national health insurance system, once again, making it easier for the patient to get what they need and be able to lead a better, healthier life.
The majority of the costs associated with state health insurance is covered through contributions from the employed population. This is automatically deducted from an employees salary, and the costs are split between employee and employer.
For those who have a trainee position and are making less than four hundred euros per month, the contribution to the state insurance is solely covered by the employer.
Private health insurance
Those who earn over a certain monthly salary fall into the bracket of the privately insured. There is more flexibility with private insurance depending on the company one decides on. Your plan with a private insurance company is pretty much something that you can customize to meet your particular needs. However, unlike the state insurance where dependents are covered by your insurance, private insurance is a little different. Each member of the family is required to have his or her own policy and even in the case of newborns, after a short period of time, the parent will be required to get a separate insurance for the child.
There are, however, lots more perks that come with being privately insured. These range from being able to select the hospital you wish to be treated at, to being able to select your doctor and in some cases the food you are offered during your hospital stay is better. On the other hand, with private insurance you may be looking at paying an exceptionally high premium when you are over a certain age, or have a pre existing condition.
In Germany, you may have a choice when it comes to the insurance you choose, but you don't have a choice when it comes to being insured.