Supplemental Medical/Health Insurances (Zusatzversicherung) in Germany

Supplemental Medical/Health Insurances (Zusatzversicherung) in Germany

 

Insurance is important because things happen in life that we have no control of and didn't budget for. Without insurance, life could potentially be a lot more expensive than it already is. This is evident in countries without public healthcare, where citizens may find themselves filing for bankruptcy due to unfortunate events, health conditions that require constant care or even surgery, and numerous other occurrences that weren't prepared for.

 

Apart from just regular health care in Germany, where everyone is required by law to have health insurance, there are a number of other things that protection is offered for. This falls under the category of supplemental health insurance and covers the things that your public or private health insurance may not cover. This helps to relieve the financial burden that may materialize, due to one misfortune or the other.

 

Long term nurse care

Fortunately this is something covered by both your public and private health insurance. Those with private health insurance are required to pay a premium and those with public health insurance follow the salary based deduction, where a percentage is taken out of their pay each month.

 

Travel Health Insurance

 

Many things can happen while traveling. You can reach your destination only to realize that your luggage hasn't quite made it there with you. You may even show up at the airport, on time, prepared to depart, only to learn that your flight has been canceled. Occurrences such as these are usually taken care of by regular travel insurance.

And then there's sickness. It's terrible enough when one falls ill during a vacation. What is even worse, however, is not knowing how, where and when to look in order to be able to afford the costs that come with receiving the care you need. It is therefore essentially important that you know what your travel insurance covers and perhaps opt for a more comprehensive plan just to be certain.

 

Income Protection Insurance

 

Traditional Insurances offer income protection in the sense that you receive a portion of your salary when you are sick and therefore unable to work. This coverage is typically effective for the first 42 days of absence, but may dwindle thereafter. It is important that when you are deciding on what form of coverage you want, that you take these things into consideration, and thus plan ahead and plan for the unknown, unwanted surprises that may take place.

 

 

Accident Insurance

 

Companies usually offer a certain level of accident coverage that come into effect for accidents that happen in the work place. For general accident coverage, some aspects may be covered by your national health insurance. It is important to speak with your insurance agent to ensure that you do indeed have the best coverage possible. Occurrences that are covered may include, loss of limb, and even loss of life due to an accident. With an accidental death policy, your family, or whoever you have named beneficiary, will receive a  lump sum in the event of death.

 

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The Workplace in Germany

The Workplace in Germany

When working in Germany it is important to know what taxes as well as other fees you will be obligated to pay.

Income tax is the big one. All those who are working in Germany are subjected to income tax. Income tax starts at a little of 8% and rises to between 42 and 45 percent depending on your salary.

Solidarity tax. Accounts for 5.5 percent of ones income tax.

For those who are a part of a church, you will be expected to pay Church tax which is between 8 and 9 percent of your income. The difference in the percentage is based on the state that you are living in.

If you are married, a joint tax return may work in your favor

Social Security contributions are also something that you will have to pay when working in Germany. These costs are split between the individual and his or her employer. The employee pays half and the employer pays the other half. Social security contributions are typically deducted from your salary and paid to the government by the employer.

The Social Security Contributions include:

  • Rentenversicherung: Pension Insurance
  • Krankenversicherung: Health Insurance
  • Pflegeversicherung: Nursing Insurance
  • Arbeitslosenversicherung: Unemployment Insurance

Though paying these costs may seem like a burden at first, they may come in handy at some point during your life in Germany. There are benefits available to help you with rough patches, which are what a large portion of the taxes cover. These include: Wohngeld which is there for those who can't cover housing costs, Kindergeld received by those with children 8 years and under, Mutterschaftsgeld for those who are employed and are pregnant and have just had a baby, Arbeitslosenversicherung providing you with a portion of your previous salary when you have lost your job.

Once you have secured a job in Germany you are typically put in a three to six month trial period where the employer will decide if you really are the right person for the job. Provided they have a viable reason not to continue with you, you may be released from the company with a two week's notice.

If you are planning on resigning, you are required to notify the company four weeks prior to the beginning of the next month.

How much will you be expected to work?

Most full time jobs carry on for up to forty eight hours a week with Fridays typically being a shorter workday. Most businesses in Germany close on a Sunday and thus this will generally be a day off for you. You will also receive vacation days, which varies between twenty and thirty days per year depending on the company you work for. In the case of an illness, you will be paid sick leave which covers your entire salary for six weeks. Provided you are missing from work for a longer duration of time, the costs will be covered by your health insurance. This however, will not be your full salary as insurances usually only pay up to seventy percent of your salary.[...]

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Leasing and Apartment in Germany

With the constant growth experienced by Germany, it manages to keep up by providing its new professional residents with online access to rental properties. 

 

Real estate portal sites allow for an easy guide based on individual or family needs in terms of location, size, price, and amenities.  Although there’s usually a fee incurred when using an agent, it proves to be the most helpful and reliable way to secure the perfect home when moving abroad. 

 

It's definitely not easy to find online services in English but below are the most popular addresses for finding apartments and real estate in German.

 

http://www.kalaydo.de/iad/immobilien/

 

http://www.immobilienscout24.de

 

http://www.immowelt.de

 

http://home.meinestadt.de/deutschland/wo...

 

As someone mentioned before, it is usually in the free city papers where you find the most ads and these are usually not published on the web, so as soon as you arrive in the area you want to live in, look for that paper (sometimes called "Anzeiger", Wochenendkurier,) and I'm sure you'll find something.

 

mmobilienscout.de has a section with so-called "short term rentals".

 

These are furnished flats that usually rent out for less than one year. If this is what you want, here is the direct link (only in German).

 

Securing a rental in Germany is slightly different than most countries in that it not only requires first month’s rent, but a deposit upwards of three times that as well!  Furthermore, negotiations and contracts can be tricky to understand in other countries. 

 

Renting an apartment or flat in Germany can be easy, but as with any financial transaction, be sure to go in with your eyes open.    Although illegal in Germany, many landlords combine deposits with their personal funds, leaving an opportunity for renters to lose money when the lease is up.  You should always pay special attention to all leases signed and checks handed over.

 

 

 

 

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Leasing an Apartment in Germany

With the constant growth experienced by Germany, it manages to keep up by providing its new professional residents with online access to rental properties. 

 

Real estate portal sites allow for an easy guide based on individual or family needs in terms of location, size, price, and amenities.  Although there’s usually a fee incurred when using an agent, it proves to be the most helpful and reliable way to secure the perfect home when moving abroad. 

 

It's definitely not easy to find online services in English but below are the most popular addresses for finding apartments and real estate in German.

 

http://www.kalaydo.de/iad/immobilien/

 

http://www.immobilienscout24.de

 

http://www.immowelt.de

 

http://home.meinestadt.de/deutschland/wo...

 

As someone mentioned before, it is usually in the free city papers where you find the most ads and these are usually not published on the web, so as soon as you arrive in the area you want to live in, look for that paper (sometimes called "Anzeiger", Wochenendkurier,) and I'm sure you'll find something.

 

mmobilienscout.de has a section with so-called "short term rentals".

 

These are furnished flats that usually rent out for less than one year. If this is what you want, here is the direct link (only in German).

 

Securing a rental in Germany is slightly different than most countries in that it not only requires first month’s rent, but a deposit upwards of three times that as well!  Furthermore, negotiations and contracts can be tricky to understand in other countries. 

 

Renting an apartment or flat in Germany can be easy, but as with any financial transaction, be sure to go in with your eyes open.    Although illegal in Germany, many landlords combine deposits with their personal funds, leaving an opportunity for renters to lose money when the lease is up.  You should always pay special attention to all leases signed and checks handed over.

 

 

 

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Moving to Heidelberg

Moving to Heidelberg

 

Heidelberg is beautiful, it's romantic and not mention picturesque. If you're planning on moving to Germany and Heidelberg is your destination, you won't be disappointed. With a population of approximately 50 000, this wonderful city has lots of friends to be made. Outside of having fun and exploring the wonders of Heidelberg, you'll want to know what to expect, what to prepare for and what you can and cannot find. Moving far away from home isn't always an easy task and the more you know about a location before it becomes your home, the easier it will be to settle in. From restaurants to employment, fun to doctors, food to housing, figuring these things out in advance will definitely lessen the burden.

 

 

Because you are indeed in Germany, thing will go a lot more smoothly if you can get a grasp of this strange language they call German. Luckily enough, there are quite a few language schools in Heidelberg to choose from. Whether you're looking at taking on an accelerated program, or you're trying to fill your schedule and would prefer something more relaxed, something more routine, you'll find a language school that is fit for you. Check with your company to see if they cover the cost of language schools. If not, you may want to check out the prices and budget accordingly.

 

Language Schools in the Heidelberg area include:

·         Das Heidelberger Pädagogium- http://www.heidelberger-paedagogium.de/

·         Volkshochschule Heidelberg- http://www.vhs-hd.de/

·         F+U Language School- http://www.fuu-heidelberg-languages.eu/

·         Berlitz- http://www.berlitz.de/en/heidelberg/

 

 

 

Because sitting at home all day takes the fun out of things, and you'd rather earn a little bit of extra cash on the side to accompany your shoe obsession, you may consider finding a job in Heidelberg. Depending on the skills you have you may find this process an easy or a difficult one. Some places prefer that their employees speak German or at least have some understanding of the language. This is usually true for skilled labour, though Heidelberg does have some companies where English is no problem at all. However, if you're looking to just find something in the mean time, while you brush up on your German, you may want to look into bar tending, waiting, cleaning. These fields are usually easy to slide into and there are typically a wide variety of openings.

Check out these websites for an idea of what jobs are available:

·         http://www.quoka.de/

·         http://www.monster.de/

·         http://de.indeed.com/

·         http://jobs.meinestadt.de/heidelberg

·         https://www.kimeta.de/stellenangebote-heidelberg

·         http://www.jobmorgen.de/jobs-heidelberg

 

 

Finding a home is of course one of the most important things you will need to look into before moving to Heidelberg. Depending on where you're moving from your vision of the housing prices will differ. Some people find accommodation in Heidelberg excessively expensive, where others find the pricing rather reasonable. Ensure that you have a good understanding of what you are expected to pay and what prices come on top of your base rent. Know the difference between kaltmiete and warmmiete as well as how high the security deposit is and also the price to use a real estate agent.

 

Here are some helpful, house hunting websites:

·         http://www.immobilienscout24.de/

·         http://www.immonet.de/

·         http://www.wg-gesucht.de/wohnungen-in-Heidelberg.59.2..0.html

 

 

 

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Insurance in Germany; Fast Facts: German Health Insurance

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.

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