Medical and dental health insurance in Germany

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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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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Health Insurance for Unemployed Returnees

Health Insurance for Unemployed Returnees

 

 

Health insurance is mandatory in Germany. The German health care and health insurance systems are designed to benefit each and every resident. There should be no reason why someone would shy away from going to the doctor, or refuse to get treatment when needed. If someone is not eligible to receive public health insurance due to their income exceeding a certain figure, then private health care is available to them and is also a great option. With the private health insurance system one is able to design their policy to suit their needs. In some cases, private health insurance may be cheaper than state health insurance.

 

For those who have lived and worked in Germany and plan on returning, you may need to know whether or not private health insurance or public health insurance is available for you. In the case that you are a German citizen who is returning to Germany, you are entitled to join a public health insurance. This however is not a guarantee depending on certain past activities. This may involve salaries, where you were previously insured, if you were self employed or had done freelancing.

 

A great place to gather information on this subject is through Techniker Krankenkasse. They are a state insurance firm and are very welcoming to the English speaking community. One of the great things about them, aside from the fact that they have agents who speak English, is that every bit of information that you may need is also available in English. Because of this, you can do thorough research and then be able to gather your questions and concerns. They are rumored to be rather friendly and helpful. One thing to note with Techniker Krankenkasse is that when determining how much you will be entitled to pay they take into consideration your income from the countries you have previously worked in. Some of the things that are considered include, self employment, unemployment benefits, and rental income.

 

The website for Techniker Krankenkasse is http://www.tk.de/tk/english/6032

 

Provided you have a question or an emergency, you can reach them any time of the day and any time of the year on their toll free number: 0800 - 285 85 85

 

For those who are not eligible to receive state health insurance there is always private health insurance or international health insurance. Keep in mind that for private health insurance you will have to earn over a certain amount per month and the premiums can be rather high. International health insurance is great for those who travel a lot as it does cover a variety of different regions, eliminating the necessity to change your provider wherever you go.

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Pharmacies in Germany

Apotheke

 

An Apotheke is a pharmacy. If you've been in Germany for a while you're guaranteed to have seen an Apotheke, even if you weren't specifically looking for one. Those large signs that proudly hold a bright red letter A are something you can't miss. This sign isn't representative of a chain, but rather just as a means of easy identification.They are located in city centers as well as in a lot of other locations and more than likely there's one within minutes from your home.

 

Whereas in the United States one may become used to CVS, Walgreens and others that are combined with a grocery store like Walmart, and Publix, pharmacies in Germany are quite different. By law, pharmacies in Germany must be run by a pharmacist who is only able to own a maximum of three locations. Another difference between Germany and the United States when it comes to pharmacies is the way that over the counter medication is packaged. Pain killers and head ache medication in Germany generally come in smaller portions and thus the price is higher. The opposite is true for the pricing of prescription medication which is rather cheap as some of the costs are covered by ones health insurance.

 

When in Germany, know that there is a difference between a pharmacy and a drug store. Drug stores in Germany do not carry prescription medication or over the counter medication. Instead they mainly sell household products, beauty products, snacks and juices. For all prescription and over the counter medication you will need to go to a pharmacy. Here, all medication will be displayed behind the counter even something as simple as sore throat medication.

 

When are they open?

Pharmacies in Germany are open every day of the week outside of Sundays and public holidays. However, at least one pharmacy in your city will be open and thus there is no need to worry that you won't be able to get your medication after opening hours. This holds true for public holidays. You can find out which pharmacies are open from the information provided in the newspaper and there is usually a paper on the doors of closed pharmacies that will inform you on which location is open.

 

Prescriptions may also be filled online as online pharmacies are soaring in popularity in Germany. Your medication will then be delivered to your home. This may not be a viable option for those who are looking to receive their products within the same day. Your local pharmacy may also deliver medication, so on your next visit to the city, check with them to see if this is a possibility for you. This will save you from having to rush out once your prescriptions need to be refilled.

 

 

Some of the pharmacies in Germany are hundreds of years old and boast exceptional architecture that are worth a sight seeing trip. If you happen to go at a time where there isn't anyone in the pharmacy, the pharmacists may be willing to give you a bit of background on the location.

 

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International Health Insurance- The Private Health Insurance Alternative in Germany

Those who are privately insured usually fall into two categories. The first group privately insured members of the German society make an excess of 52,000 euros per year, the other group of privately insured are those who are self employed. What a lot of expatriates do not realize is that they can get International Health Insurances and reap some benefits that are not provided in state health insurance and in some cases not in private insurances either.

If you are someone who travels a lot, whether it's going from German to home or you're traveling all over the world, International Health Insurances are a great option for you as you'll have worldwide coverage. Especially if you aren't certain how long you will be living Germany, and you frequently change the places you call home, with an International Health Insurance you won't have change your insurance every time you pick up and leave. This eliminates quite a large amount of paperwork and takes away the uncertainty and stress with having to find another insurance provided wherever you go. And because most International Health Insurance's main language of operation is English, you won't be subject to not understanding important bits and pieces of information and in the case of an emergency you know that there will not be a language barrier.

 

Reason you may not go with an International Health Insurance provider include:

  • Your age. Some International Health Insurances expire once you have reached a certain age and thus if you are close to that age then you may want to decide against International Health Insurance. This saves you from having to go through the stress and complications of having to change Insurances within only a short period of time.

  • If you have a pre- existing condition, International Health Insurances may be exceptionally high, or in some cases they will not accept you.

  • Provided you are working in German, you may also want to check if having a German health insurance is one of the requirements from your employer.

 

In order to determine if you are better off going with an International Health Insurance provider or a German Private Health Insurance provider be sure to do enough research before you make the final decision. Contact a Health Insurance agent, explain your situation, let him or her know what your preferences are and what you ultimately look for in a Health Insurance provider.

 

 

Provided you have decided on going with an International Health Insurance plan, ensure that you have opted for all the coverage you will need. Opt for one that has a large network and is of high quality. Check what conditions they cover and what you are entitled to in cases of illness or perhaps even a chronic health condition. Some International Health Insurances will cover a private room and in some cases you get to choose your doctor.  [...]

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English Speaking Doctors in Berlin

Even though you're planning on learning the German language and speaking impeccable German within the next few years, there are certain things that are nice to have in English, even when living in Germany. This includes your doctor. In Berlin, there are a large number of English speaking doctors, and thus there's no need to put yourself in situations where you may feel uncomfortable, not knowing what you're being diagnosed with, or if you communicated your symptoms correctly. Finding an English doctor in Berlin is rather simple and something that native English speakers should look into as soon as they get to Berlin and if possible, before. It's important that you find a doctor that you get along with, and one who understands you. Finding the perfect doctor is especially important for people with known medical conditions who therefore require frequent visits throughout the year. With so many doctors in Berlin and so many of them who speak English, finding a doctor isn't the hard part at all. However, when it comes to health, it's not just about finding the closest doctor to home, or the first doctor on any list. What is more important is being able to have a good relationship with your doctor, and having that person be someone you can trust. When you're not feeling well, being in an environment that makes you feel safe, and comfortable, is better than being somewhere you feel uneasy.

Here is a list of Expat recommended English Speaking doctors in Berlin:

West End, Dr. Krasser

Kreuzberg, Dr. Neil Mac Lean

Mitte, Dr. Mario Voß

Mitte, Dr. Dorothea Schleehauf

Mitte, Dr. Bernard Olsen

Wilmersdorf, Dr. Sylvia Kollman

Friedrichshain , Dr Cordes

Pohlstrasse, Dr. Maria Pfeuffer

Clayalle, Dr. Sylvia Grotjohann-Ernst

Zehlendorf, Dr. Fouquet

Gubener Straße, Petra Söllner

 

For more doctors in the Berlin area, see www.aerzte-berlin.de. This is a very useful website with a feature where one can choose a doctor based on their specialty and also specify the region as well as the preferred  language.

 

Getting a doctor's appointment in Germany may take weeks and in some cases months. However, if you do need to see the doctor sooner than the earliest opening slot, find out when the practice has their consultation hour (sprechstunde), where you can show up during this time without an appointment. If you need assistance urgently, some doctors will see you without an appointment and outside of the consultation hour. This is one of the reasons it is important to choose a doctor that you get a long with and one you can relate to, especially for those who have ongoing health problems. On the weekends, when most practices are closed, there will be  'out of service' emergency doctors available, this information can be found in the local newspaper along with what pharmacy in your area is open on what weekend. For more severe issues, going to the nearest hospital or calling an ambulance is perhaps the best approach to take. [...]

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