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.