Difference between public and private health insurance in Germany

Everybody living in Germany has to be health insured by law. There are several aspects of the German insurance system that have to be considered before making a decision what kind of insurance is suitable, public or rather the private health insurance.


The following scenarios will give an impression which type of health insurance scheme is more appropriate.

1. Employees who live with their family in Germany and have a gross income of less than 56,250 EURO in 2016:

All public German insurance providers have to guarantee a full medical coverage to everyone who applies for a public health insurance. The insurant and all his direct family members who live together in a common household are mostly covered in the contribution. The benefit of this public insurance corresponds to basic medical treatment in Germany and to emergency treatment in other European countries during travel. The employer contributes 50% of the premium. The monthly rate to pay to the public provider varies with the income. The higher the earning the more has to be contributed.

2. Self-employed expats and employees earning more than 56,250 EURO gross income in 2016:

A private health insurance covers high quality medical benefit all over the world and allows free choice of doctors, hospitals, physicians and dentists. However the applicant has to fulfil certain health conditions which have to be proofed by a medical and dental examination before making the contract. For an employee the employer contributes 50% of the premium including those for spouse/registered partner and children. The monthly rate does not vary with the income.

3. Applicant for private insurance with previous illness:

If a health problem does exist it depends on to what kind of risk group the insurant will be classified. That risk loading means that a higher premium has to be payed or the insurer decides not to take the applicant in case of severe previous illness.

Please note that the mentioned cases only show a part of the German health insurance field. It is recommendable to consult a professional insurance broker in order to choose the best solution between nearly 40 insurance companies and more than 700 different tariffs.

One thought on “Difference between public and private health insurance in Germany

  1. Jeanna

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