Germany requires health insurance from every individual living in the country, be it permanent residents or foreign workers, the requirements are the same. In Germany, there are two types of insurance; public and private.
At the time of applying for a German visa (no matter what type; visit, work, or study), you must have valid travel health insurance in order to start the process. Foreigners usually opt for public medical insurance once they settle down, get a job, and start working. However, in the initial days without work, your travel insurance covers your medical charges.
For foreign workers, your employer will register you with a public insurance provider. However, if you want to select a provider of your own choice, you can but you will have to notify your employer in such a case. In any case, your employer will pay half of your monthly contributions to your provider.
Public insurance covers basic needs like hospitalization, out-patient care from a doctor, prescribed drugs or medicines, pregnancy, basic dental care, and statutory sick pay. Almost 90% of people living in Germany opt for public insurance.
It does not cover complicated dental coverage such as implants or bridges. It also excludes the costs of lenses, glasses, or private rooms in hospitals. The monthly contribution depends on your income as it ranges from 14.6% to 15.6% of your salary per month. If you earn more than € 59,000 annually, your monthly contributions don’t increase but if it is less than € 59,000 per year, it will increase along with the increase in your salary. The good thing is that even if you pay less, you will have the same access as the one who is paying more than you. Unlike private insurance, the charges don’t increase with your age. In fact, when you are retired, you pay less amount of money for insurance as it is calculated on your income which becomes your pension in the aforementioned case.
Private medical insurance can be cheaper but only if you are young and healthy as it becomes expensive with age. It may not cover your pre-existing conditions, depending on the provider and the type of package your employer chooses. It is usually a better option for freelancers in Germany since they have to pay the entire contribution themselves. The private insurance providers charge old people with more health risks than young people. It is also important to mention that if you have opted for private insurance, you may not be able to switch back to public insurance. The main benefit is that you get more coverage than the public one. But with every additional thing you want to cover, there are extra charges.
Not everyone can buy private insurance as there are a couple of conditions:
- Your income should be at least € 59,000 per year or approximately € 4,900 per month
- You are a freelancer or self-employed
If you meet the requirements, you can buy private insurance being a foreign worker in Germany.