MW Expat Solution Services GmbH
                                   German insurances explained so that you understand

Health Care

​It is compulsory to have health insurance in Germany while living or working in the country. There is a dual system in place, which means residents have a choice between private and state (Statutory) health insurance, provided certain criteria are met. In making the choice between state or private health care there is no golden rule. The right choice depends on the current situation as well as on future plans and needs to be discussed in details before coming to a decision. There is also a compulsory nursing care insurance (Pflegepflichtversicherung).

General Information

State health insurance is mandatory unless you earn over €60,750 per year before tax, under €450/month or you are self-employed. In these cases you can choose to insure yourself privately instead.

Nursing care insurance is also compulsory; normally this insurance goes hand in hand with your medical insurance and is insured with the same company.

Your Employer will pay half of your health insurance costs (excluding the supplementary charge), however the maximum amount he will contribute is €351.66/month for your health care and €69.20/month for your nursing care insurance. Should the premiums be higher, the costs are covered solely by yourself.

The State Health Care (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung – GKV)

Premiums are determined by the amount of income you earn. You will pay a fixed percentage of your income for your health care - at the moment the basic premium is 14.6% with a supplementary charge of roughly 1% plus 3.05% (+0.25% if childless) for the nursing care insurance. The maximum monthly salary used to determine your premium is €4,537.50, which means the maximum premium that will be charged for your medical and care insurance is around €850/month (slight variations are possible due to the different supplementary charges charged by the different insurance companies operating within the State Health Care Insurance).

The 'GKV' is a family insurance, this means that partners with an income lower than €450/month and children are automatically insured with you at no extra cost.

There are, however, hidden costs in the 'GKV'. An excess of €10 will be charged for each day spent in hospital (max. €280) and up to €10 per prescription (only generics). Glasses are not covered and dental health is only partly covered. There is the possibility to compliment your health insurance through supplementary private insurance cover.

The 'GKV' is obliged to insure you regardless of your health history.

We have direct terms of business with 3 major German state health insurance companies,

the Techniker (TKK), the Hanseatische (HEK) and the BKK mhplus. These have been carefully chosen to meet the needs of the expat community, not only do they offer excellent health cover but they also offer all their paperwork and communication in English.

The advantage that you have if join one of the above through us is that we will be in a position to help you if you have any problems or queries going forward.

Private Health Care (Private Krankenversicherung – PKV)

There is no family membership available in German private health care insurance, meaning everybody has to pay premiums.

The premiums for private health care are based on age, specification of the health care cover and health. If you are single and earning well, it is normally possible to obtain a far superior health care coverage in comparison with the state health care plan for lower monthly premiums. It starts to get expensive if you have a partner who does not work or several children.

Once in the private health scheme, it is very difficult to go back to the state health scheme should you wish to do so.

The 'PKV' is not obliged to offer you insurance should you not meet their entry criteria regarding health. Some private insurers will not insure people coming from abroad without them having lived in Germany for a period of time.

There are many different tariffs available making it possible to design the health care coverage that is tailor made for your needs. These range from the free choice of doctor or hospital, choice of hospital room (single room, double room, etc.), cover for alternative health care, dental care and opticians.

Depending on the tariff you choose, you may have to pay excess charges on dental treatment or alternative health care.

Doctors receive higher reimbursements from private health care patients meaning waiting times are normally far lower than for people insured in the state system.

Being an independent broker we have access to the whole private German health care market. This makes it possible for us to find the best solutions for our clients. Again it is not possible to say who the best provider is and which the most suitable depends, apart from the monthly premium on various factors, employment status, visa status and health status to name but a few. Use our many years of expat private health care experience to find the best option available to you.

International Health Care Plans

Although international health care plans are non German compliant, in certain cases they are the only solution available. For a health care plan to be German compliant there are a few characteristics that have to be fulfilled, there cannot be any maximum rebursement rates, they have to cover all treatment that is considered medically necessary and of course they shouls also include the possibility of the mandatory long-term nursing care.

Generally international plans seem very atrractive as they cost substantially less than a German scheme. They also work here in Germany, you can use them and they will reimburse the costs (that are included in the plan).

If you are unable to obtain a German health care plan, are globally employed, are a student or are only here for a short period of time then an international plan might be the best solution for you.

Incoming Travel Insurances

There are a whole range of incoming travel insurances available. These insurances generally cover emergency treatment during your stay in Germany. These insurances are very cost-effective but are valid only for a limited period of time. Travel insurances normally fulfill the standard needed to apply for a Schenden visa. It is often easier when coming to live and work in Germany to first enter the EU using a travel insurance and then once here applying for a permanent health care plan.

Supplementary Health Insurances

If you are state health insured out of choice or you do not meet the criteria to insure yourself or your family privately, you can upgrade your state health insurance through a range of supplementary insurances. The supplementary insurances are designed to fill the gaps (both in treatment and financial) within state health care, making it possible for you to design the cover that suits your needs and wishes. It is possible to achieve almost the same coverage that a private health insurance offers. There is no obligation for you to be granted supplementary cover and the insurance companies will make you answer questions about your state of health.

Get help choosing the right health insurance for you

The decision regarding which system to choose is one which should not be taken lightly and the advantages and disadvantages of both systems should be explained in detail before you, the client, reaches the decision that is right for you.

The form below contains the questions that need to be answered so that the correct advice can be given to you. These questions give a broad overview of your present situation taking several important factors in to account, such as your employment status, state of health and family situation. The answers to the questions will mean that we are able to offer you the cover that best suits your needs and at the best price. Once you have completed the questionnaire we will contact you to talk through the next steps.


The German Health Care System
For a free comparison please return this form to us
MW Expat Solution Services GmbH - Health Insurance.pdf (124.44KB)
The German Health Care System
For a free comparison please return this form to us
MW Expat Solution Services GmbH - Health Insurance.pdf (124.44KB)