German Health Insurance Guide

Which health insurance do you need for a German visa?

One of the most important things that you will need to take care of after your arrival in Germany is health insurance. All citizens and expats must have some type of medical insurance in Germany, since health insurance is mandatory for everyone as a condition of residence.

As citizen you can choose between public health insurance (GVK) or private health insurance (PKV) depending on your personal situation. 

The Dual System

As mentioned before, people can choose between public (state) health insurance (GVK) or private health insurance (PKV) in Germany. The majority of people opt for public health insurance, which covers most of the medical services that you will need. This is due to the fact that private health insurance options are mostly for employed, self-employed or a civil servants with a yearly gross income of about €66.600 minimum or people who are ineligible for public healthcare. 

State Health Insurance

Statutory health insurance is based on the principle of solidarity. It provides general protection for all people living in Germany. The contribution rate of a statutory insurance is usually based on income. The maximum contribution in 2022 is €933.64 for people without children.

In the event of illness, all those insured by the statutory health insurance funds have the same entitlement to benefits, despite different contributions. However, the benefits of the statutory health insurance are partly limited. Private health insurance offers more comprehensive and individual coverage.

Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance is high-quality health care for employees above the annual salary limit, the self-employed and civil servants.

Any employee whose income regularly exceeds the so-called annual income threshold (JAEG) can take out private health insurance (PKV). Currently, the annual income limit is €66,600 (as of 2023). Regardless of income, self-employed persons, freelancers, civil servants and civil servant trainees can also take out private health insurance.

Private health insurance enables the insured to receive comprehensive and individualized medical care, shorter waiting times at the doctor’s office or, for example, treatment by designated specialists.

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The correct health insurance for my German visa

Job Seeker Visa

I’ve never lived in Germany before

Then you can get a travel insurance. If you find a job and move to Germany, you either have to get a public or private health insurance.

I have lived in Germany before

Then travel insurance is not accepted. You have to get a public or private health insurance. If you return, you will have the same type as before.

Freelance Visa

No matter if you apply for resicence permit for the first time or if you already had a residence permit before – in both cases you either need to get a public or private health insurance.

Schengen Visa

When you apply for a tourist visa (Schengen Visa), you will only need a travel insurance. This has to cover at least 30,000€, andhas to be valid for the time of your stay. It must be valid in all Schengen countries, not only Germany.

Work Visa or Blue Card

If you already have a job offer, you can apply for a health insurance in Germany.

When your salary is over 66.600€ per year, you might be eligible for private health insurance.

Useful Blogs & FAQs

Find useful information about the German Healthcare System in the blog articles listed below.

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