As an expat in Germany, getting health insurance is a crucial part of securing the best healthcare for yourself. Not only is it a requirement, but opting for public or private health insurance can make all the difference.
Expats are eligible for State healthcare, but it’s not as comprehensive as some private policies that can help you get various health-related treatments that are within your insurance policy.
Of course, there are additional costs to bear, but it could also help you save money in the long term. So, regarding expat health insurance in Germany, we’ll help you decide whether private service or public is a good option for you based on your needs. Here’s what you should know.
Private vs Public Health Insurance?
Some people living in Germany do not have the choice of opting for the best private health insurance. So, if they earn less than €64,350 in a year, they cannot opt for private insurance. They will need to continue using public health insurance. This is applicable to both expats and locals.
However, if you earn more than that figure annually, you can choose between the best private health insurance in Germany or public insurance. There are some reasons why you may want to opt for private insurance. Here’s what they are. We also mention one advantage that’s worth noting if you choose public insurance.
Private Health Insurance Has More Coverage than Public Insurance
Public insurance covers only limited healthcare treatments. There’s also only basic coverage for dental work. On the other hand, private health insurance can offer a variety of additional forms of healthcare coverage based on your needs.
More coverage could increase the price of your policy, so you can choose coverage for only those treatments that you feel you will need at that moment or in the future. In any case, the coverage for the following is comprehensive with private health insurance as opposed to only basic coverage with public insurance.
- Treatment coverage
- Dental care
- Contacts and Glasses
- Alternative Treatment
Private Health Insurance Can Limit Waiting Times for Appointments with Specialists
With public health insurance, people may have to wait for months until they can get an appointment with a specialist (if they want that to be covered). This is because there are long waiting lines, and you will have to wait on the list. However, private insurance can cut down on those waiting times by allowing only short notice periods.
Private Health Insurance Allows You to Choose Your Private Specialists and Hospitals
You get to choose both the doctors and the hospitals with a private health insurance policy. With a public insurance policy, you will have to use whatever the state gives to you.
Private Health Insurance Can Have Coverage Outside of Germany
If you’re an expat who travels a lot, you can certainly benefit from private health insurance. This is because public insurance is geographically limited to Germany and the EU only, while many private health insurance policies offer coverage in different parts of the world. Therefore, you will be protected even if you get sick and receive treatment from a country outside the EU.
Public Insurance Does Not Have Upfront Costs
One important advantage that public insurance has over its private counterpart is there are no upfront costs of treatments that are covered. However, with a private insurance policy, you will need to pay the charges upfront and then have them reimbursed. That said, you will limit your treatment options and the healthcare facilities when you opt for public insurance.
When to Choose Private or Public Health Insurance in Germany
Whether you choose private or public insurance will depend on what type of coverage you need for insurance. If you typically don’t have medical bills that are anything more than what’s included in basic coverage, you don’t have to opt for private service.
However, if you want extended dental coverage or coverage for treating chronic conditions, then private insurance is the way to go.
Opting for private health insurance when public insurance doesn’t cover what you need can help you save a lot of money in the long term. Certain medical procedures can be expensive, and your insurance will ensure that you don’t go broke trying to stay healthy.
It’s important to note that the coverage can vary from one private health insurance policy to another. So, be sure to review your policy carefully to ensure that it covers the specific treatments that you need. This way, you won’t have to pay for those treatments out of pocket, which, in some cases, can be fairly expensive.
Last Few Words
The best private health insurance in Germany should be one in which you have all the coverage you need within and outside of Germany. Of course, it should also be affordable so that it makes it worth it.