Can you choose between public and private insurance in Germany?
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Can you choose between public and private insurance in Germany?

Choosing health insurance in Germany isn’t always easy. While there may be many reasons why one would choose public health insurance over private, in this blog post we will share some insights to help you make the right decision.

Why does employment have so much bearing on which health insurance type to choose?

Well, for starters: If you’re employed and earning less than €66,600 per year, then you must be publicly insured. The law in Germany is strict on this, so there’s simply no getting around it. Anyone earning any more than this threshold can then have the option to choose private insurance.

Good to know: Being compulsorily obligated to sign up for public health insurance only applies to employed persons. If you are self-employed, then you have the option to sign up for private health insurance from only €30k/year.

What are the benefits of choosing public over private insurance?

If you’re able to choose between the two options, then you might find public health insurance beneficial for the following reasons:

  • It’s easy. Once you get signed up for public health insurance, you nearly never have to think about it again. Unlike private insurance, all pre-existing conditions are covered. Private will likely have a price surcharge for pre-existing conditions. Talk to us to know how much it will be and if it makes sense to go with private health
  • You have dependents. If you already have children, or you’re thinking about having them then public insurance makes a lot of sense for you. That’s because children and any other dependents (e.g. spouse) will be covered for free. Private health might still make sense. You can use our calculator to determine how much you’ll pay

What are the benefits of choosing private insurance over public?

Again, if you’re in the position to be able to choose between the two systems, here are a few reasons that private insurance might make sense for you:

  • It’s generally cheaper than public health insurance. This is due to the fact that the premiums based on your risk rather than a percentage of your income. If you are young and healthy, then you can expect to pay significantly less than public insurance.
  • You might get money back for being healthy and not making any claims. This of course depends on your insurer, but most major companies offer some rebates to their members for staying healthy.
  • Better service & treatment than public health insurance. While this point is rather contentious, many people have reported that wait times for certain things are reduced. Also, the option to choose more advanced operations and new techniques is more available.