What type of health insurance do I need in Germany?
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What type of health insurance do I need in Germany?

If you’ve just moved to Germany or if you’re planning your move to Germany, then this might be one of the first questions that you’re asking yourself. And since health insurance is required by law in Germany, it’s important that you make the right choice from day one. Here’s a breakdown of the many scenarios you can expect.

Health Insurance for university students

Did you move to Germany to study at one of the many great universities? If you’re less than 30 years old you will automatically qualify for public health insurance at the reduced price of 104 euros per month. This is a no-brainer decision since this type of coverage would normally cost the average employed person at least double. If you’re a university student under 30 years old, this is the best option for you.

If you are a student and more than 30 years old. You can find detailed information in this How to Sign Up for Student Health Insurance guide.

Health insurance for employed persons

If you’re employed by a German company and earning less than 66.600 euros per year (2023 threshold), then you should sign up for public health insurance. Only those earning more than this income can opt out of public insurance and choose private insurance. 

Note: If you’re employed, but earning less than 520 euros per month, then you don’t qualify for public health insurance. In this case you can sign up to a voluntary public health insurance, if you are currently on another EU country public insurance, or simply sign up for expat health insurance

Health insurance for self-employed, or freelance persons

Self-employed people, or freelancers moving to Germany from non-EU countries only have the option to join a private health insurance. Self-employed people that have relocated to Germany from somewhere else in the EU can join the German public system so-long as they get the relevant paperwork. This document (an E104 in most cases) confirms to the German system that you were previously insured by somewhere else in Europe).

To access the public health insurance system in Germany, a self-employed individual has the option to join SMART.de  and become technically employed by the cooperative. You work independently with your customers, but as an employee, you benefit from statutory health, pension and unemployment insurance, a steady salary and administrative support. We suggest joining one of their info sessions to see if this is an option for you.

Health insurance for non-employed persons

If you’re not employed and moving to Germany then it’s important to sign up for expat health insurance. This affordable policy will cover you for up to 5 years while you search for a job or wait to become enrolled at University. Note: Only people from another country in the EU can sign up for public health insurance in Germany. If you find yourself in this position, it’s recommended to wait until you’ve found a job to sign up for public health insurance.

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