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Costs of Health Insurance in Germany

Expatrio 2024-02-15
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Healthcare insurance is mandatory by law in Germany, which means it’s essential that you calculate how much it is going to cost you when you’re budgeting for a move to the country. The majority of people, even international students, will need to register for public healthcare insurance, however, some individuals are eligible to choose a private insurance plan.

The cost of healthcare coverage can range from 80 to 1,500 euros per month, depending on your circumstances and insurance premium. Let's take a look at the costs in more detail.

Costs of Public health insurance in Germany

How much does it cost for health insurance per month?

Social security contributions for public healthcare insurance (GKV, Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) is set at 14.6% of an employee’s gross salary, made up of a 7.3% contribution from the employer and 7.3% contribution from the employee. Each public healthcare provider is also allowed to charge an additional contribution of up to 1.7% which is paid by the employer.

The amount charged is capped at wages of €4,538 a month, which means the most anyone will pay is €360 a month (with the employer paying a further €360). Everyone also pays a compulsory nursing care contribution of 3.05% (or 3.3% if you do not have children), which is again shared by the employer and employee.

Is health insurance mandatory in Germany?

Yes, a health insurance plan, either private or public, is mandatory by law, and there are penalties for not having adequate cover.

What is the per capita cost of health insurance in Germany?

The German government heavily subsidizes the cost of the public healthcare system. Annual per capita spending is around €4,500.

You can find more information on our Public Health Insurance in Germany page.

Health Insurance for your children

It’s important to remember that children are covered under the terms of an individual’s public healthcare insurance, but not normally for private cover. With private insurance, you may need to pay more for your child’s cover or look for a family plan.

 

Costs of Private health insurance in Germany

Only certain individuals in Germany are eligible for choosing private healthcare over public healthcare

This includes those earning over €60,750, freelancers, those earning under €450 and students over 30.

The cost of private health insurance (PKV, Private Krankenversicherung) in Germany is not regulated in the same way as the cost of public healthcare and can therefore vary hugely in price. Private premiums are set by the ‘risk’ of the patient, which means those with chronic conditions and older people will generally pay more for private insurance. Find a holistic comparison of private health insurance pros and cons here

Young people on high incomes will certainly make savings by choosing private over public. A young, healthy person can pay as little as €175 a month, which can be far less than public healthcare for those on high salaries. However, high-risk patients may have to pay private health premiums as high as €1,500 per month.

Most private healthcare providers offer savings on monthly premiums if you choose high deductibles. This may mean that you have to pay the first few thousand Euros for treatment, should the worst happen, but your monthly rate is quite low. Only choose this option if you have that amount of money in savings should you need it and you are generally in good health.

You can find out more about private health insurance on our Health Insurance in Germany page.

Costs as a freelancer

Freelancers working in an artistic field can enjoy discounted private healthcare cover through the Künstlersozialkasse (Artists' Social Fund), whereby the state acts as your employer and pays half the premium on your behalf.

 

Costs of health insurance in Germany for international students

All students under 30 in Germany can take advantage of a special student discounted rate for public health insurance

This is charged at €120.34 (students under the age of 23) or at €125.21 (students age 23 and above) per month and covers both public healthcare and nursing care insurance.

International Students over 30 are eligible to choose between public and private healthcare. Private plans for international students can work out cheaper and are offered as low as €70-€80, but the cost of appointments, check-ups and deductibles may not make this a cost effective choice over public healthcare insurance.

You can find out more about student health insurance on our Health Insurance for Internationals Students page.

Techniker Krankenkasse

The public health insurance provider Techniker Krankenkasse has the most foreign or international members. Find out how Expatrio can help you register you for student health insurance with TK on our Health Insurance service page.

 

Want to study in Germany?

Learn valuable tips on applying to a German university, details on securing your student visa, and much more on our guide.
 
 

Conclusion

As you can see, the cost of healthcare insurance in Germany ranges dramatically depending on whether you go for private or public, and also when you factor in the extra costs associated with private plans.

Students under 30 can budget for paying €105 month, whilst those who’ve found employment will usually be able to calculate what they will pay if they know what their wage is going to be, but expect this to be around the €200 mark for an average wage. Overall, public healthcare, unless you are a very high earner, is the more financially sound option.

You can find out more about healthcare cover on our Health Insurance in Germany page.

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