Last Updated on by Editor
In Germany, health insurance is mandatory which means you’ll have to pick either public, private, or expat health insurance depending on how long you plan on staying and what you’ll be doing. In this article, we go through the different types of insurance with our partners at Feather along with some additional insurances that are good to have when living abroad.
So, if you are already living in Germany or are going to move to Germany, this article is essential for you to not get lost within the German health insurance system. If you are planning to move to Germany, don’t forget to take a look at our ultimate guide for expats and immigrants in Germany.
1 – Public Health Insurance in Germany
Most Germans are on public health insurance for good reason, since it provides pretty much everything you need (other than dental insurance, which is an add-on for public insurance).
There are hundreds of different public insurance providers that each differ slightly in their “bonus services.
For TK, they offer exceptional English customer service compared to others where you might get lucky to find an English speaker.
DAK offers additional services for child-birth, so if you’re thinking about getting pregnant and having a baby, it might be a good idea to sign up with them.
Barmer is good for young travelers since they cover travel vaccines — which is pretty exceptional since other public health insurance providers make you pay, and this can add up depending on how often you travel.
And, lastly, AOK offers a great osteopathy program. There are other public health insurances, but most of the people you speak with will most likely have one of the above since their buildings tend to be easy to find on Google or located near universities where people first find themselves in a position where they need to sign up for their own plan.
You can sign up online here.
2 – German Private Health Insurance
Depending on your job, where you come from, your family members and how long you plan on staying in Germany, we might recommend that you go with private insurance since it will provide better coverage for a cheaper price than public health insurance.
For example, if you are earning more than €65k, have no family members who would need to be covered, and plan on leaving Germany within a few years, you could be saving a pretty significant amount of money with private health insurance.
Another reason we might recommend private health insurance is that public health insurance won’t accept you. The most common reasons for being denied public health insurance are:
- Over the age of 55 (and non-EU)
- You’ve opted out
If any of the above is true, you’ll need to directly sign up for public health insurance.
3 – Expat Health Insurance in Germany: Or, incoming insurance
If you’re not ready to commit to Germany, or you don’t have the right papers for public insurance and don’t qualify for private health insurance due to a pre-existing condition, you’ll have the chance to sign up for expat insurance. This type of insurance is also commonly known as “incoming insurance.”
Expat insurance offers basic care that you need in a reimbursement style, so you’ll need to pay out of pocket for your health treatments, but you can upload your bill online to get reimbursed.
One thing you’ll need to watch out for is that expat insurance is limited to five years from the date of entry on your passport when you came to Germany.
Sign up for expat insurance here.
4 – Dental Insurance in Germany
As we mentioned above, one of the must-have add-ons for public health insurance is dental insurance. Because some people need more dental care than others, the plans range from €9 per month for cleanings and high-quality fillings (which is worth it since a cleaning in Germany is about €110) and then a higher amount depending on your background for advanced care.
Advanced dental care covers more expensive aesthetic treatments like crowns or whitenings. If you know you’ll go to the dentist for a bigger procedure in the future or have a history of dental-related problems, advanced coverage might be a good idea.
Sign up here.
5 – Liability Insurance in Germany
This is something you’ll continue to hear about when you get to Germany, but you might not know why it’s so important.
85% of Germans have liability insurance even though it isn’t mandatory. If you break your friend’s computer or spill coffee on a stranger’s phone, they’ll probably be annoyed at you, but then they’ll have you submit the claim with your liability insurance.
Because the policy also covers damage to rented property, some landlords won’t even rent their properties out without confirmation of insurance.
Sign up here.
6 – Life Insurance in Germany
If you have dependents like children, a partner or even a business co-founder, it’s important to think about a life insurance plan.
Plans can be tailored to your needs depending on how many dependents you have, how much savings you’ve accumulated, or if you currently have a mortgage.
The best part is that the plan can be taken with you throughout the world, so you never need a new life insurance policy — plus the insured sum is adjustable, so the more you pay off that mortgage, the less you’ll need to pay in life insurance since you’ll no longer need to cover that debt.
Sign up here.
Want to know more about the insurance system in Germany?
We know it’s a lot of plans that cover really specific things about your life, but Germans absolutely love it. They’ll spend hours talking to their insurance broker to make sure that each part of their life is covered, and they tend to be better off because of their precaution.
Our partners at Feather were also pretty shocked when they moved to Germany for the first time, so they created a digital recommendation tool, so you don’t need to worry about going to an insurance broker who may or may not speak English.
You can check it out here.
Planning your next trip?