Feeds Topics Living Abroad How to Get a German Health Insurance

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    Deborah Etim
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    Health Care Insurance is one of the most important documents you must possess to live in German. It is mandatory because, without it, you would not be eligible for a Residence Permit, and without a Residence Permit, living in Germany as a foreigner is illegal. You may think Germany has a lot of bureaucratic procedures that may prove difficult but in this post, I try to simplify how to get German Health Insurance.

    There are different kinds of Health Insurance in Germany, and each comes with specific requirements.

    • Public/Government Health Insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenkasse): If you are an employee who earns less than 64,350 Euros per year, this is the obligatory insurance for you. Here, you must pick an insurance provider. The three most common health insurance providers under this scheme are Techniker Krankenkasse, AOK, and Barmer GEK. I advise you choose Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) because it has a lot of resources in English, and a foreigner who may not fluently understand Germa, this is the best bet for you. The most percentage of German residents are under Public Health Insurance. This insurance also has your immediate family covered. Your children will be covered under this insurance until they get to a certain age.
    • Private Health Insurance (Private Krankenversicherung): This insurance is for people who earn above 64,350 Euros a year. They are mostly professionals, freelancers, and self-employed individuals. These individuals are eligible to apply for this but they don’t need to get Private insurance, depending on their preference, they can choose a Public one. Unlike Public Health Insurance, this does not cover your entire family, and it is more expensive. If you already own Public Health Insurance and want to switch to Private, you have to opt-out of Public Health Insurance to be able to acquire a Private one. The major benefit of getting Private Health Insurance is extensive health care that is exclusive to private insurance, executive treatment, and a hospital room to yourself in a case where you need to be hospitalised.
    • Supplementary Health Insurance: This insurance is mostly for public insurance holders who want to be insured for other health risks that their public plan does not cover. For example, the public plan may not cover some kinds of surgeries or expensive dental procedures. Or you need some special treatment that the Public Health Insurance does not cover, you are allowed to get supplementary health insurance to cater to this need.
    • Expat Health Insurance: This is the health insurance for ex-pats, that is foreigners who are in Germany for studies or employment. When moving to Germany, you will not be able to apply for public or private health insurance because you are not eligible for not being gainfully employed to meet the salary requirement of applying for one. The Expat Health Insurance covers you until you are eligible to apply for a public or private one. You can use this to apply for your Residence Permit.

    Having explored the different kinds of German Health Insurance, this is how to apply for Expat Health Insurance. All you have to do is decide on an insurance provider and visit their website! It is that easy. When you visit their websites, you will be required to submit some information. Here are the requirements:

    • Basic personal information
    • Academic enrollment Information (for students)
    • Possible employment information (for job-seekers)
    • Recent passport photograph
    • Previous insurance information (if any)
    • The last step is to enter your direct debit card to be billed automatically. Click here

    Getting a German Health insurance, although mandatory, is not difficult. If you are an ex-pat who already got employment in Germany before moving there, you can apply directly for Public or Private Health Insurance, depending on your salary level.

    Photo Credit: Pinterest

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