Your interactive family guide to Germany as recommended by local mums | Last updated 7 months ago

Healthcare

Registering for Health Insurance

The German health insurance and social security system is administered by the several companies. There are two different types of German Health Insurance. “Gesetzliche Krankenkasse” or state health insurance is the most common. “Private Krankenkasse” is private health insurance.

 

  • Registering for Healthcare in Germany

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    In Germany you do not automatically get a social security card when you start working. You must first register with a Krankenkasse (Health Insurance Company). German health insurance is normally arranged through a person’s employer, however you might have to contact a Krankenkasse yourself if your employer does not do this for you. If you are self-employed, you will have to do this yourself.

    The German health insurance and social security system is administered by the several companies. There are two different types of German Health Insurance. “Gesetzliche Krankenkasse” or state health insurance is the most common. “Private Krankenkasse” is private health insurance.

    Whether you are publicly or privately insured, your employer will pay approximately half of its cost and the rest will be taken out of your monthly salary. Both you and your employer must make contributions to your social security and health insurance through the Krankenkasse. The amounts you have to pay are set by the German government. For state healthcare, this is currently approximately 15% of your monthly salary.

    If you are earning more than the threshold of €4,350 gross salary per month, you can elect to leave the state health insurance and have private health insurance while employed in Germany.

    You are free to choose one that best suits your needs. Once you are a paying member of a Krankenkasse you will receive your Social security number (Sozialversicherungsnummer), and a Health Insurance card.

    When you visit a doctor, you will have to show your Health Insurance card. If you are prescribed medicine, you might need to send the prescription to your Krankenkasse for reimbursement. The amount you will be reimbursed depends on the health services provided. You should check with your Krankenkasse to see what services are covered by your insurance.

    Please note there are special rules on health insurance if you are seconded to Germany by your company. For more information, please contact your company’s HR department in Germany.

    Please also be aware that when you join a Krankenkasse, they might back-charge you to the date of which you registered in Germany.

    The major health insurance companies to which you can subscribe are: