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Comparison of Public and Private Health Insurance in Germany

In Germany, you can pick up two types of insurances: Public and private.

Public insurance

You can get the public insurance easily. Select one of the many public insurance companies, fill their form and send it. These three companies are very popular and also offer forms and contents in English: Techniker Krankenkasse, DAK and AOK

Why would you get a public insurance?

  • It is very easy to get.
  • You don’t pay anything when you go to doctor.

Disadvantages compared to private insurance:

  • It usually costs more than private insurance.
  • Some doctors don’t accept patients with public insurance.
Private Insurance

For private insurance, you have to have to earn minimum 56.250 Euro gross (legal limit set in 2016) yearly, 4.687,50 Euro gross monthly.

Why would you get a private insurance?

  • You will be able to visit the best doctors. (Some doctors don’t accept public insurance.)
  • You can get a lot of money back at the end of the year. (Depending on your insurance scheme, you might get the money back which you did not spend on health care).
  • Monthly fees might be lower.

What speaks against private insurance?

  • You have to pay the visit yourself and get the money from your insurance later. (It is not that bad as the doctors give your invoice and give you the possibility to pay to their bank account in a few weeks which gives you time to get the money from your insurance. But you can be sure that your insurance company checks all your expenses diligently).
  • Once you are privately insured, it is very difficult to go back to public. After 55, you cannot convert to public and your private insurance will cost much more due to the increase of risk of illness. Before you are 55 you have the possibility if your gross income is less than 56.250 Euro. (Legal limit set in 2016)

Once you are registered to insurance, you will get your public insurance number. You have to give it to your employer.

I hope this helps you with your decision!