German Health Insurance FAQ


Newcomers to Germany usually find it difficult to understand how and where to get health insured. It is a very complex issue and everyone needs an individual solution.

Who can or must join a public "Kasse" or a private insurance provider?

Here is a summary of the main points: (updated figures for 2013)

• Employed and earning between €401 and €4,350 per month - mandatory public

• Employed and earning less than €400 per month - private or voluntary public health insurance

• Employed and earning more than €4,350 per month/€52,000 per annum - choice of public or private

• Self-employed/freelancer: EU Citizens and non EU Citizens arriving in Germany from another EU State where they have been publicly insured can choose between public (voluntary member/freiwillig) or private.

• Self-employed/freelancer: non EU Citizens and EU Citizens arriving in Germany from outside the EU and who have not been in an EU public system must have private health insurance.

• Spouse earning over €385 per month needs their own health insurance and cannot be coinsured in public health insurance.

• Unemployed: if eligible for unemployment benefit, public health insurance is provided.

• Unemployed: if not eligible for unemployment benefit (e.g. newly arrived in Germany with a non EU passport), private health insurance is mandatory.

• Children: this depends...

Spouse A is privately insured and spouse B is in the public system.

Scenario 1: spouse A earns more than spouse B so the children have to go with private insurance OR pay extra for voluntary membership of a public Kasse.

Scenario 2: spouse B earns more than spouse A so the children can EITHER be co-insured for free with the public insurance OR choose to pay for private insurance.

Scenario 3: spouse A and spouse B earn the same: then the rule in scenario 2 applies.

What you have to pay for either public or private health insurance depends on a range of factors which we would be pleased to discuss with you to find the best solution to your situation! 

Contact us today for more information