Pensioners and German public health insurance

Until 1983, pensioners didn’t have to pay into public health insurance but things have changed. Since then, they have had to pay a contribution (just like those still in work) based on their income. A certain percentage of their pension goes towards health insurance.

Pensioners with a low income from their public pension pay less than those with a higher pension. Public pension insurance (die gesetzliche Rentenversicherung) pays half of the costs for those who were compulsory members of a public health insurer.

Since July 2005, all publicly insured members, including pensioners, have had to pay an extra 0.9% above the general percentage without money from the public pension insurance.

Pensioners have had to pay health insurance contributions (since January 2004) on their company pensions and extra earnings; for example, from part time jobs, rental income etc.

A pensioner with many extra sources of income may find his or her contribution to health insurance based on the highest percentage in the public system.

Nobody knows how high the maximum contribution to public health insurance will be in the next 20 years.

The maximum in the past 20 years has gone up 5.5% per year on average! The current top rate is € 575.44 plus € 72.50 for nursing care – per month!

So, whether you are publicly or privately health insured – you have to pay!

NB: Those in the private health system have the right to switch their tariff to one not costing more than the average public price on retiring or even earlier.