If you have job in Germany that requires you to make social security contributions, you are also covered by some form of statutory or private health insurance. Should you become ill, your insurance company will cover the cost of medical treatment. Here’s a brief list of the kinds of services provided by health insurance:
Outpatient medical treatments
Inpatient hospital stays and treatments
Medically necessary rehabilitation measures
Services for pregnant women and childbirth
Statutory health insurance plans cover both spouses under the same policy (so-called family insurance). However, this is only the case if one of the spouses is unemployed. The same is true for children.
Who needs Health Insurance?
Everyone living in Germany must have health insurance.
Job-seeking, third-country nationals must be insured in their home country or choose a private health insurance plan once in Germany.
Job-seeking nationals of EU member states may temporarily remain insured with their previous insurance company. The EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) enables them to receive treatment in Germany, but only in the case of emergencies. Foreigners can take advantage of all health care services upon becoming a member of a German health insurance company.
Once you’ve found a job, you must sign up for a German health insurance policy. EU citizens must use the Structured Electronic Document SED 040 or SED 041 to show they had a statutory health insurance policy in their home country. If they had private health insurance coverage, they must register for private health insurance in Germany, too.
Those who are self-employed can choose whether they want to sign up for statutory or private health insurance. The same is true for those whose income exceeds the so-called “income threshold” (“Beitragsbemessungsgrenze”).The income threshold is currently at a gross annual income of € 53,550.
Germany has a very well developed social security system. As most employees are obligated to pay into social security, you will most likely be insured against the main risks, such as illness, work-related accidents or unemployment. You are required to pay a fixed percentage of your earned income into the various social security programs (pension, health, unemployment, accident, and nursing insurance).Your employer must also pay a fixed share of the costs. Both shares will be automatically transferred from your employer to the insurance companies. You can find further information in the social security section of the “Make it in Germany” website.
German social security consists of these kinds of insurance:
The statutory health insurance fund pays the costs of visits to the doctor, and for medication and therapy.
The statutory long-term care insurance fund offers basic insurance for the eventuality of your being dependent on long-term care owing to illness. This usually applies to people in old age.
The statutory pension insurance fund pays employees a pension once they have retired. Basically, the amount of pension you receive depends first and foremost on your income and the number of years you have worked in Germany.
Statutory accident insurance covers the costs of medical treatment and occupational rehabilitation after an accident at work or in the case of an occupational illness.
The statutory unemployment insurance fund provides the unemployed with income for a certain period of time if, as a general rule, they have been insured for at least one year during the last two years and are in search of a new job. In addition, the BA (Federal Employment Agency) supports job-seekers by providing advice and acting as an intermediary for offers of employment.
Germany also has many private insurance companies in addition to the various statutory insurance companies. Each of these insurance policies cost money, so you should carefully consider what kind of coverage you really need before taking out any policies. The most common forms of insurance include:
You are required to have car insurance if you own a car or motorcycle. Liability insurance is also very important and the most widespread form of optional insurance in Germany, as it assumes the costs if you or a family member accidentally cause damages.