Best Health Insurance – New year, new laws and higher fees. 2016 brought about an increase in health insurance costs, depending on your income this can start at 100 euros more per year. Here is a quick comparison of ALL the big insurance companies in Germany.
Health insurance providers in Germany are national or regional. Regional companies will only sign you up if you are in the same region as them.
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Health insurance reductions range from 15.19% to 16.1% for national operators and 15.4% to 16.3% for regional operators. Being a national provider doesn’t mean better service or lower rates, so it’s definitely worth spending some time comparing providers and choosing the best one.
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Private insurance is a better option if you are young and healthy or if you know you will only be spending a limited amount of time in Germany. Self-employed workers who have recently arrived in Germany may be prevented from accessing public insurance.
I recommend signing up for private health insurance if you earn more than 45,000.- per year as a self-employed person or more than 66,600.- Euros as an employee, you have an intermediary you can trust and you are ready review the contract details. The motivation for opting for private health insurance should be better treatment options, not a lower price, although good contracts can have both: better care and a better price than public insurance. However, a low initial price for private insurance or a bad contract can prove counterproductive with higher costs later in life or in an emergency. The price of private insurance depends on pre-existing conditions and age.
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None of the public health insurers in Germany offer official support in English, but unofficially many agents speak English.
Public health insurance costs between 14.6% and 15.5% of your income. There are slight regional differences. The price of public health insurance does not depend on pre-existing conditions or age. AOK is recommended for families living in the spring of Baden-Würtemberg. *Click here for an AOK registration page in English.
You’ll probably want to choose the public health insurer with the best support because they all cost about the same and offer more or less the same services. Use * Tarifcheck (German language) to compare public insurers.
Techniker Krankenkasse offers the best combination of price and service and tops the charts in many tests. The Techniker Krankenkasse is Germany’s largest public health insurer, covering one eighth of the German population with more than 10.5 million members.
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My first doctor and my current employer in Berlin recommended the Techniker Krankenkasse to me and my family has been with them ever since. We had to take care of them when our children were born and in the meantime we had a few accidents and hospital stays and no problems at all. They covered most of our medical expenses without a problem.
Techniker Krankenkasse is an old-school insurer. Part of the communications and downloading of documents can be done online through their reserved area. They have a website in English.
All forms, documents and the online members’ area are in German only. You always have the option to do the paperwork at their physical agencies where someone may speak English. Their fast and efficient call center offers support in English.
You can live well in Germany with the basic services of the Techniker Krankenkasse. However, TK does not cover health insurance for travel abroad, especially outside the EU, but works with Envivas for additional coverage. Health insurance costs for travel within the EU are covered up to the cost of equivalent treatment in Germany.
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If you are a member of the Techniker Krankenkasse you can get additional global travel health insurance from Envivas for 12,- Euro per year.
Public health insurance covers basic dental costs. Sometimes not including annual teeth cleaning which can cost up to 150.- Euro, some implants and inlays. Additional dental insurance can easily save you money and is recommended for anyone who needs to see the dentist frequently. * Feather dental insurance starts at 9.- Euros per month and the enrollment form and support is in English.
Finding the best private health insurance plan can be tricky. Plans are difficult to compare, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. This is why I highly recommend using an independent broker to purchase private health insurance. Make sure you choose an independent broker who doesn’t work for one company but can choose from multiple insurers.
* Feather and B-protected are recommended, independent English-speaking insurance broker sources. I highly recommend a call to Alexander Kühne, based in Berlin * (direct link to his planning tool) if you want personalized, independent advice from a broker with many years of experience.
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The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin) monitors complaints against private health insurance companies. Ottonova had the highest complaint rate in 2022 while HanseMerkur Speziale had the fewest complaint sources.
I do not recommend private health insurance for students because public health insurance for students is very affordable. I encourage students to * join the Techniker Krankenkasse.
Health insurers for expats are companies that offer individual insurance plans that are not part of the official German public and private health insurance system, sometimes also called inbound insurance.
You can use expat health insurance to apply for any German residence permit such as Bluecard, artist visa, student visa, freelancer visa, job search visa or work visa, but it is not advisable to use health insurance for expatriates too much the source is long.
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No one may want to cover you if you exceed your expat health insurance and may have difficulty accessing the official health care system. Only use expat health care as a last resort if you need health insurance confirmation for the immigration office (Ausländerbehörde). Switch from expat insurance to public or private health insurance as soon as possible.
List of recommended health insurers and intermediaries for expats * Allianz Care is a health insurer and can be used for visas if you prefer to use a large insurance company. The Allianz Care registration web page is in English. * Feather is an independent broker who can advise you on health insurance for expats. Feather has a great resource of ratings and support in English. Summary: How to find the best German health insurance for foreigners Make sure you understand the difference between German public and private health insurance. Public health insurance I recommend * sign up online to the public largest health insurance Techniker Krankenkasse by Feather. The Techniker Krankenkasse is a no-brainer for public health insurance in Germany for anyone earning less than 45,000.- EUR, for most employees and students. Private or expat health insurance Use a broker like * Feather to find out which private insurance plan suits you best or if you prefer to take out * expat insurance to apply for a visa. * Alexander Kühne is an independent broker with many years of experience who can create a well personalized offer for you. You can also use * Tarifcheck to compare prices and features of private health insurance.
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