Often underestimated is a comparison between health insurance companies and the health insurance offered. Who deals with it, can usually benefit from many additions and save money at the same time.
The most important in a nutshell
- In Germany, health insurance is compulsory
- There are statutory and private health insurance.
- With the legal health insurance the achievements do not differ so strongly as with the private health insurance.
Which tasks has a health insurance?
A health insurance company assumes the role of the insurer in health insurance, as in other types of insurance. By paying a monthly premium, you insure yourself against certain contingencies and are (at least partially) relieved financially for some treatments at the doctor's office.
There are statutory as well as private health insurances. In the case of statutory health insurance, the benefits catalog is largely prescribed by law. In the case of private health insurance, the differences are more pronounced.
In contrast to other insurances, however, health insurance is not optional for you. Health insurance is compulsory in Germany.
Differences between statutory and private health insurance – GKV vs. PKV
The statutory health insurance is a solidarity system. This means that the individual insured pays in an income-dependent amount up to a certain maximum limit.
The amount for statutory health insurance is 14.6 percent. In addition, there is an additional contribution of 1.3 percent (2022) and the cost of long-term care insurance. The catalog of benefits for statutory health insurance is almost identical for the individual health insurance companies. There are only a few variations. How much you pay in does not influence the benefits you receive.
In the case of private health insurance, a health insurance comparison makes even more sense. The costs of private health insurance differ greatly in some cases. Important for this are factors such as your age or profession. Overall, you can assume that the more you pay, the more benefits you will receive. Especially with an income at the limit of the assessment basis, a private health insurance can be very worthwhile.
With private health insurance, you also have the advantage that the health insurance company contractually guarantees you the benefits for a fixed period of time. With statutory health insurance, the benefits can change within a very short period of time.
For whom is the statutory health insurance suitable?
The statutory health insurance does not differentiate between the individual insured persons as far as the basic benefits are concerned.
If you are not required to be insured in private health insurance, you are entitled to statutory health insurance. Therefore, the statutory health insurance is basically suitable for all people from each age group.
For whom is the private health insurance suitable?
Private health insurance is mainly aimed at high earners. Unlike public health insurance, the cost of private health insurance is not based on salary. Much more important for private health insurance is the age and health status of the insured.
Especially at a young age, private health insurance can be worthwhile if, for example, you can show a high income due to your self-employment.
However, the cost of private health insurance increases with age – even during retirement. In addition, as time goes on, it becomes increasingly difficult for you to switch from private health insurance to public health insurance.
Public health insurance: costs
The cost of public health insurance is fixed. Differences between the individual health insurance companies arise mainly in the additional contribution and the additional services that can be booked.
The contribution for public health insurance depends on your salary and amounts to 14.6 percent of your salary. The cost of statutory health insurance is deducted directly from your gross wages. As an employee, you benefit from the fact that your employer pays half of the contribution. So effectively you pay only 7.3 percent for health insurance.
As a self-employed person, on the other hand, you bear the costs yourself. Exceptions are, for example, freelancers such as publicists, who must be insured through the Künstlersozialkasse (KSK). In this case, you pay the contributions as if you were employed – at the same time, you also pay into the pension insurance scheme.
In addition, there are special terms for certain groups of people such as students. Student health insurance costs a total of about 110 – 120 euros. 87.99 of this is for the health insurance itself and the rest for the supplementary premium and long-term care insurance.
Health insurance for students
If you're still in college or graduate school, you can be taxed up to 25. Be covered by health insurance through your parents before the age of 18. With the completion of 25. This is no longer possible after the age of 18, unless you have completed military or federal voluntary service.
Meanwhile, student health insurance is only available until the age of 30. Possible before the age of 60. However, there are definitely reasons to renew student insurance 1 TK – Renewal reasons for health insurance as a student – … Continue reading .
Reasons include, for example, the birth of a child or an illness.
Retiree Health Insurance
In Germany you are covered by health insurance even as a pensioner. Contributions to health and long-term care insurance are deducted proportionately from your pension. The same percentages apply as for employees.
With a gross annuity of 1.000 euros, the share of 14.6 percent is calculated (146 euros). Half of the 146 euros will be deducted from the gross amount, just like with an employee's job. The other half pays the pension insurance.
Change health insurance
By comparing health insurance companies and then changing health insurance companies, you usually benefit from additional services that are free of charge at the beginning of the contractual relationship. However, this is especially true for public health insurance companies.
On the other hand, if you have private health insurance, it is often not advisable to change health insurance companies. This is because with private health insurance, you build up benefits for old age. If you switch, these expire.
Furthermore, switching from public to private health insurance and vice versa is not always as easy to.
As an employee, you can switch to private health insurance if your salary exceeds the so-called annual income limit (JAEG) of 64.exceeds 350 euros gross (as of September 2022).
In this case, you have to take care of the cancellation with the statutory health insurance yourself. As a rule, there is a notice period of two months.
Bottom line – Here's what you need to know about health insurance
Health insurance covers most of the essential benefits you use for health treatments.
There are statutory and private health insurances. While the benefits of private health insurance can vary greatly depending on the tariff and each insured person is considered individually, the statutory health insurance is based on a solidarity system.
Switching health insurers may be worthwhile, especially between public health insurers. A health insurance comparison is meaningful straight with view of the numerous auxiliary insurances.
Private health insurance, on the other hand, should be well considered. Indeed, costs are increasingly rising, while a return to public health insurance is not always as easy to achieve