Health insurance is mandatory whilst residing in Germany. Additionally, the Insurance company issuing the policy must be registered and licensed in Germany. The section below provides information on the German health system to include hospitals, German doctors, and medical treatment. The German health system is unique and will most likely differ from your home country so it is important that you are properly informed to ensure you obtain the right coverage to meet your needs.
Download Siemens-Betriebskrankenkasse (SBK) brochure for a professional and complete overview of the health insurance services they provide in Germany. Filled with additional information for expats moving to Germany, it provides a good overview of the German healthcare.
In Germany, the health insurance system is based on the principle of social insurance. Insurance coverage is based on and operated with a dual system consisting of statutory health insurance (SHI/GKV), in German referred to as Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung, and private health insurance (PHI/PKV) referred to as Private Krankenversicherung.
Do you work or study in Germany and would like to find out more about the German health insurance system?The German health system is very comprehensive and supports you in the event of illness. Everyone who works or studies in Germany contributes to the health system with their membership in a health insurance – and is thus insured in the event of illness.
All foreigners living and working in Germany need expat health insurance. It is mandatory to show proof of health insurance when applying for a German VISA or residence permit. Once you become a German resident it is compulsory to take out health insurance in Germany, according to law, and register with either public health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenkasse, GVK) or private health insurance (Private Krankenversicherung, PVK).
Since 1st January 2009, a change in the insurance reform made it compulsory for everyone to take out health insurance in Germany. Previously (since April 2007) compulsory health insurance was only limited to certain groups of people.
Everyone who is resident in Germany is legally required to have sufficient health insurance coverage. The insurance coverage in Germany is based on a dual system consisting of public health insurance (also referred to as statutory health insurance) and private health insurance. German health insurance for foreigners consists of, generally, three (3) options for coverage:
What does being “well-insured” really mean when it comes to obtaining mandatory health insurance in Germany? The cost and coverage of an insurance policy, as well as its suitability for your personal situation while living as an expat in Germany, may be the only apparent determining factors for whether or not you made the right choice in healthcare. However, there are several other equally important aspects that determine whether you made the best choice for health insurance – or merely a good one.
For those already covered by the generic public health insurance, the option exists to increase coverage with a supplementary health insurance plan. These privately arranged insurance options offer an increased level of coverage and benefits above the public variety, as well as the ability to make certain choices during medical treatment