Health Insurance in Germany: An Essential Guide

20 June, 2024


When living in Germany, securing health insurance is not just advisable—it’s compulsory. Navigating the system can be challenging, but understanding the types of health insurance and their benefits will help you make informed decisions.

Types of Health Insurance in Germany

Statutory Health Insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung)

Most employees in Germany are covered by statutory health insurance. This system offers a range of benefits and is designed to ensure that everyone has access to necessary medical care.

Key Features:

  • Premiums Based on Income: Your health insurance premium is calculated based on your income.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Doctor’s visits, medications, outpatient and inpatient treatments, dental care, and medically necessary rehabilitation are covered.
  • Family Inclusion: You can include non-working spouses and children in your insurance without additional charges.
  • No Direct Billing: Medical bills are usually settled directly between your health insurance provider and healthcare providers, so you rarely receive a bill.

Additional Information:

  • Long-Term Care Insurance: By default, when you take out health insurance, you also get long-term care insurance, covering costs if you need a carer due to severe illness.
  • Health Card (eGK/EHIC): This card is essential for doctor visits and is valid in all EU countries, providing access to local medical care abroad.

Private Health Insurance (Private Krankenversicherung)

Above a certain salary threshold, you can opt for private health insurance. This option is popular among high-income individuals, the self-employed, and civil servants.

Key Features:

  • Premiums Based on Personal Factors: Contributions are based on age, gender, occupation, and health status, not on income.
  • Exclusive Services: Some medical services and private practices are only accessible to those with private insurance.
  • Direct Billing: You pay for medical services upfront and later get reimbursed by your insurance company.
  • Separate Coverage for Children: Unlike statutory insurance, private insurance requires separate premiums for each child.

Health Insurance Without an Employer

If you are not employed, you still need health insurance. The type you need depends on your circumstances:

  • Family Members: Family insurance often covers children and spouses together, with one adult paying into statutory health insurance.
  • Apprentices, Students, Interns: Typically required to take out statutory health insurance, with exceptions for older students.
  • Jobseekers: EU citizens can use their European Health Insurance Card. Non-EU citizens must take out private health insurance, with special rates available for expats.

Additional Insurances in Germany

Beyond health insurance, several other types of insurance can provide additional protection and peace of mind:

Liability Insurance

Covers damages you cause to another person’s property, such as breaking a vase or spilling coffee on a friend’s smartphone. It’s inexpensive and widely used in Germany.

Household Contents Insurance

Protects items inside your home against theft, fire, storm, or water damage. Costs depend on the size of your home.

Accident Insurance

Statutory accident insurance covers work-related incidents, but private accident insurance covers accidents outside of work, offering benefits for rehabilitation and financial support if you become disabled.

Occupational Disability Insurance

Provides a monthly pension if you are unable to work due to health reasons, offering financial security if you depend on your income.

Retirement Benefits

While the German statutory pension insurance is robust, additional retirement plans are advisable to maintain your standard of living in old age. The state subsidizes supplementary pensions, making them a beneficial investment.

Jaberi Lawyers: Your Immigration Experts

Navigating the health insurance landscape is just one part of the journey to settling in Germany. At Jaberi Lawyers, our experts are here to assist you throughout your entire immigration process. From obtaining the right visas to ensuring you have the necessary health insurance, we provide comprehensive support to make your transition to life in Germany as smooth as possible.


Germany’s health insurance system ensures comprehensive coverage for all residents, but choosing the right type of insurance requires understanding your options and needs. Whether you opt for statutory or private health insurance, securing additional insurances can provide further protection and peace of mind as you settle into life in Germany. With Jaberi Lawyers by your side, you can navigate the entire immigration process with confidence and ease.