• The public health insurance rates charged by the Krankenkassen are 14.6% (plus 1.3% average supplemental premium) of your monthly income up to a maximum salary amount of 4,837 Euros. This means that the average monthly premium on the market for 103 public Krankenkassen can be up to 770 Euros.
  • In addition, mandatory nursing care insurance costs a maximum of 165 Euros per month.
  • Members of the state health plan pay up to 10 Euros in co-payments for prescription medicine and must be willing to accept generic medicines.
  • Hospital stays cost 10 Euros per day (max. 280 Euros per year) for members of the state health plan.
  • Members of the state health plan can shop around for the best price and provider of supplemental insurance for dental, private doctor, private hospital accommodation etc.

Pros and cons of private health insurance:

  • Private health insurance which offers more choice is available to persons earning above the income threshold set each year or those who are not eligible for the Government scheme. It is available from 40 German health insurance companies. Many, however, do not accept foreigners until they have been resident here for at least two years.
  • Pros: Choice of many tariffs, choice of doctors and hospitals (generally world-wide, though with some limitations), payment for alternative/natural remedies, higher reimbursements for dental work, reimbursements for vision products.
  • Cons: Each insured person has their own premium, based on the chosen tariff and the insured’s entry age. Underwriting can lead to a supplemental premium load if there are any pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Premiums must be paid even if you are ill or are not working due, for instance, to the raising of children. There are very few tariffs which will subsidize these events.
  • There can be limits on dental reimbursements in the first years and co-insurance payments are also possible.
  • Switching between the public health scheme and full private health insurance should be carefully considered as you cannot change at will. Qualified and independent advice should be sought.

Also see our article “Health Insurance Options in Germany” for a complete overview of health insurance in Germany.

Copyright Cathy J. Matz-Townsend
Independent Insurance Broker

Hohlweg 9
65366 Geisenheim-Johannisberg

Tel: 06723 6033518

[email protected]


All information is provided to the best of our knowledge as of January 2022, but we are not liable for its accuracy or completeness.