In Germany health insurance is compulsory. One of the first choices you have to make after getting a job in Germany is to choose Health Insurance. There are two kinds of health insurance companies, public and private. We created a simple guide to help you choose the right insurance.

Advantages of Public Health Insurance

  • Dependents are covered for free. If your spouse has a mini job or unemployed then he/she is covered. Children are also covered.
  • Affordable when you earn less. Public Health Insurance premium depends on the salary you make. Even if you lose your job or retire, you would still be able to afford to pay the premium
  • The premium remains the same even if you have any serious health problems. Private health insurance can deny if you have any health problem or can charge you a hefty premium.
  • Easy to Apply and no health tests are required.
  • Do not have to pay your medical fee upfront. You just have to show the health insurance card whenver you visit the doctor.

Advantages of Private Health Insurance

  • It’s cheap when you are young.
  • You get priority treatment from doctors. Since doctors get reimbursed faster from private insurance companies, they prefer patients who have private health insurance. Instead of weeks, you will get appointments from doctors almost immediately
  • Has better coverage and treatment. Often private health insurance covers treatments that are not covered by public health insurance like Dental or Eye treatment.
  • More medicines are covered. Private health insurance has better coverage of medicines than Public health insurance.

When does it make sense to switch to Private Health Insurance?

  • If you intend to stay in Germany for a short term and do not plan to return
  • Your spouse will always be working and she does not have to be covered by your health insurance
  • You do not intend to have children
  • You do not have any serious conditions that might skyrocket your premium

Our final thoughts

Although private insurance is attractive in the beginning, as you grow older it can get really expensive. If you are sure you are going to stay in Germany for a short period or a very high earner then Private insurance is the way to go, in all other cases go for Public Insurance.


In Germany once you switch from Public to Private Insurance its almost impossible to go back to public health insurance.

Source: 1,2,3


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