Health Insurance for expats in Germany

Discover the benefits of expat health insurance in Germany. Get expert guidance for your international healthcare needs today to find the right insurance for you. 🤒

Key Takeaways


The debate surrounding health insurance options in Germany can be confusing, with conflicting opinions on the benefits of private versus public coverage. While some advocate for the potential cost savings of private health insurance, others warn of rising premiums, especially as you age or start a family. Amidst this uncertainty, expats have a unique opportunity to access specialized health insurance with a 10% discount compared to standard German rates.

In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of public, private, and expat health insurance, unraveling the complexities to help you make an informed decision about your healthcare coverage. Whether you’re weighing the pros and cons of different insurance models or seeking clarity on expat-specific options, we’ll provide comprehensive insights to guide you through the maze of healthcare choices in Germany.

Public Health Insurance

Public health insurance in Germany operates on a straightforward premise: your premium is calculated based on your income. For most individuals, this means a contribution of 14.6% of their salary, split evenly between you and your employer. However, there is an upper salary limit of €62,100 per year, beyond which no further contributions are payable. Despite common misconceptions, public health insurance premiums do increase annually, mirroring the rise in salary thresholds.

The structure of public health insurance premiums is multifaceted, comprising several components:

  • Firstly, the salary subject to public health premiums determines the base contribution amount. Over the years, this threshold has steadily risen, impacting the overall premium.
  • Additionally, the percentage of income contributed towards health insurance has also increased, climbing from 9.5% decades ago to the current 14.6%.
  • Moreover, public health insurers levy an additional contribution, which varies among providers from 0.9% up to 2.5% in 2024 but averages around 1.7%. This supplementary fee, introduced in 2005, further adds to the total premium burden.

Notably, public health insurance also encompasses care insurance, often overlooked by many. Introduced in 1995, care insurance aims to fund long-term care needs and is financed through separate contributions. This aspect of the public health system exhibits some disparities, with individuals with children benefiting from lower rates (3.4% for people with kids and 4% for people without kids in 2024). While this may seem discriminatory, it aligns with governmental efforts to encourage population growth and sustain the public health insurance framework.

In summary, the average monthly contribution to public health insurance amounts to around €1,050, with costs shared equally between employees and employers. Despite its universal coverage and accessibility, public health insurance presents certain limitations and complexities that individuals must consider when evaluating their healthcare options in Germany.

Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance in Germany offers individuals the opportunity to tailor their coverage to suit their needs, akin to choosing between hotel accommodations (1-5 stars). The basic premise is simple: you pay for the health insurance portion, but the extent of coverage is entirely up to you. It’s crucial to avoid opting for the cheapest plans, as they often provide inadequate coverage, leading to regrets later on. Instead, aim for at least a three-star plan for comprehensive coverage or consider a luxurious five-star plan for enhanced benefits.

1-Star Health Insurance

3-Star Health Insurance

5-Star Health Insurance

Contrary to common belief, obtaining a five-star health insurance plan doesn’t necessarily translate to exorbitant costs. There are effective strategies to adjust the premium, e.g. deductibles and cashback options, rendering top-tier insurance plans surprisingly affordable. It’s advisable to seek personalized advice to determine the most suitable plan for your needs, as factors like age and health history play significant roles in premium calculations.

One distinctive feature of private health insurance in Germany is the concept of seniority savings. With every private health insurance plan, an additional 10% premium is charged to fund retirement savings. This pooled amount across all insured individuals amounts to a staggering €330 billion and serves as a stark contrast to the public health insurance system, which experienced a €17 billion deficit last year. Importantly, these savings translate into substantial benefits over time, significantly reducing premiums in retirement and offering financial security.

Furthermore, private health insurance offers sick leave pay for extended periods of illness exceeding 42 days, a feature that’s optional but provides invaluable support during challenging times. Additionally, mandatory care insurance covers long-term care needs, with premiums varying based on age, emphasizing the importance of securing coverage early.

Ultimately, private health insurance presents an attractive alternative to public insurance, offering comprehensive coverage, flexibility, and long-term financial benefits. While concerns about rising premiums in retirement may arise, strategic planning and leveraging seniority savings can mitigate these worries, ensuring financial stability and peace of mind in the years to come.

Expat Health Insurance

Expat Health Insurance offers a revolutionary solution for expatriates in Germany, providing a unique opportunity to save on premiums. Unlike regular private health insurance plans, expat insurance excludes the seniority savings component, resulting in approximately 10% lower premiums. This significant discount is a game-changer for individuals earning above €69,300 with temporary residence, such as a blue card holder.

The expat insurance plan allows individuals to enjoy this reduced rate for a maximum of 5 years, offering ample time to assess their long-term plans in Germany. If you decide to stay beyond this period, you can seamlessly transition to a standard private health insurance plan without facing new entry-age restrictions or health inquiries. This flexibility is particularly advantageous for expatriates who may be uncertain about their future in Germany, as it eliminates the financial burden of unnecessary seniority savings.

Moreover, the expat-friendly nature of Germany’s insurance system reflects its commitment to accommodating diverse populations. By prioritizing the needs of expatriates, the country demonstrates its openness to welcoming and retaining international talent. This expat-friendly approach not only enhances Germany’s reputation as a desirable destination for skilled professionals but also contributes to the country’s economic growth and cultural diversity.

In essence, expat health insurance in Germany represents a forward-thinking solution that caters to the evolving needs of a global workforce. Its affordability, flexibility, and seamless transition to standard private insurance make it an attractive option for expatriates seeking comprehensive healthcare coverage during their stay in Germany.


In conclusion, choosing the appropriate health insurance plan is a significant decision, especially for expats in Germany. Whether it’s private health insurance or expat health insurance, finding the best fit for your specific needs is essential for your well-being.

If you need assistance in navigating the options and selecting the right plan for your individual situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can book a free meeting with us to discuss your health insurance needs further. Your health and peace of mind are our priorities, and we’re here to help you make an informed decision.

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Expat Health Insurance