German Health Minister Hates Private Health Insurance

Is private health insurance in Germany really as bad as the German Health Minister claims? 🤔 Explore the rising premiums, coverage options, and the political agenda behind these statements.

Key Takeaways


It has emerged that the German Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach, appears to have a strong disdain for private health insurance. However, a closer look reveals a complex interplay of factors that go beyond first impressions.

In this comprehensive article, we explore the criticism of private health insurance in Germany, examine the nuances, and shed light on the truth of these claims. By analyzing the different perspectives and underlying motivations, we aim to provide a balanced understanding of the current debate on private health insurance in Germany.

Private Health Insurance Premium Exploding When Getting Older

One of the most common fears raised against private health insurance is that there is supposed to be an exponential increase in premiums as the insured gets older. This can usually be answered with a resounding “no”. While there are bad tariffs to which this statement can apply, it is important to know that this is only the case in individual cases.

Premium costs in private health insurance are influenced by several factors, including age, health status, and the level of coverage chosen. It should be noted that it is not the increasing age or deteriorating health while the insurance cover is active that applies, but the age and state of health at the time of entry into private health insurance. For more information about health insurance in retirement, read the linked article.

How Good Is Private Health Insurance for €55?

A frequently cited example is the allure of low-cost private health insurance plans, with premiums of, for example, only 55€/month. However, it is crucial to understand that not all private health insurance plans are created equal. While a 55€ monthly premium may seem appealing on the surface, it is essential to consider the extent of coverage provided by such plans.

Opting for a comprehensive coverage plan ensures that individuals have access to a wide range of medical services, including specialist consultations, diagnostic tests, hospital stays, and prescription medications. Cheaper insurance options often come with limited coverage, higher out-of-pocket expenses, and restricted access to healthcare providers.

It is important to recognize the long-term implications of choosing a plan solely based on its low premium. In the event of a significant illness or medical emergency, inadequate coverage can lead to substantial financial burdens and limited treatment options. 

Price Increases of 1-Star, 3-Star, 4-Star & 5-Star Insurances

To gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of private health insurance premiums, it is crucial to examine the price increases across different coverage tiers. By analyzing data from various insurance providers, we can highlight the significant variations in premium growth over the years. A comparison of premium increases among 1-star, 3-star, 4-star, and 5-star insurances reveals distinct patterns and trends.

  • 1-Star Health Insurance: In general, 1-star private health insurance plans, which typically offer minimal coverage, have experienced the highest price increases. These plans may initially seem attractive due to their lower premiums, but over time, their limitations become evident. Premiums for 1-star plans have risen by more than 50% over the last decade, translating to an annual increase of 4.3%.
  • 3-Star, 4-Star, and 5-Star Health Insurance: On the other hand, higher-quality insurance plans, such as 3-star, 4-star, and 5-star options, have exhibited relatively lower premium growth rates. These plans, which provide more extensive coverage and a broader range of benefits, have seen more moderate increases. For instance, 3-star plans have experienced an average annual increase of 0.8%, while 4-star and 5-star plans have seen even lower rates of growth, ranging from 0.3% to 0.1%.

This data underscores the importance of investing in a higher-quality insurance plan for long-term sustainability. While lower-priced options may initially appear appealing, they may lead to financial strain and limited coverage in the future. Opting for a 3-star or higher insurance plan ensures more comprehensive coverage and a more stable premium growth rate over time. It is essential to consider the potential long-term implications and carefully weigh the cost-effectiveness of different coverage tiers before making a decision.

How to Manage Increasing Insurance Premiums

Coping with rising insurance premiums can indeed pose challenges for policyholders. However, there are practical strategies and tips that can help you effectively manage the increasing costs. By implementing these measures, policyholders can alleviate the financial burden and maintain appropriate coverage.

  • Reevaluate Existing Coverage: One crucial step is to reevaluate existing coverage options. Take the time to review your insurance policy and assess whether it aligns with your current needs and circumstances. It may be beneficial to consult with an insurance professional who can provide guidance on suitable coverage levels and potential cost-saving measures. Additionally, consider adjusting deductibles or coverage limits to find a balance between affordability and adequate protection (e.g. Cashbacks).
  • Exploring Alternative Insurance Plans: Exploring alternative insurance plans is another avenue worth exploring. Research different insurance providers and compare their offerings. Obtain quotes from multiple companies to ensure you are getting the best value for your money. Keep in mind that price should not be the sole determining factor; consider the reputation and reliability of the insurance provider as well.

Finally, staying proactive and regularly reviewing your policy is essential. Insurance needs can change over time, so periodically reassessing your coverage ensures that it remains adequate and cost-effective. By remaining vigilant and taking an active role in managing your insurance, you can navigate the challenges of increasing premiums and maintaining financial stability.

If you would like to find out about high coverage plans in private health insurance, or need help choosing a suitable plan, you are welcome to book a free meeting with us.

How Is the German Health Minister Insured (Public or Private)?

In the case of German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, there is an interesting revelation about his insurance coverage. Although he is a prominent supporter of public health insurance and is only too happy to badmouth private health insurance, it has emerged that Minister Lauterbach is himself privately insured. This raises questions about the coherence of his position and the possible implications for his stance on health insurance policy. Moreover, it should be noted that a significant proportion of German politicians, about two-thirds, also opt for private health insurance. This discrepancy between public statements and the personal decisions of politicians invites a closer look at the motivations for their positions.

Perhaps it has something to do with the stable premiums for high-quality private health insurance policies with simultaneously rising public health insurance costs. Public health insurance regularly increased its premiums while coverage decreased. This is exactly the trend that will continue in 2024, as Minister Lauterbach has already announced. In 2024, namely, the contributions of public health insurance are to rise again.


The debate surrounding private health insurance in Germany is a complex and multifaceted one. While the German Health Minister’s apparent disdain for private health insurance may raise eyebrows, it is essential to approach the topic with a critical mindset and consider all the factors at play.

Examining the price increases across different coverage tiers, we uncover significant variations in premium growth. This highlights the importance of investing in a higher-quality insurance plan for greater stability and peace of mind.

Managing increasing insurance premiums requires proactive measures. By reassessing coverage options, exploring alternative plans, and seeking professional advice, policyholders can navigate the financial burden more effectively.

In conclusion, the German Health Minister’s opposition to private health insurance warrants a critical analysis. While there are valid concerns surrounding rising premiums and the quality of coverage, it is essential to weigh these factors against the overall benefits and long-term sustainability. By considering a range of perspectives, individuals can make informed decisions about their health insurance options in Germany.

1 thought on “German Health Minister Hates Private Health Insurance: A Critical Analysis”

  1. Pingback: Private Health Insurance Myths - Debunked

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