Health insurance is compulsory for everyone in Germany. Special regulations govern who can take up public health insurance or private health insurance. Employees are automatically compulsory insured unless they meet the income threshold (JAEG) of €69,300 gross income per year, or €5,757 gross income per month during 2024. This threshold is recalculated annually.
Compulsory Insured Employees
Employees who earn equal to or less than the income threshold are classified as compulsory insured employees. This means that they do not have a choice and must be insured in the public health insurance. The employer will automatically register their employees, however each employee has the right to choose insurance provider. Once employees sign their employment contract, they must inform the employer of which public health insurance provider they wish to choose.
Voluntarily Insured Employees
If employees meet the income threshold for at least one year, they become what is called voluntarily insured employees. This means that they can change to private health insurance freely, or remain insured in public health insurance.
Changing from Public to Private Health Insurance
Private health insurance is a popular choice among employees who meet the eligibility criteria. The main reasons are because public health insurance is based on income. High earners may reach the insurance assessment ceiling and pay the maximum amount in public health insurance. Healthy persons can therefor save a lot of money by being insured privately, because the premium is based on condition of health, among others.
If employees wish to change to private health insurance, it is important to get the private health insurance policy in place before cancelling. Health insurance can only be cancelled if proof of the new insurance can be provided.
Cost of Public Health Insurance
The public health insurance contrition rates are fixed percentage based on the income. They can further be divided into 2 different payable rates:
- General contribution rate of 14.6%, which includes sickness benefits
- The additional contribution rate average of 1.3% applies additionally, which is dependent on health insurance provider.
The total cost is shared among you and your employer, who covers 50% of the total cost.
Health Insurance for Civil Servants
Persons employed as civil servants, compared to regular employees, are automatically voluntarily insured. This means civil servants enjoy the same rights to state aid of 50% of the total insurance costs, but can additionally choose to be insured privately without having to meet the income threshold. This means no conditions apply for civil servants to enter private health insurance.
How Employees Can Benefit From Choosing Private Health Insurance
Employees who are high earners, meaning they earn more than the annual income threshold, can not only benefit financially but also in terms of coverage by choosing a private insurance. Once employees meet the private health insurance criteria and become public voluntarily insured, they may choose to take out a private health insurance. This means the insurance contributions are no longer based on income, but rather health status and the coverage selected, month others. The main benefits would be:
- Lower insurance contributions
- Better coverage
- Shorter waiting times
- Faster appointments
- Flexible coverage options
- Premium refunds and bonuses
Independent Health Insurance Brokers
If you are employed and meet the annual income threshold, we as independent insurance brokers can help guide you choosing the best private health insurance cover and save money. Get in touch with us today to discuss your coverage requirements.