International healthcare, medical insurance in Munich


Health insurance is obligatory for everyone residing in Germany who is employed full-time by a company. In general, the company and the employee pay half of the insurance contributions respectively. The employee's half usually totals around 10% of their gross salary. Health insurance is not obligatory for freelancers. However, it is highly recommended that cover is taken as medical costs in Germany are very expensive. Another point to bear in mind is that people not covered by health insurance run into problems when it comes to renewing their residency permit.

There are two types of health insurance in Germany. These are the "public" and "private" systems.

  • State (Public) health insurance is run by German government. Most foreigners (and Germans as well) are obliged to take out state health insurance.
  • Private health insurance can be chosen in some specific cases. It generally offers more extensive cover, but is not automatically an advantage for all cases.

Public health insurance

If you are employed in Germany and you are earning less than EUR 47.250.- gross per year (which is EUR 3.937,50 gross per month), you are automatically and compulsorily insured in a public health insurance scheme. This also applies for students at a state or state-approved university in Germany and for interns too. You are only exempt from mandatory public health insurance as an employee working in Germany if you are seconded (entsendet) by a company which has its HQ in a member state of the EEA (European Economic Area) or in certain contracting states (for the complete list please check with

Private health insurance

If you earn more than the threshold of EUR 3.937,50 gross salary per month, you can elect to leave the public health insurance and get a private health insurance while employed in Germany. Private health insurance schemes provide more extensive cover, including the option of private/semi-private hospitals, alternative therapies such as acupuncture and herbal treatments, glasses and contact lenses and other treatment that may not be available under the state scheme.

Private insurance holders will generally get a preferential treatment at the doctors as they are more profitable for them. Some doctors even restrict their practices only to private patients. Another advantage is that private insurances don't expect you to pay any additional co-payments (Zusatzzahlungen) for medicines and treatment as in the state scheme.



Update 16/01/2013


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