This post will give you all the quick facts that you need to make your decision. But before you even look at these options, there are certain criteria that have to be fulfilled for the two kinds of insurance.
If you’re an employee, you have to be earning €60,750 or more in 2019 and have earned €59,400 or more in 2018 to have private insurance as an option in 2019. Or alternatively, if you earn €60,750 or more per year in 2019 and will earn a higher number in 2020, you will most likely be eligible for private health insurance in 2020. For self employed people, there is no such restriction.
If you are currently above 55 years old, earning more than €60,750 (or self employed) and under private insurance you cannot switch to public insurance.
Ok, with that out of the way, here are the quick pros and cons of each:
- The insurance you pay is relative to how much you earn. So if you don’t earn so much, this will definitely be cheaper.
- If you find yourself suddenly unemployed, you will be paying a very minimal fee per month for this insurance.
- If you have any dependents like a spouse or children, they would automatically be covered under your insurance too.
- You would be contributing to the system and helping others.
- Predictable costs throughout your life.
- Can be very expensive if you are a high earner.
- If you’re young and relatively healthy, this can be incredibly cheap, as low as €175 per month!
- You have many options to choose from and pick a plan that suits you. Websites to help you compare: Check24, TarifCheck.
- You get treated quicker because doctors are keen to get/get more money.
- You can get better treatments depending on your plan.
- You can choose to pay a high deductible (base coverage) and further lower your per month insurance contribution.
- Your family is not covered.
- If you’re suddenly fired, your monthly insurance costs will double because you will still owe the same amount and will as well have to cover the other half that your employer was paying.
- As you get older, your insurance costs will increase considerably.
For most people, public health insurance makes the most sense in Germany. However if you’re young, healthy, single, employed under a company and earning enough, private health insurance may be a better choice for you financially.