Prescription charge exemptions in Germany

11 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi everyone.

 

I am just doing all the groundwork before making the final decision to pull up roots and move to Germany nearer to my new "Family". I have been trying to find out info from all the official channels who all seem to have honours degree in "Gobbledegook!"

 

I have a medical condition (Epilepsy)for which I get my medication free. This means I can lead a normal life (Driving licence,insurance,etc.,etc). I cannot get anyone to give me a sensible answer to the question if Germany operates a similar scheme to the U.K.

 

If anyone can help at all, I would be very grateful. (I am thinking about moving to Bockenem/Hildesheim in Niedersachsen so if I get there, the drinks are on the bar waiting!) :D

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Posted

Gizmo,

I was in the same position when I moved over here. I take anti-epileptic drugs and had free prescriptions in the UK. I do not get free prescriptions here...

 

The healthcare system here includes a number of co-payments. The co-payments vary depending on the type of service or medication being received.

 

I pay €10 in any quarter for a visit to the doctor or a repeat prescription. Once paid, further visits in the same quarter are free.

 

There is a list of drugs that are free of charge - many are common generics. The list provided by the provider I use is available for download as a PDF here

 

As I'm sure you will understand, I wanted to stay on the same medication that I'd been on in the UK. That wasn't on the "free" list. My local German doctor was able to prescribe precisely the same medication but I have to pay towards the cost. For prescription drugs the fees are 10% of the price with a minimum of €5 and a limit of €10 per medication per prescription.

 

Based on my experience any charges will depend on what you are taking and how often you need to visit the doctor or get a repeat prescription.

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Posted

Peter,

 

Many thanks for making more sense in a few lines than several long phone calls and mountains of irrelevant paper.

 

Are you restricted to ordering one months supply as the policy is here or can you order, for example, tablets to cover your needs for a complete quarter? Also, how much assistance did you get in trying to find the acceptable alternative from the German listing?

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Posted

Without wanting to throw a spanner into the works you might be advised to have confirmed that the German authorities will allow you to drive with your condition. Just because the UK authorities accept you UK doctor's assessment does not automatically mean...

 

I say this because many years ago my wife had some sort of "attack" which was never positively identified but suspicion was towards epilipsy & thus her doctor stated that she should not drive. She had to jump through many hoops (regular monitoring for over a year etc) before she was given a certificate that driving was OK.

 

The problem is that problems are likely only to be thrown up if you are unfortunate enuf to be involved in an accident of some sort and your medical condition comes out... Then insurances etc are likely to beat a rapid retreat.

 

It might be worth contacting the ADAC in Germany...

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Posted

No, that's alright HEM.

I have got a full licence now from the DVLA until I am 70 now, just like everyone else. This is after years of getting "Honeymoon" licences of 4 years each and a questionaire to my G.P. and me at the end of each one. The DVLA have changed their guidelines now and if you are seizure free for 7 years or more, you are given the full licence.

 

Any input from anyone is always welcome. I want to go forward "Eyes wide open"! :D

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Posted

Just verify that its OK with the German authorities & in particular the insurance companies... You don't want them to turn round in a bad situation & say "its our rules that count & not UK ones". They can get a bit like that when it suits them. Just cover yourself...

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Posted

I will get on to that. Once again HEM, thanks for the guidance. It is greatly appreciated. :D

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Posted

In the public healthcare system you pay 10% of the medicine cost, minimum €5, maximum €16 (per medicine). Generic substitutes for many medicines are encouraged to keep costs low. For people needing regular medication it is possible to pay an annual fixed sum of 2% of your annual income as a fixed payment towards medicines and then no more. If your condition is considered "chronic" then this reduces to 1%

If you are privately insured then the cost of medication depends on your particular policy and may be up to 100% coverage, sometimes with an annual excess. In such cases you usually have to pay the full cost when collecting the prescription and have it repaid (in part or whole) by the insurance company. I suspect epilepsy as a declared pre-existing condition might make private insurance very costly.

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Posted

Regarding medication:

Here I get one large box of 100 tablets per prescription. That covers me for 50 days. I don't know if someone who takes a different dose would get the same number of tablets or the same number of "days".

 

BTW during the transition from the UK to Germany my UK doctor was prepared to do a one off prescription for 3 months supply. That helped relieve some of the pressure on getting established & signed up with the health insurance and a local doctor.

 

The advice from my UK doctor and the local doctor and pharmacist here was to stay on precisely the same medication from the same manufacturer so I haven't changed. Your position might be different and I suspect the Krankenkasse would want to support patients moving on to more generic (cheaper) alternatives - Even when you are paying for prescriptions they are still picking up 90% of the cost.

 

Regarding Driving:

As mentioned above, UK drivers have to jump through hoops after certain medical conditions. I am part way through that process - with what Gizmo calls a "honeymoon" license. The local Strassenverkehrsamt were ok with it and I have insurance to drive. However, each area has its own Strassenverkehrsamt and people have different medical histories so, as HEM suggests, it wouldn't hurt to check.

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Posted

Thread bump - does anyone know the current regulations for prescription charges and tax?

 

My OH has been having chemo and continuing therapy for about 2 years, while on a very low income. I'm about to do some tax returns.

 

Should I declare the monthly prescription charges (they really add up!) or is it just things like hospital stays?

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Posted

Doctor, medical and prescription costs that are specifically not covered by your insurance are considered "Außergewöhnliche Belastungen" and can be offset against tax if they exceed between 1% and 7% of your gross salary depending on marital status, number of children and total income. In the case of oncological treatment (I presume) I am surprised your insurance does not pick up the bulk of these costs.

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