Moving from public to private health insurance

150 posts in this topic

Posted

Hello all,

 

Hubby and I are both employed 3/5...the latter is my tax clause and looking at my payslip at the end of every month is absolutely painful.

I take home 47% of my gross salary!!! so here come the Qns.

 

Can i affect this take home percentage by opting out of public health care and going private..??will it work out cheaper for me ...

 

If I choose to go private and DH is insured under public can our children also be insured under the public health insurance (which i think might work out cheaper)??

 

We dont have kids now but certainly would like to in the near future.

 

Are there any other ways that i can save some money being taken out by the Taxman ..??

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Posted

I feel your pain but anyway!!

 

The first point to bear in mind is: are you totally healthy? Would there be any medical reasons for a private insurer to turn you down?

 

Depending on the tariff ( ie what level of cover you´d like ) and other factors eg age , it´s highly likely you´d find private health care much more economical and/or better cover. Why? Because public health insurance premiums are income-based as a percentage of your salary whereas private ones are not. The public system has to carry along the sick, the poor etc. Fair enough.

 

The problem is the issue with kids: if your husband stays public and you go private, then the child/children will have to pay extra whether he/she/they go on your husband´s public or on your private. Reckon somewhere around 120-130 euros per month per child in either system, although the private cover at that cost would be of much better quality.

 

However: if you stay at home with the kids for ever and give up work, your husband could end up with hefty bills...unless you decide to do part-time work and get into the public again at some stage ( not being sexist, here, by the way - that´s just usually the way of things with most families ).

 

As a rule of thumb, two kids would be affordable whilst you´re temporarily not working outside but more than that...the maths usually moves the other way.

 

Taxman: yes...depending on your plans, you might want to check out a Rürup pension plan ( highly tax deductible ) and combine with an occupational disability plan, also in this combination tax deductible ( you earn good pre-tax money now - what would happen to that in case of a serious illness or accident and you couldn´t work anymore or only very restricted? )

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Posted

If you're healthy and still young, private health insurance would be most definitely the better choice for you. But let me get this straight... you are employed and make more than 49500 EUR a year. If not you're not eligible to get into private health insurance.

 

Besides Rürup you most definitely should look into a riester retirement plan if you are employed and plan on getting children. The riester plan is tax relieving and gives you state money on top.

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Posted

Quite correct, chris , about the eligibility for private health insurance. The problem MAY be later in life..kids etc. Private health insurance can and often does make sense but it also depends on other non-current issues. Signing up for private health insurance MAY be a life long commitment ( again depending on other non-current issues ). If you have a committed single person or Dinkie family on a good income, then it´s a no-brainer..but there are issues to be weighed up. Nothing is black or white in that area.

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Posted

yes, you never know what will be in the future. Fact is being employed and being eligible for private healthcare should be taken advantage of since half of the monthly fee is paid by the employer. That way people save a lot of money with private health insurance. Kids are not that expensive in private health insurance so my opinion is to go into the private health insurance if possible unless you plan on having more than 2 kids.

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Posted

Thanks so much, El Jeffo. That was so much utter quatsch I could barely read it.

Also, as far as I know, if one parent is private and the other public, the kids are required by law to go private.

 

I can't say how much I feel for those mis-advised into private when they discover the trip is one-way. We spent the whole of last year deciding whether Switzerland was the answer because the cost of private would be so high if we transferred to a German firm and were not able to enter public.

Yes, I understand there may be folks for whom private is a benefit, but I can't imagine whom. For us, having a public insurance that caps at a percentage of income, with myself and the kids as an add-on (as I don't work here) is incredibly cheaper than private could ever be. Even if I worked, by the way, the cost of the 4 private insurances would be so much greater than the 2 public insurances that there is no choice: it would still be cheaper for us to cap out two public rather than pay 4 privates. Once again, I'm not certain who that would not be true for, but perhaps single people, people who are young, people with no kids who will never have any (and who won't grow old or infirm?).

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Posted

El Jeffo makes many valid points here. Another problem: for SOME readers on Toytown ( especially freelance non-EU citizens ), there is the extra dilemma: you don´t automatically have the right to get into the German public health system ( which is not free, either ). Or even freelance/self-employed EU citizens who have not paid into an EU State´s public coffers in either the past 12 months or for at least two of the past five years. Then you usually have to go private.

 

On the other hand, said non-EU self-employed/freelance can´t just waltz into any old German private insurance scheme...therein lies the Catch 22 syndrome. You are basically unwelcome! With few exceptions..and it depends also on a medical report.

 

Tough old country here! Nice place to live but you need a Masters Degree to understand even the simple things in life! :D ( especially the U-Bahn ticket machines...Jeez ).

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Posted

gail: not quite right. If one parent is private and the other public in the health insurance, the child can be insured in either system - BUT will pay extra. Either through the publicly insured or the privately insured...and running around 120-130 euros a month. This is often the case when parents decide..ok, we have to pay. What´s better? Public or private for the child.

 

Another problem: who can crystal ball gaze and say what it will be like in 10, 20 or 50 years? Who knows who´ll be better off? I can´t ( despite my boyish charm! ).

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Posted

But then the child doesn't have the right to go on public--- and are you sure? Because we asked and were told that if my husband went private, even if I took some low-level job to get public, the kids would be required to be private, not stay public with me. And it was a broker who told us, so it would have been to his benefit to say otherwise...

But an extra 240-260 euros a month (2 kids), at the low end, about 3,000 euros a year- not peanuts.

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Posted

 

But then the child doesn't have the right to go on public--- and are you sure? Because we asked and were told that if my husband went private, even if I took some low-level job to get public, the kids would be required to be private, not stay public with me. And it was a broker who told us, so it would have been to his benefit to say otherwise...

But an extra 240-260 euros a month (2 kids), at the low end, about 3,000 euros a year- not peanuts.

 

If one partner is with public insurance, the child(ren) can go private, but each has to pay 143 Eur and change each month. BUt only if they were private co-insured before. Otherwise, assuming the spouse with the private insurance has the higher income, they can only go, indeed, with private health insurance. And since only few private German insurance companies accept children all by themselves, it is most often the same insurance company like the privately insured spouse.

 

Cheerio

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Posted

 

But then the child doesn't have the right to go on public--- and are you sure? Because we asked and were told that if my husband went private, even if I took some low-level job to get public, the kids would be required to be private, not stay public with me. And it was a broker who told us, so it would have been to his benefit to say otherwise...

But an extra 240-260 euros a month (2 kids), at the low end, about 3,000 euros a year- not peanuts.

 

Yes, gail, I´m sure. The children can go public with the publicly insured parent but pay extra. Hence either public 120-140 euros a month or whatever public or go for private 120-140 euros or whatever and fully comprehensive private health insurance. Had a vent last year on Toytown on the hottest day of the year when I spent over 3 hours toing and froing to get to a client with exactly that situation! Explained it and he signed up for something with an expert - his father-in-law who did a bit of insurance on the side!!! :D

 

Will have to have a beer with Starshollow over this one - but not if it involves travelling for three hours!!

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Posted

only drink nicely aged red wine and single malt, I am afraid.

Hmm, middle between Hamburg and Munich is, I think, more than 3 hrs ride...? Well, we get together eventually. John

Cheerio

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Posted

Don´t drink and drive, Starshollow! We´re probably not well health insured!! :D

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Posted

well, I am with SignalIduna ever since I am 18 or so... can't change now, though, what with me being pudgy (fat) and having bad blood pressure - but the coverage is and was great and I still pay way less than in public insurance whenever I truly need them and otherwise get the no-claims-bonus. But don't recommend the company to new-comers, better ones out there now.

 

Having the right health insurance does not protect you from losing the driving license, I fear. So I better come to Hamburg, stay with friends and drink your cupboard empty before I take a taxi to my friends... sounds like a plan to you?

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Posted

 

most definitely should look into a riester retirement plan if you are employed and plan on getting children. The riester plan is tax relieving and gives you state money on top.

Riester plans are good - but only if you sign up with some which are not frontloaded with costs (ohne Zillmerung). Read more about RIESTER pension plans and what to be aware of when signing up with them here:

 

http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=18733&view=findpost&p=1609910

 

Don't pay into a plan where you pay for the entire costs in full during the first 5 years. You'll lose a lot of money at the end due to the effect of compound interest...

Either get a plan with NO upfront costs - problem is, there are only few left. DWS and UNION INVESTMENT and both are only blind-pool investments, I am afraid (but sitll miles better than the average front-laoded plans from the average German insurance company).

the other option to save costs is this: sign up with a plan which allows you decent investment choices in mutual fund etc, but only with the min. allowed monthly contribution. Probably something like 25 or 50 EUR tops per months.

Now if your best tax optimized investment in a RIESTER plan per year would be 167 EUR each month (top earners), put the rest of the money into a simple savings account each month and top the plan up with a lump sum at the end of the year. And set the plan at end-age 61. Because now you will only pay upfront costs for the low monthly premium times duration times 4.5 or 5 % and then 4-5% on each lump sum, but only as long as you do the lump sums, actually. Knowing from statistics that only around 25% of pension/investment plans with a duration of 25 years and more make it to the end 8and all the others stop, brake off, cancel, cash in) it is criminal to sell still plans with the full upfront cost deduction. Again, this is how true independent financial advice works for the best of the clients...

 

Cheerio

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Posted

also does the OP plan to stay married to the same husband all their life? a standard marriage lasts what ten years nowadays, and most people will have two or three spouses in a lifetime, so it may be important to take into account the heath insurance status of future spouses (interview early!), not just the current one. :)

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Posted

@ starshollow: you're getting off topic. We really don't wanna start the whole agent vs. broker thing again. Now you're saying Im misleading a client. Well, truth is, I didn't have any info. I saw this situation: a young person, no health issues trying to make more "netto" out of the "brutto". You and everybody else should agree that private healthcare would be the better option, right?

Now talking about the future, of course private health insurance might be a little more expensive for a family with 5 or more persons. No question about that. But, you have so much better benefits with private healthcare. You can't buy a Ferrari and pay for a Suzuki...

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Posted

This is untrue. Public with a top up insurance will give me whatever I want. Public insurance in Germany is fabulous. Whoever says that private gets you more than a faster appointment for non-emergencies is, I think, a liar.

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