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Pausing or cancelling health insurance temporarily

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Posted

Hi,

 

We're considering a possibility where I can work back in the US for 1 years for the same company but with a local US contract. My wife, non-EU with perm residence and on maternity leave, would like to come over for some significant portion of this, like 6-8 months. While there my health insurance in the US would cover both of us. Can we cancel her health insurance or pause it in order to save on costs? Hers is private insurance.

 

Thanks

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Posted

 

My wife, non-EU with perm residence and on maternity leave, would like to come over for some significant portion of this, like 6-8 months. While there my health insurance in the US would cover both of us. Can we cancel her health insurance or pause it in order to save on costs?

 

You first need to contact your local ABH. If your wife leaves Germany for more than 6 months her permit will become void. If she deregisters (abmelden) when she moves to the States (which she'll probably need to do if you want to cancel her health insurance cover), her permit will become void.

 

Bottom line. You need to contact the KVR before you make any decisions.

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Posted

Given the fact that they're married, I'm sure the KVR would give them an extension on the usual 6-month absence rule. But engelchen is right - be sure to ask them and get everything clarified in advance.

 

As to the health insurance, ask them about an "Anwartschaft", which will involve her paying a nominal monthly fee during her absence, to preserve her membership, which she will resume upon her return.

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Posted

 

Given the fact that they're married, I'm sure the KVR would give them an extension on the usual 6-month absence rule. But engelchen is right - be sure to ask them and get everything clarified in advance.

 

As to the health insurance, ask them about an "Anwartschaft", which will involve her paying a nominal monthly fee during her absence, to preserve her membership, which she will resume upon here return.

 

Excellent point about the Anwartschaft, Jeffo!

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Posted

 

Given the fact that they're married, I'm sure the KVR would give them an extension on the usual 6-month absence rule. But engelchen is right - be sure to ask them and get everything clarified in advance.

 

As long as they make it clear that it is only a temporary move, I don't see a problem either. However, they have to file an application and get written approval.

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Posted

As what El Jeffo said, you may be allowed to pay a monthly payment to keep your health insurance active in their system, probably depending on insurer. I did this, came out of Private Health Ins (insured by Central) was in US for only 7 months, then came back straight into my private health insurance.

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Posted

 

...ask them about an "Anwartschaft", which will involve her paying a nominal monthly fee during her absence, to preserve her membership...

But why would she need to preserve her membership unless she is privately insured?

 

 

...came out of Private Health Ins (insured by Central) was in US for only 7 months, then came back straight into my private health insurance.

An Anwartschaft makes sense for someone who is privately insured, but what about someone who is insured in the public scheme (either voluntarily or involuntarily)? Is there a law stating one must take out an Anwartschaft if you are a member of the public insurance scheme?

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Posted

 

But why would she need to preserve her membership unless she is privately insured?

 

 

 

Hers is private insurance.

 

She was privately insured.

 

*************************************

 

However, let's consider the case that she had had public health insurance.

 

The reason to pay the Anwartschaft is to be allowed back into public health insurance once she returns.

 

German private health insurances have gotten very picky about who they accept, and for example won't accept non-EU who don't earn a good income.

Also if she has pre-existing medical conditions private health insurance can very quickly become very, very expensive.

 

 

An Anwartschaft makes sense for someone who is privately insured, but what about someone who is insured in the public scheme (either voluntarily or involuntarily)? Is there a law stating one must take out an Anwartschaft if you are a member of the public insurance scheme?

 

No, you can also just terminate your contract with them once you leave Germany.

 

But in order to be let in again once you return, you would have to prove at least 24 months of contributions to an EU public health insurance within the last 60 months.

 

So, if for example somebody worked here for just a year, and then goes back home for some time and then returns to Germany again and becomes a freelance English teacher, then unless they kept up membership through an Anwartschaft in their German public health insurance, they can't get back in again (not unless they become an employee who earns less than the Versicherungspflichtgrenze).

 

You ask after a law, there is a law stating how much this Anwartschaft in the public health insurance will cost, that's §240 SGB V section 4a.

This states that they will calculate the monthly premium by basing it on an assumed income of 1/10 of the Bezugsgröße (2,625€ in 2012):

(14.9% + 2.2%)* 1/10 * 2,625€ = 44,89€.

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Posted

ok, examples aside, though your argument above makes perfect sense.

 

here is why I am asking: my husband is being put forth for a project in Asia for 2 years. we're both freiwillig insured in the public scheme (he's German, me American). i argued we could just cancel our insurance then reapply once we return (for family insurance). he says we have to get an Anwartschaft (or rather, his insurance company says so), but I don't see the point since we are in the public scheme and we plan to stay so.

 

the only thing I could think of is that we would stay registered in Germany (we would keep our flat since we will return home 3 times a year), but I assume having insurance has nothing to do with being registered?

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Posted

If you're voluntary members of public health insurance because you're an employee then reapplying once you return won't help, they won't take you back.

Employees who earn above the Versicherungspflichtgrenze only get a one-off right to join public health insurance, when they first start working in Germany.

 

When you come back from Asia it won't be the first time you took up a job in Germany and your only chance to get in again (if you didn't keep up your membership via the Anwartschaft) would be to then earn less than the Versicherungspflichtgrenze.

 

Staying registered would be:

 



  1. illegal
  2. would cost you a whole lot more, because then you would have to pay at least 143€ a month (that's the minimum for people who live in Germany)

 

The situation would be different if your husband was "entsendet" to Asia, i.e. if he would stay on a German work contract. Then he would pay his normal public health insurance (and all other social security contributions) in Germany, but his income tax in the country he was sent to in Asia.

Entsendung is possible for up to 2 years (for some countries for longer periods) without any problem.

Please read this article (in German) for details about how an Entsendung to Asia works.

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Posted

thanks for that information Panda. it seems even the insurance guy from our insurance could not give us a straight answer. even what he told us is different from what you wrote, but in the end it is all the same: we need the Anwartschaft.

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Posted

I have a similar question with a twist. Currently I do not work and am on the public health plan via my wife's job. If I were to take a 6 month position in the U.S., and my wife were to remain here in her current job (we're both US citizens) would I be able to return the public plan either thru my wife's job, or on my own, should I become employed in Germany?

 

It would seem that the answer is the same as above: de-register and pay the Anwartschaft for 6 the months I'm gone, however I'm wondering if the possibility that I would simply be returning to my current status of "arbeitssuchend" in 6 months, somehow changes the dynamic?

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Posted

Before I can try to give you a solid answer: for how long have you been in public insurance coverage in Germany as co-insured or insured under your own contract in total in the past years? That would be an important factor....

Cheerio

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Posted

I've been co-insured the entire time we've been in Germany; since July 2010.

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Posted

We took the Antwartschaft and can't even imagine why anyone even thinking they might return wouldn't- getting back on TK / having the ability to be publicly covered in DE is well worth the tiny annual amount for a family.

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Posted

They might not because there might not be a need. If you went to the UK for a couple of years for example, you'd have no problems getting back into the public health insurance once you arrive back here if you were under the earnings limit.

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Posted

So true. But OP (and I) are talking US, when it does become a huge deal. (And in the UK you wouldn't need to be under the earning limit.)

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