Int'l Health Insurance in Germany, some are legal!

147 posts in this topic

Posted

Thank you for the comprehensive explanation!

 

However, I still have one question. Do EU citizens fall under your definition of Expats? I would think that the EU Freedom of Movement laws would dictate that EU citizens are subject to the same rules as German citizens...

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Posted

Engelchen: this was also at the core of my initial questions to the BAFIN. The BAFIN says that they - or rather the law - does not differentiate between non-EU-Expats, EU-citizen and Germans. The rules apply for all the same, i.e. Germans can also use this (now there is a surprise!) . The § 193 VVG Subsection 3 just states this:

 

 

Each person with a place of residence in Germany shall be obligated to conclude and maintain with an insurance company licensed to operate in Germany for himself and for the persons legally represented by him, insofar as they are not themselves able to conclude contracts, a cost-of-illness insurance which comprises at least a cost refund for outpatient and inpatient treatment and in which the absolute and percentage excesses for outpatient and inpatient treatment which have been agreed for services covered by the respective tariff for each person to be insured are limited to an amount of Euro 5,000 per calendar year

The only persons who cannot hope to use these insurances under normal circumstances are employees. For them the problem still exists in § 257 SGB V where the law rules that employer may only pay a share of the health insurance costs tax free for the employee if the health insurance is computed like a life insurance...which none of the International Health insurances are. Yet, in the past there had been cases where the employer accepted the choice of the employee for such an international health insurance and instead of paying tax-free a share of the health insurance agreed to pay a bit more taxable income instead, because both sides still made a profit from this. But this usually only works with small and flexible employer entities in my experience.

 

Cheerio

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Posted

Wow, thanks for all your work.

 

I have a question, though:

 

Does this mean I no longer need a policy with Pflegeversicherung attached?

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Posted

Interesting question that. It is called a "PflegePFLICHTVersicherung" which means it is obligatory. And since it is a special, separate tariff in German private health insurances, anyone who switches to an international insurance should only cancel the health insurance and not the PVN (long-.term-nursing-care insurance) as being without might violate German laws. Strangely enough therer are no legal provisons - in contrast to the penalty back-charges for lack of health insurance - in the laws to this regards.

So, gut feeling is: you still have to have it - but nobody can tell you what happens if you go without it.

 

Cheerio

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Posted

Thanks.

 

So what I think you're saying is that a person would only be 100% in compliance with the law if he supplemented one of the above-mentioned health insurance products with Pflegepflichtversicherung.

 

And you say not to cancel your Pflegepflichtversicherung if you already have it...

 

But what does this mean for people who don't already have it - people moving to Germany, for instance? As far as I'm aware, only one of the above-mentioned companies offer it - with no 'German' ones, I think, offering it separately.

 

Does this mean, then, that anyone wishing to avail of these products must, in fact, choose the only one with Pflegepflichtversicherung, and that the other products - at least for people who don't already have Pflegepflichtversicherung - are still illegal?

 

I hope I explained that OK. Any reply would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted

 

Interesting question that. It is called a "PflegePFLICHTVersicherung" which means it is obligatory. And since it is a special, separate tariff in German private health insurances, anyone who switches to an international insurance should only cancel the health insurance and not the PVN (long-.term-nursing-care insurance) as being without might violate German laws. Strangely enough therer are no legal provisons - in contrast to the penalty back-charges for lack of health insurance - in the laws to this regards.

So, gut feeling is: you still have to have it - but nobody can tell you what happens if you go without it.

 

Cheerio

 

I don´t know of any legal problems/ sanctions, either , with regard to the Pflegepflichtversicherung but if you have it - keep it. There is a waiting time of two years before you could even gain from it if the worst came to the worst but if you cancel and start another one - even two days - later - the waiting time starts again!

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Posted

OMG WAIT... I'm technically German so I've always thought I had to have a German health insurance. Does this mean that I can change too?

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Posted

I thought lack of Pflegepflichtversicherung was the entire reason the international expat health insurances weren't good enough in the first place? But if it's still mandatory... nothing's changed?

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Posted

Most of them won´t work ( I doubt ) for non-EU citizens applying for a residence/work visa because the Ausländeramts want to know about the Pflege and because they will be unable to offer the back up, signed and stamped Bescheinigung for the visa appointment.

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Posted

And if you already have an unbefrisstete one?

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Posted

Then no worries, Herr Dinksbumps , because you don´t have to go the Ausländeramt for a visa and show them health insurance.

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Posted

 

OMG WAIT... I'm technically German so I've always thought I had to have a German health insurance. Does this mean that I can change too?

 

Yes, you can - that was and is the biggest surprise from the BAFIN statement: every resident in Germany can use them.

 

 

I thought lack of Pflegepflichtversicherung was the entire reason the international expat health insurances weren't good enough in the first place? But if it's still mandatory... nothing's changed?

 

Well, the main reasons were more in the line of what § 193 Abs 4-6 required, i.e. to offer a BASIS-tariff, not to cancel in case of missing payments etc. These rules, for reasons unbeknownst to me and where Ihave serious doubts about their legality under EU competition rules now, seem only to apply to German health insurances.

Pflegepflichtversicherung was one additional issue, but one that for instance ALC solved in the past because you could get also an ALLIANZ long-term-nursing-care insurance, too.

 

 

And if you already have an unbefrisstete one?

 

You can obviously also use the international health insurances, as long as they are formally listed with BAFIN (see my links above).

 

Cheerio

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Posted

Maybe other freelancers are now wondering about the tax deductible status of such international health insurances. Is there any change there?

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Posted

I do believe this is not entirely resolved yet. Since 2010 you can write off more of your costs for health insurances in your tax declaration...but only if your health insurance report both the premiums received and the no-claims-bonus awarded to the tax authorities. That in itself should not be such a problem even for international insurances, but in reporting to the German tax authorities they are also required to differentiate in their premiums collected how much of a share of the total premium is for coverage adequate to German public insurances and how much is in excess/luxury or whatever you may call it. Because the latter part cannot be written off. With most German private health insurances you can write off about 90% or so when it is a normal, basic tariff. But even they had a hard time initially to work out the differentiation... but for international insurances this is virtually impossible as their tariffs are structured totally different than the German ones.

 

However, as far as I have been told by tax advisors, you can still write off a flat/capped amount for health insurance (like in the pre-2010 times) and then you could write off your international health insurance costs up to this cap, the exact amount of which escapes me - perhaps PandaMunich or Freising or YL6 can answer this. Or anyone who has filed his 2010 taxes with an international health insurance as part of the costs?

 

Cheerio

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Posted

 

However, as far as I have been told by tax advisors, you can still write off a flat/capped amount for health insurance (like in the pre-2010 times) and then you could write off your international health insurance costs up to this cap, the exact amount of which escapes me - perhaps PandaMunich or Freising or YL6 can answer this. Or anyone who has filed his 2010 taxes with an international health insurance as part of the costs?

 

The cap is:

 

  • 1,900€ per year for employees, pensioners, Beamte, pensioned Beamter, and non-employed spouses covered under spouse's public health insurance
  • 2,800€ per year for the self-employed, non-employed spouses that have private health insurance, and spouses of Beamter (= Partner von Beamten ohne eigenen Beihilfeanspruch)

 

The above was taken from the second half of this post in Tax deductions for pension and health insurance.

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Posted

 

It is called a "PflegePFLICHTVersicherung" which means it is obligatory.

You mean like a Haftpflichtversicherung? No, wait ... :blink:

 

Is one a Pflege-pflichtversichering and the other a Haftpflicht-versicherung?

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Posted

Ah, kthy , not sure if you´re being tongue in cheek..but anyway: they both have the Pflicht (compulsion) word - the nursing care (Pflege ) because it´s compulsory and the Haftpflicht (( personal liability insurance ) because it´s compulsory to compensate victims of your negligence!

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Posted

Starshollow, thanks for confirming what I've been doing for years and knowing was legal

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