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About kaju

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  • Location Austria
  • Nationality Australia
  • Gender Male
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  1. Health insurance for unemployed/returnees

    Thanks Panda!   I'm sure you have an idea how helpful your information is to many people like us with little experience with these matters. For those new to a new system, it can be a bit stressful and hard to decide what to do. Your guidance and opinion are a huge help, so thank you again.   I'll get some documents together and send them off to SOLVIT - I think there are delays with them due to Coronavirus, but I will update this thread when we hear back from them!
  2. Health insurance for unemployed/returnees

      Thanks for such a great answer, PandaMunich - I wanted to wait until we had had finalised everything before I responded, and we more or less have, now...   My son and I were accepted into the Austrian public health system, and now after the 6 month waiting period (a few days ago), we are full members. In the meantime, he has had an official assessment that his disability level is at 70%. We have just applied for a disability card for him.   Because of this assessment, we get a higher rate of family payment (Erhoehte familienbeihilfe) for him - about 450E or so a month I think, a big bonus considering we didn't plan for it, and only applied for the basic level because they said we should. Also, the disability means that even though over 21 (he's 22) he is still classed as my dependent, so he's added to my public health insurance for free from next month.   The problem with my wife just won't go away, but I guess we can deal with it. After about 4 months and sending 3 letters to the Deutche Rentenversicherung, they did indeed come back a couple of weeks ago, and said she is not pflichtversichert and that there is no deduction from her pension, but they recognised there was a problem and suggested in the same letter that she should apply for German private health insurance. I gave that letter to the Austrians, and they said, well then, she should get private insurance - as long as that is an option, we won't cover her.    So we seem to have maybe 2 or 3 options left to us regarding her cover.   First, after going to the doctor here, we found that they are cheaper here in Austria than we expected! A visit for my wife was just 40E as a private patient, and then just 10E for her single medication for a month. As I and my son are in the Austrian public system now, we have started the 360-day membership countdown that we must have to be able to transfer into the German public system when we move there. Assuming we move to Germany soon after that, my wife just needs to get her monthly prescription until then, that is, for the next year. Although she's 67 (she was a cradle-snatcher, I'm younger) she's pretty healthy, so barring accidents we should make it through the next year.   We had Cigna insurance that we took out very late last year when we arrived here in Austria, which was a requirement to get Permanent Residence. Looking back on it, I'm pretty sure the cover was not actually enough for the local official requirements but still it was 600E a month, and I think the local authorities simply were kind, and decided "close enough", as we were both friendly and very respectful to them, and asked sincerely for their help.    We've just cancelled that private health cover now (runs out in 3 days time) - the deductible was such that we'd never have used it except for something fairly serious and there was a biggish co-pay too. I think there really shouldn't have been either, to meet the local residence requirements, but that they were lenient with us. But, it got us the residence permits so I don't begrudge the 3600E for the 6 months for the 3 of us at all - it could have been much higher. During that 6 month period we also had to pay 110E and 165E each month for the Austrian public health system for my son and I respectively, as this was the 6 month waiting period for this system that we had to serve. Now, the total cost for him and me is 165E a month combined.   So compared to the last 6 months, we're now lots better off (by more than 1000E a month after adding the family payment and stopping the private cover) but we still have the issue of my wife's long-term cover. The KKH (her old fund (she was last with them in 1985) where she must re-apply, and TK who we also asked said they can't insure her as she lives in Austria but that if she lived in Germany TK says that she would be covered under a different section (3, I think) of the SGB and could apply as a voluntary member. She only has a combined German and Australian pension of about 650E a month so I suspect (at 67) the cost of private insurance would not be a good idea. KKH didn't say the same directly, even though we specifically asked them "What if she lived in Germany, can she be covered then?", but they didn't deny that she would be entitled if living in Germany, but simply repeated that as long as she lived in Austria, they couldn't cover her.   I suppose she could move to Germany before we all leave Austria - our daughter has just separated from her husband and moved to Europe a few months ago, and recently started teaching in Berlin so she could go there if she needed to. Or as a last resort to see if Germany and Austria could work out some sort of public cover we could go to the EU Solvit people, but that may not be a serious chance. I think we'll just hang on for the next year and hope she doesn't get sick - her medical costs here will be very low for that time, and then once we actually move, by all accounts she'll be able to get public cover in Germany. Hopefully!   My sincere thanks again to PandaMunich for such thoughtful, and helpful responses!   Whew!    
  3. Health insurance for unemployed/returnees

    Although Beth Ann was kind enough to contact me, I was hoping that perhaps some of the resident experts might have a comment or suggestion?   Otherwise, once we get a response from the German Pensions people that they have no control over the krankenkasse's rules, we'll likely try and see if the Austrian public health fund will take my wife on the basis of the German refusals - I'll update the thread if and when we get a result.  
  4. Health insurance for unemployed/returnees

    Thanks very much!   Also, should add to my post that it may be possible for my wife to register as resident in Germany if she needed to, to be accepted into the German system - her brother and sister live there - after that she could de-register and come back to Austria for another year, till we can all leave together.   While we are paying private health insurance (which we needed to get the Austrian residence permits), we have those now. We're paying the Austrian public insurance too for my son and I, but it's quite cheap - and the private cover we have is quite expensive! In about 3 months my son and I will be active members of the Austrian public health system, and be able to cancel the private insurance. My son has his Austrian disability assessment in early March - he's 23 but extremely disabled, so I think once that goes through, he'll be added to my cover as my dependent for free.
  5. Health insurance for unemployed/returnees

    Well, it's been a while since I got involved in this thread! So it's time for an update, and for a further request for suggestions and help if possible!   Myself (62, Aus pension, Aus and UK national), wife (67, German and Aus pensioner, German and Aus national) and disabled adult son (German, Aus and UK national) want to live in Germany for our son's long-term care.   We found out I couldn't get public health insurance in Germany, so we moved to Austria - once in the public health system here for 12 months, we can move to Germany and transfer to public health insurance there.   We thought it might be hard to get public health insurance here in Austria, and they did want us to be permanent residents, and we couldn't get that approved without health insurance! So we got private insurance which was enough to get the permanent residence permits for all of us. Then we applied for public health cover here in Austria. My son and I have to pay for 6 months until the Austrian public health cover kicks in, but we have been accepted and paying for about 3 months so far. We've checked with some German public funds and they say yes, my son and I can transfer to them if we move to Germany then, once we have at least 12 months public health membership here in Austria.   The problem is with my wife. She is German and gets a small German pension of about 200E a month and about $700 a month Age Pension from Australia.    The Austrian public health system says since my wife has a German Pension, Germany should insure her, so Austria can't.   We've tried applying with AOK, KKH and TK and they all effectively say the same thing. No, because she has not been insured in Germany within the last 5 years and/or elsewhere in the EU. Also because she doesn't live in Germany.   We've also spoken with the official Deutsche Rentenversicherung people since they handle the pensions and entitlements - they have said they have no control over this, it's up to the Krankenkasse's to decide.    I'm aware of the basistarif, but when speaking to the TK, I said it can't be right that my wife might have to pay 800E a month for that, when her total income is less than that! They suggested that perhaps some kind of Sozialamt subsidy might come into play. I think any ordinary pensions zuschuss would be very small as her German pension is so low.  The person at TK also said that when we do return to Germany, if my wife has income of less than 450E, then she could be added to my public health cover then, as a dependent. My income is only about 2200E a month Australian Govt employment pension until I get an Age Pension in 4 years time, son gets about 1000E a month disability pension from Australia   So at the moment, (and I could be wrong of course), my thoughts of what to do next are to double-check whether we can get my wife into the German Public system - whether some clause overrides the reasons they are refusing her - but given that 3 krankenkasses have said no, I'm not very hopeful of that.    Next, whether she can get into the German private system and at what cost - her income is only about 630E a month (and we could actually cancel either the German or Australian pension she gets if need to reduce her income - for example, later, when we move to Germany so she could be added as a dependent on the public German health insurance that I should be able to get then).    I'd be happy to pay a broker, berator or makler for advice.    It may be that the Austrian public system would accept my wife now, as we have clear written refusals from 3 krankenkassen. If so, I'd hope they would just add her to mine as a dependent. They waived the requirement for past membership of a public fund for me and my son, as we came from Australia, but instead required that we both serve a paid 6 month waiting period, which is fine.   But before I ask the Austrian health system, I'd like to find out whether we can get my wife into the German public or private health system, as I suspect the Austrian health people might just ask this - the krankenkasse refusal letters may or may not be enough for them to allow her to join, and so I want to explore what options she has regarding Germany first. and whether she'd need to pay the full basis-tarif, or how the system deals with this. I can't believe that a German national returning to Germany could pay more for health cover than their income, but I do know that they have to have health insurance...   I suppose the other option would be to move to somewhere where she could get cover if she can't get appropriate cover in Germany or Austria, maybe to the UK (even after Brexit I think our income and savings would be ok for her to go there) or to Cyprus or France - again these would only be as temporary measures to get into the existing public health insurance in one of those countries before transferring to Germany after a year or so.     Any suggestions, opinions, help or referrals most gratefully accepted. :)  
  6. Opening a new bank account

    Yes, DKB is an online bank set up and owned by Bayerisches Landesbank. 
  7. Opening a new bank account

    I have an N26 account - works well, the phone app is reliable, and it is in English, and free. I also transfer funds to it using Transferwise (the Borderless account) which I fund from my Australian accounts. Very fast and effective. I also have a separate DKB account - the app is fine, but setting it all up was a bit of a hassle, and its only in German.
  8. SPF Clothing

    Still a fair distance away, but perhaps somewhere like this, that may ship to you:  https://www.solbari.com/  - I just googled SPF clothing Australia to get a few options. There will always be more in sun-affected places than most of Europe!   Or once you've found a promising company, you could plug that name into amazon (.de or wherever) and see if that company advertises there too.
  9. Hamburg to Munich

    Pick your day if you can - we drove back home yesterday (Saturday) to our place near Linz, Austria from wife's family near Frankfurt, about 600km. In many areas the roads were full, and I mean full. Seven hours going up there with long stops, 10 hours back with short stops, a few 30 min+ staus although we diverted around a couple. Even without so many trucks on weekends, If it's holiday time expect a lot longer than 8 hours and with the family onboard you may want several stops too. The train is good if you don't need a car while you're there.