My partner and I relocated to Germany in 2008. Both of us are currently privately insurance and each of our salaries are higher than EUR 4000 gross per month. We are unmarried and plan to have a child (or at least get pregnant) later this year. I plan on taking a 1 year maternity leave and returning to work thereafter. We plan on having 1-2 children.
I have been feeling quite secure with my private insurance. But I have been discussing this topic with several friends who are currently having children. They and their husbands are publicly insured even though the husbands make well over EUR 4000 per month. But the women do not plan to return to work. They think that my partner and I are crazy for having signed up for private insurance.
I am currently insured with Hallesche and pay a premium at just over 500 per month of which my employer pays half. I had the coverage and premium analysed by a financial broker late last year. He recommended at the time that I stay in that policy because it has the best coverage and at a competitive price. He advised that I could switch to a different Hallesche coverage and pay a lower monthly premium. There was a EUR 30 increase in January this year which I found to be pretty expensive. But I read somewhere on the forum that most (if not all) private insurance companies increased their premiums sharply due to a change in the law last summer. Does that mean that there will be little or no increase going into 2011? If there are steep increases year on year, then my insurance will soon become unaffordable.
I heard that when a woman is publicly insured she doesn't have to pay the monthly premiums when she is on maternity leave. Is that also the case for private health insurance holders? If not, would I have to pay the full premium during the maternity leave or does the employer continue to pay 50% of the premium?
Should I consider at all moving into the public system? My monthly premiums would surely increase but perhaps in the long term it would make more sense?
Is it even possible for me to consider public health insurance at this time.
Thanks for the input.