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  1. I can apply for my German pension soon, but I am not sure if I can be a pflichtmitglied in the health insurance (that should mean lower deductions). I am freiwillig versichert now. (That is not the same as privat versichert, fortunately).   You need to have been krankenversichert for 9/10 of the second half of your working life. Working life ends when you apply for a pension, but when does it begin? My Renteninfo shows contributions starting on my 17th birthday, is that the start?
  2. Hopefully my question makes sense! I'm an American and have only just realized it's nearly impossible to get health insurance coverage as a 30-year-old student with a pre-existing condition (although it's stabilized.) From what I'm reading, the Basistarif is an option, but I'm not 100% clear on if this is both very expensive and provides adequate coverage, or just expensive. To be honest, it is still cheaper than going to school in the US would be. I was wondering if a possible work around would be to work for 1-2 years (or more? Not sure if there's an established rule) first, which would allow me to get public coverage - but would that coverage be upheld if I decided to become a student? How easy is it for public insurance to be revoked? Would really appreciate any guidance. This is something I've been working towards for a long time and am very crushed to realize it might not come to fruition. Contacted a couple of brokers known on the forum so going that route, as well.
  3. Hello, My wife came to Germany about 4 years ago. Till October 2021 when she started a master degree, she was looking for a job and since I had (and still have) a private health insurance as a fulltime employee, we used Expatcare Classic from Mawista as her health insurance. She was with this health insurance for almost whole of last 4 years till the end of February 2022. In between just for 4 months, she used health insurance from AOK because she had a temporary job with a salary under the threshold. For March 2022, we didn't extend her insurance because she was in our home country from middle of Feb. till end of March 2022. Now we are looking for a new health insurance for her. Since she is student, over 30 years old and is in Germany for more than 4 years, which health insure do you suggest?   * Should we still use a cheap private health (travel) insurance like Care Expatriate from CareConcept for next couple of months (till almost end of the year when it will be 5 years from the time she came to Germany) and then looking for another health insurance at that time?   * Supposed we took Care Expatriate, if she could find a student job or internship in between, can she easily switch to a public health insurance with some contribution from her employer? Here maybe I should mention that she has a family reunion visa not student visa!   Thank you so much in advance for your help.
  4. Hi guys,   I've been officially registered in Berlin as my Hauptwohnsitz (main residence) since October 2015. I have no health insurance and have not been employed or earning any income.   N.B. Any quick responses are appreciated as I may need to tell my new employer today to hold off on getting me my first German social security number if indeed this will open Pandora's box. See below.   Questions:   -Is there a particular Krankenkasse I can sign up to not back-charge me for two years of no health insurance? - Or can I now sign up with a cheap foreign health insurance company (i.e. UK based) to either just count as my ongoing insurance or to present to my upcoming Krankenkasse so that they don't think I have been uninsured and maybe then don't back-charge me? - If I do end up having to pay back-charges, how much will that be based on no income? (I'm still actually registered in the UK as a freelancer but have submitted £0 tax returns for a couple of years) - Today I am signing up with Deliveroo as a freelance bike courier. I have to get a Gewerbeschien for that. If I cancel the Foodora job and just take the Deliveroo freelancer job, can I stay off the health insurance radar? - Whether I work for Foodora and Deliveroo or just Deliveroo, does the fact that I will probably be only earning under €1500 mean my health insurance premiums will be only circa €150 per month from now on? (Presuming I don't just take some kind of cheap foreign health insurance?   Useful background info:   I am from the UK where the NHS just happens automatically, so obligatory health insurance is unfamiliar to me. I have not been employed or earning any money while I have been in Germany. I have just been using savings to renovate a mixed use Gewerbeeinheit property where I have been living, with the aim of setting up a business in the property, maybe.   Money is nearly out, so, yesterday, I signed an employment contract with Foodora for circa €850 per month as a bike courier to keep me afloat financially while I renovate. Today I will also sign up with Deliveroo on a freelance basis to earn roughly €15 per hour for a number of hours of my choosing on top of Foodora.   I wasn't sure if I would be in Germany for long at all at first and don't plan to be here for more than the next 3-4 years, so health insurance into old age is not an issue for me. I have just attended to any health queries on my visits to the UK for the moment, but that seems untenable for the next few years, so heath insurance would be a plus, but not if it is just asking for trouble.   Toytown research:   N.B. I have read a few similar posts and feel a new post is worthwhile as the useful posts I found were old and things change. I'm particularly hoping that @PandaMunich and @Starshollow or @john g.may have some good input. There was talk in earlier posts by @john g. of Central stopping but then reverting to back-charging, which seemed particularly relevant: From @lightcycle: "A friend of mine recently got health insurance with AOK after two years of no insurance, she asked them if they were going to back-charge her for that time and they said "no, we don't do that anymore". Anyone heard anything similar? Have they really stopped the back-charging nonsense?"   From @john g. "lightcycle: that´s interesting! I´m surprised but glad! I work in the insurance business and I know there´s one private health insurer which is no longer enforcing backpayments. Where will it lead? Don´t know...we´ve been through this before. A big private insurer, Central, did this in 2009 and got a lot of business. I know I got people insured there for that very reason. Then other private insurers got annoyed - as did the Govt. Central had to backtrack. The whole issue is absurd - how can you backcharge people for services they haven´t had? Bloody ridiculous."   Thanks for your help! It is appreciated!   Related posts I have viewed:   Good overall wiki article by Patrick Ott (@StarsHollow):   A very relevant yet old and long post widely discussed by key Toytown players (as quoted above):   Some relevant info from the UK gov:   Short but sweet on a similar topic:   A guy sadly getting slagged off for asking a question:  
  5. I'm with Viactiv and they have been pretty rough when it comes to giving me advice in the past, giving me wrong information and telling me one thing while doing another.    10 days ago I wrote them to tell me how they calculate sick days that they have to pay for, how many I get, how many I have left, if they renew, when they renew. Etc. I asked them to contact me only by email or post (so I have everything in writing and it's less stressful for me to read than to try and keep up on the phone).    They hadn't got back to me after three business days so I contacted them again to find out if there was an issue, no reply after two more days, I wrote again last Friday to ask if they are dealing with my request and still nothing.    On Saturday my wife contacted them for a totally different matter concerning her account (moving the kids off hers and onto mine) and they got back to her by 10am Monday, by Monday evening I had a letter from them on my Viactiv App with all the forms I need to put the kids on my insurance, despite the fact I haven't actually asked for any of this.    I wrote to them again on Monday asking what was happening about all the emails I've been sending them and still nothing back.   Every time I send an email I get a message back saying "thank you for your email we'll get back to you ASAP", I've written to the main email and the woman who deals with my account and I'm getting nothing back at all.    The email account I'm contacting them from is the email registered on my account with them.    I'm totally at a loss, has anyone else ever had anything like this happen?   Does anyone know who I can contact if my insurance providers are stonewalling me?    I'm totally on my last nerve with this, between them and my neurologist (who I suspect is a mill) I'm totally exhausted dealing with this.    Thanks in advance.    D
  6.   The team of insurance and investment experts at Chambervelt, Rooselain & Cie. Ltd. – including Toytown’s well known “Starshollow” - offer you independent advice and quotations service on all kinds of insurance and financial planning for English-speaking clients in Germany.  We are known in the Expat community to be THE experts for health insurance – and can even offer a special group tariff for self-employed Expats coming to Germany together with ASEIG (association of self-employed Expats in Germany) which no other broker has access to.  Furthermore we are specialized in catering to US-nationals living in Germany with pension planning (including 401k-consolidation and IRA-advice). And for Expats who still have a pension pot in the UK and wonder, if they are better off moving it out of the UK (QROPS-transfer) or leaving it in the UK for good, we can offer fully independent and unbiased QROPS-advice together with our British partners – entirely fee-based. Last but not least, if you have been tricked into a bad QROPS transfer to some of those overpriced offshore plans, we can act as QROPS-saver for you by helping you to escape this trap.   Click to make a free enquiry. The following services are included:     • Health insurance  (German, International with §193 VVG compliance and a special group tariff for self-employed Expats in Germany which is compliant with both § 193 VVG and § 257 SGB V, the latter often being important for Visa-applications) • 3rd party liability insurance, renter's, home owner's, legal, disability and life insurance • Private, corporate, and tax saving pension plans for employees and self-employed ·         QROPS transfers, Offshore pension plans with fair and transparent cost structures ·         US-pension consolidation (401k, 403b, ROTH-IRA and IRA) • Investment advice – fee-based starting at 100.000 EUR investment volume - with a strong focus on passive investment funds (ETFs, Dimensional Fund Advisors ) in order to keep your costs low and generate more profit for you Here you’ll find an overview which insurances you really need   Click here for our video   About Chambervelt, Rooselain & Cie. Ltd.:   German laws, rules and regulations are the most complicated in the world. Germans invented red-tape-administration! As an annoying side-effect for Expats, simple issues like finding the right health insurance, custom-tailored pension plans or alternative investment opportunities which fit your personal profile can be very tiring without some expert advice. Furthermore: Your financial life is as individual as a fingerprint – one size does not fit all to this regards. That's why having your own C R & Cie. financial advisor is so important in order to get a really personalized, financial plan based on your daily needs, long-time objectives, goals and dreams.   C R & Cie. is a specialized service fully streamlined for and dedicated to the ExPat-community in Germany and not just an appendix to some standard bank or insurance. We are duly registered and licensed as an insurance broker and financial advisor. If you do not yet understand the vast and important difference between an tied insurance agent and independent insurance broker like us, check HERE on our website for an explanation      You can also see all our licenses/regulation for offering financial advice in Germany here: . This is the basic information every advisor needs to disclose to you upon first contact. If you do not receive such information from other advisors, demand it! If it is not provided, the advice is probably not licensed and thus not only illegal but also without proper regulation in case you find yourself the victim of malpractice.   The range of services and the completely independent advice are the result of more than 12 successful years focusing entirely on the needs and wishes of ExPats. If you want to have some references about the quality of our advice and services, we’ll be happy to provide you with recommendations from other ExPats who have become our clients since 2005 – or check out the real and unedited comments from other Toytowners below.   The advisory service is free of direct charges for insurance advice- for pension planning we offer both fee-based advice and commission-based advice. When it comes to investment advice, we recommend an approach based on inexpensive passive investment funds (ETFs, Dimensional) and therefore only offer fee-based advice. We do offer service and advice either by Email, phone  and Videoconference/Skype for all of Germany and 1:1-meeting in the Munich area (main office), Stuttgart and Berlin. Every couple of months we also organize meetings in Frankfurt and other cities upon request.   Contact:    If you like to be contacted in confidence, please send an e-mail to or use our contact form from the website. We will answer you within 48 hours at the latest. For direct contact please call 0700 226525688 (from within Germany).  Note that all quotations and advisory services for insurances are usually free of direct charges. Any fees we’ll charge you for pension planning and investment advice will be disclosed and quoted to you in advance, so that there you’ll never need to fear being charged any fees until you have been informed so beforehand and explicitly agreed to it.