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From Expat to Local, what to do about health ins?

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I am writing this post in case someone here as gone through a similar situation and can give me some guidance.

 

I am currently working in Germany as an expat for a multinational company. My home country is Spain. I have been paying social security taxes in Spain while working in Germany. Health insurance in Spain is public and state guaranteed. Because I am paying the social security contribution every month in Spain, but I live in Germany, I am insured in Germany through AOK because this is the insurer that covers EU citizens on temporary work assignments. At the time that I moved here, I went to AOK with an E-101 form (a EU formulaire that proves that one continues to pay to the social security system of one's home country). I do not make any direct payments to AOK for coverage.

 

Very soon I will be localized and will have to decide on a German health insurer to cover me. I will choose the public system, my idea is to register with TKK, but I am not sure if I am allowed to do so, because currently I have health coverage with AOK.

 

My questions are:

 

1) Am I allowed to choose a public health insurance company from scratch, as if this was my first job in Germany, or does the fact that I currently have coverage from AOK prevents me from choosing other insurers?

 

2) If I am allowed to choose other public health insurers, do I need to cancel any contract with AOK? (I never signed a contract as such, but I did had to register with them to get a health card. Keep in mind that I have never made any direct payments to AOK, but instead, I paid to the social security system in Spain).

 

3) Can I sign up with TKK directly, or do I need first to let AOK know of my intention? Is there any notice period for this?

 

Many thanks to those that reply!

 

 

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Greetings Strakurinn: shouldn´t you be getting ready for the football rather than write about insurance on such a lovely evening? :D (Me, too!). Anyway, this is an interesting case...normally,as an employee, to change from one public Kasse to another, you need to have already been a member for at least 18 months. Then you have a 2 month cancellation waiting time eg cancelling now would mean a new Kasse could start October 1st. The recommended procedure: because of the obligation to be health insured, you should first of all choose the new one, get the forms (an Aufnahmeantrag), send off/visit the new Kasse, giving details about the old Kasse membership. At the same time, send off a fax to the old Kasse, cancelling it with the finishing date of your old insurance and date of the new insurance. When the new one is confirmed, send a copy of thst letter to the old one, who must confirm cancellation within 2 weeks. Then you send that paper to the new one!! Give confirmation of the new one to your employer. IN THEORY! I must admit I´m not exactly sure in your case whether your having paid contributions in Spain means you would in fact have immediate cover possibilities with a new Kasse or whether the cancellation period comes into effect. How long have you been in Germany? Have you been seconded here by a Spanish company? I´m just hoping the new insurer won´t kick up a fuss.

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since you have been seconded so far, you have not been "insured" with AOK - it is just that AOK is the default public health insurance to deal with your home public health insurance during secondement. I can't see why you would be obligated to stay with AOK at this point in time at all.

Tell your employer simply to register you with TKK and that's that.

 

Btw: if you chose to stay in public health insurance or can't opt out (or perhaps it makes no sense to opt out) you should think about some private supplementary insurance to beef up your coverage. I know that many Spaniards have private supplementary insurance like ASISA etc side by side their public insurance and while the need is not that urgent in Germany, it is still wise to think about it early on.

 

And now that you become a full German resident and employee, maybe it is also time to think about some tax saving pension plans available to German employees?

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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