health insurance: living in two countries?

18 posts in this topic

hello!

 

I know there has been a lot of posts around the topic of health insurance already, but i still dont find an answer to my question, but actually got scared stiff from the things i read in the other posts. so heres my dilemma:

 

I've been in Berlin for 5 years now, 4 of them being self-emplyed as an artist. I registered my adress the first time 5 years ago.

But I'm also still living in Norway, i have an adress there and are also self-emplyed there. I "pay" taxes to both countries (except i dont pay any taxes cause i make very little money, but at least i "pay" MwSt/VAT in Germany)

 

Because the health-insurance in Norway is "free" (=included in the taxes you pay), I have kept the norwegian insurance and as I have been back in Norway every month, I think I have been entitled to. (OR?)

 

But now, i would like to quit my norwegian"membership" and move fully to germany, and get a german insurance. but then it's the thing with the german insurances that i have been reading about on this forum: BACK PAYMENTS

-will I have to pay for the last FIVE YEARS? that would of course totally ruin me, as I make about 350euro a month, with free housing.

 

I also read about the insurance-prices, with about 310 euro a month as a minimum. I dont know how i should be able to pay this.. I'm an artist so i might get some help from Kunstler Sozial Kasse but still? I do not want to register as an unemployed as i have loads of work with my own company, I just dont make any money on it.

 

i would really like to get everything straight with the paperwork, but i'm afraid that as soon as i contact any insurance they will make loads of problems for me and so this is the reason why i'm still avoiding them...

 

i would love some advise on this topic!

 

Jeanette

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Jesus, Jeanette...shouldn´t you be on the billionaire pledge thread elsewhere? How can you live? Why do you want to quit your Norwegian membership? Could you deregister from Germany, have a well-deserved holiday in Norway for a few weeks and re-register? You don´t mention your age or state of health ( that I can understand) but a Künstler contract might work (although really complicated and long-winded). A private insurance with a high deductible would also be possible but with that income you would face starvation anyway. I´ll send you a smilie now because a sense of gallows humour is the best I can offer as a tip :)

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...and Jeanette: please accept my ARGHHH when I see you write "advise"...it´s "advice". You learnt that from the English-speakers here NOT from the Norwegian education system! A different smiley thing :ph34r:

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sorry, i don't really understand what you are trying to tell me.

I've been living fine with 350 a month. I don't want to get any extra money from the german goverment and I certainly dont want to be pushed into some stupid 1euro-job. Also the woman from the insurancecompany i called today to ask for advice reacted the same way.

i dont think i can de-register from germany for some weeks because of my company here.

 

edit: i want to quit my norwegian membership (in the "people's insurance") and get a german insurance so that i can go to a dentist (of my choice) and make a "Krone"

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Sorry, Lunkavann, no offence meant. If you can live like that, fine. I understand you don´t want any money from the German Govt..I´m the same, I´m self-employed, have a certain pride and want to pave my own way in life. However, German rules and German prices ARE German rules and prices ...you can´t expect to make an exception for yourself..why do you think the woman from an insurance company today reacted like that?

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hm, yes yes, german rules...

 

but is it allowed to live in two countries at the same time? can the insurance i make a deal with bill me for the past five years, just because I have been registered here? how do I prove I have been living in Norway as well?

Of course, another problem, what do the Norwegian goverment think of me living in Germany and using the norwegian health insurance? Actually i happen to know thats nit allowed and that they can charge back-payments as well.

so thats why it all goes down to the problem if I'm allowed to live in two countries at the same time...

 

B)

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lunkavann:you are preaching to the converted here! I´m an old hippy and bullshitted my way across the globe at your age (you´re 33, right?). I had no health insurance for many years because I didn´t think it was necessary and I was rebellious anyway..other people will pay (actually, I didn´t even think that far.I didn´t think).I think you and me and other undangerous non-murdering types should live where they bloody want and I haven´t phoned the Norwegian Govt.to ask them what they think of you living here (might phone them Monday and give them a piece of my mind ...). This backpayments thing is absurd and goes (in my opinion) against any sense of, erm, common sense..but that´s how it is. If you want to live here, and I have accepted that , abide by the rules unless you want your neighbour and their neighbour to pay your hospital bills because you won´t. It´s a bitch getting older and accepting rules (unless you can afford to get them changed with a really great lawyer).

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okei, so since i'm only 26, I'll try to fool the insurance to think I havent moved here yet...

 

(I only registered to be able to borrow books in the library)

(I also have a library card for barcelona)

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I bet you´re 27! Don´t try to borrow books in the library: they´ll want backpayments. Barcelona is good for its collection of Samnorsk-related issues. Best bet: try to fool the insurance companies you haven´t moved here yet (old rebel here:try!).

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The main question for determining where you have had your first or main residency is, like in taxation laws, the question where you stayed >187 days in any given year: Germany or Norway? Once this is figured out we'll know if you have to pay back-charges in Germany in general legal terms or not.

 

If you would be considered to have had your first residence here in Germany, going to a public health insurance now for insurance is a bad move. The public health insurances can and will back-charge you all the way to April 2007 whereas the private health insurances only back-charge you til February 2009. That'll make one hell of a difference I think.

 

Also, you have a good chance to further reduce your back-charges by initially signing up for a plan with a ridiculously high deductible/excess option (there is one on the market with 4.500 EUR/year excess option) which then leads to very low premiums upon which the back-charges are computed and levied. Already after 4-8 weeks you can then "upgrade" your insurance with the same insurance company, i.e. pay higher premiums for lower deductible and you won't be charged back-wards for these higher premiums then anymore.

if you can show proof of having had Norwegian health insurance (insurance card, EHIC card and best a E104 form as confirmation) and also proof of having been registered for at least 1 year in GErmany there is also another option with one German private health isnurance company to get you in without any back-charges at all. However, they'll check your income situation as part of the application process and with you stated income I fear they would not accept you, but it could be worth a try.

 

Finally you mention the KSK (KÜnstlersozialkasse): as an individual you might be eligble for a membership. They don't support you directly as you seem to think (like with co-payments or so) but rather will offer you also full social welfare coverage for really very low amounts of money. Only problem here: the application process is long (check other threads on TT about this issue) and you'll have to provide all kind of proof for your profession as an artist etc. if you are signed up with them it sure would be a great deal but I reckon you need a solution in the meantime and for this I would suggest taking the private road as shown above.

 

All in all it looks like you need professional help here. Contact john-G, he is an independent broker/advisor, won't charge you directly any fees and can help you sign up with a private health insurance as mentioned above. That way you'll get legit with not too much harm to your budget.

 

Cheerio

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thanks very much for your answer!

I think i should be able to prove I've had norwegian health insurance, I at least have the EHIC card, and I've been staying more than 187 days in Norway the last years. So maybe i wont get any backpayments at all? Well, maybe you have to write on your Steuererklärung if you're a permanent resident or not? I didnt fill out anything like that..

 

Couldnt it be possible to directly sign up with KSK, with the purpose of moving fully to germany in for example 1. Oktober? So that the KSK-thing would be ready for me when I "arrive"? I will need to notify the norwegian "peoples insurance" also i guess

 

 

i realize i should get someone professional to help me but john G didnt excactly seem very serious about this in his previous answers...

 

and PS: why are you so sceptical to KSK? when I called there they said of course I am entitled to help from them and that I will have to pay them 1/5th of my yearly income, which would be OK for me.

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Don´t worry, lunkavann, I AM serious in the professional sense but I like a bit of banter and Pythonesque humour. Yesterday WAS the Friday thread! I take some getting used to, I suppose!

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thanks very much for your answer!

 

and PS: why are you so sceptical to KSK? when I called there they said of course I am entitled to help from them and that I will have to pay them 1/5th of my yearly income, which would be OK for me.

 

 

I guess we just have a different definition of what "help" means. you are entirely correct that if and once you are accepted with KSK they will offer all kind of services and if and when you have income, you'll have to pay contributions. This to me is service by definition, not help - which would come without you paying for it. I understood you that you were expecting some kind of subsidy for you, paid by the KSK/German governement. That's what I was sceptical about. Different use and meaning of words...

 

According to what I heard from/about KSK they will often take 6 month and more to process and application. But I am not sure if you can already apply from abroad, that exceeds my knowledge-barriers by far, I am afraid.

 

Wish you good luck,

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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hehe yeah you're right - feeling so threatened by all the other krankenkassen I somehow felt the low costs of KSK as "help"...

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Go for the Kunstler Sozialkasse - artist insurance.

 

Heaps of journalist and artist friends of mine are on it and it does NOT take 6 months to get (contrary to what the insurance professionals are telling you). It takes up to 8 weeks and is well worth it if you are an artist.

 

PJ

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petaj: your contribution gives a bit the impression as if financial advisors/insurance professionals would have an interest to state falsly that the application time can take UP TO 6 month.

Because you seem to have had a better/shorter application process and know of some - about which I am happy to hear for them - this does not say that it is the norm. Let me clarify this:

 

1. no insurance professional can gain a thing by telling people that it may take longer than just a couple of weeks. because, should they decide to sign up for a normal public insurance in the meantime, the insurance professional does not earn a thing, if they would decide to go with a private health insurance (which is where insurance professionals can earn commissions), any decent insurance broker would tell them to sign up online or elsewhere because if they cancel their insurance after a couple of month, the insurance professional will not only lose any commission he has received (there is a cancellation rule with all insurances that commissions are to be paid back in full in case there is a cancellation during the first 6 month and in large parts for the time from 6-12 month), he/she will also get a black-mark with the insurance company chosen and you can only do this so often... So, there is no incentive here to scare people about the application time

 

2. we insurance professional derive this info from clients who try/tried to sign up with KSK and report these long application times back to us. The KSK website just states that they can't tell how fast it is in general.

But here is just one example you can find in the internet that underlines what was said above:

 

 

Die immer größer werdende Zahl an Freiberuflern hat auch die Wartezeiten der Anmeldung stark vergrößert. Mittlerweile dauert es zwischen drei und fünf Monaten, ehe ein Antrag bearbeitet ist.

Vollständigen Artikel auf Suite101.de lesen: Die Künstlersozialkasse (KSK): Eine Mitgliedschaft spart freiberuflichen Journalisten viel Geld. http://freiberufliche-journalisten.suite101.de/article.cfm/die_kuenstlersozialkasse_ksk#ixzz0x431PcHU

 

 

This matches what we have heard and learned from others. While it seems easier for journalists/publishers, it seems to be more complicated for other forms of artists to get all documents together and approved, perhaps herin lies the difference between your experience and the experience of many others.

 

Be that as it may: you are right that if someone can get into the KSK it is a great package deal and one should try!

 

Cheerio

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

 

My colleague is trying to find out his options regarding a case, which is not exactly the same with the OP, but similar in terms of living in 2 countries, and what to do with the health insurance, so i didn't create a new thread.

 

He is a dual Swedish/German citizen, has been working in Hamburg for the past 4 years, and was health insured privately. He lived in a rented flat here during the weekdays, and was registered in Germany.

 

His girlfriend and 1 year old son are living in Stockholm, and he used to visit them every weekend until March of this year, so before corona. 

 

Since Corona, our company allowed its' employees to work from home indefinitely, and after that, he took a short parental leave first, moved out of his flat, terminated his residence in Germany, moved to and registered in Sweden. He also terminated (or froze, that i need to ask him) his membership at the Private health insurance.

 

After his parental leave, he started working from home in Sweden, and contacted with his Private health insurance to continue being insured, but he was replied that, they can not cover him unless he has an address in Germany. On the other side, our company is pushing him to provide them information about his Health Insurance.

 

What could be his solution?

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Hmmm... a private health insurance company should be able to continue his coverage abroad, as long as it is still within the EU. We usually face rather the opposite dilemma that a German private health insurance company won't cancel the existing contract unless we or the client prove that he switched into the national/state health system of another EU-member state.

 

Having said that: AFAIK it is imperative in Sweden to be part of the national health system. So, if he is a fully resident there, he would IMO have to join the Swedish national health insurance system...and in that case indeed the German private health insurance would have to end.

In all such cases: if there is even a small likelihood that one might be coming back to Germany, make sure you ask for and then set up a so-called "Anwartschaft". For a small monthly fee you'll lock in your current medical status and then, when you come back even with a new chronical or ongoing illness, you'll be accepted back with full coverage whereas otherwise you might find it rather hard or even impossible to be re-admitted as new client due to the new medical issues .

 

Cheerio

 

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