Urgent help needed with Health Insurance

18 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

I am about to post regarding my difficult situation with health insurance. You will notice that I have been an idiot to put it short, but please, I ask that if you post a reply, please post something helpful and if you have something negative to say regarding my stupididty, then please just find something else to read as I am well aware of it too.

 

To try to keep things short, I have lived in Germany (registered) since December 2009 - the entire time, health insuranceless. I have only worked a few months here during that time, I did pay tax but I didn't have insurance. Well, apart from one job I started and signed up to AOK, recieved the card but left the job one week later.

 

I have been wanting to fix the issue forever, but as I was not working and being a European citizen, I was actually told by someone in the know, that when I find a job I would get public health insurance and no previous backpay would have to be made, only if I tried to get private insurance.

 

Well, the current situation is, I am working in a job cash in hand, about 800€ per month. I always ask the owner to do it legit, but he doesn't seem bothered. I am saving up money, but the situation isn't changing. I need to find a legit job. But I have no idea what to do about this issue. I have thought about getting ALC international private insurance for the meantime while I search a proper job.

 

Does anybody know if this would work, or if there IS something I can do? or am I completely screwed?

 

If I get ALC cover will there be any trouble with going into a new job and going onto the public system? Or will they know that I've been a dick?

 

I don't want to pay backpayments since 2009. I would just go home but that is not an option as I am in a serious relationship here. We are young but not naive.

 

ANY advice would be considered very kind. Thanks

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If you signed up to AOK and never de-registered, odds are that you are still covered by AOK and that they are just waiting for you to get a job so they can slap you with the big bill. I am not sure if a private insurance company you were to sign up with would talk to the insurer you were with before but a public would check to figure out how much you have to pay in back charges and to whom. If you are in fact still registered with AOK, I think you are probably worse off than just with back charges because they likely figure you still owe them.

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OP: first of all, you are currently violating the German laws if you have no health insurance. Should something happen to you like a severe accident, you would get treated of course but you would then face serious back-charges and fines. You said you are young but not naive but what you are doing is really very dangerous for yourself and also quite unfair and antisocial to the rest of the society as it is. Free-riding is not cool..

 

As was said above, if you have been entered into the AOK at one point, chances are that you are indeed still registered in the system and could face serious back-charges when found out.

ALC is, in my professional opinion, not fulfilling the legal requirements in Germany but this is a dispute on the highest governement level in Germany at this point. I would not sign up anyone with ALC (or BUPA or what not) at this point because I would not like the liablity as a broker if later on you'd find out that you paid for one insurance and still have to pay back-charges for the entire time. Even the ALLIANZ Krankenversicherung, to which the insurance on which ALC is based belongs, has officially informed me that they do not accept ALC as aceptable cover under German law at this point in time and would demand back-charges.

 

Since you do have income and would be considered as freelancer by the GErman public insurances, you'd be paying 322 EUr for health insurance every months, clearly something financially unbearable for you, I understand. You could/should at least get yourself a private health insurance with some higher deductible so that you have some coverage in the worst cases of an accident or a severe illness and at the same time fulfill the German laws. As an EU citizen you can easily deregister from Germany for a couple of weeks and then re-register again and you would be considered by the German private insuance companies like a new arrival and thus avoid the back-charges. But you must get on with this now, everything else is a severe danger to you and, as said, totally "asozial".

 

Cheerio

 

PS: not sure who told you that public insurance would not levy backcharges. He is wrong and certainly not "in the know"...

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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I see this the other way. It is your lack of income / job that is your main problem. That's what you need to address.

 

It's 18 months since Dec 2009. So back charges of the minimum (150 a month) would be 3k. Now - with an OK job - that would be actually a manageable amount. Not nice to pay it off of course. But in terms of a whole life, I don't see it is logical for the threat of having to pay 3k to result in ruin to a potential lifetime here. It's just a relatively small payback for some bad decisions on that context. And money you should have paid anyway.

 

Forget the "I'll go home if you have to pay" dramatics? I know a lot of us do this when in a pickle but: Who cares? Who loses? Nobody except you and your girlfriend of course. Cutting off nose to spite face.

 

Or am I missing something?

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If you were with AOK and then you lost the job...if you got anything from the state then the state would have been paying your health insurance premium. Even if you did not get benefits you are not liable to pay for aok if you were without any source of income.

Best thing to do is to go to your local aok office and find out...be sure to plead the foreigner card...no german etc...and you will be fine! They arent all that bad actually!!

Another gr8 idea is to get an EHIC card from the directgov website (I presume your a uk citizen?)...you can easily use that card here and give it in to aok for any charges they might want you to cough up...nhs and the german krankenkasse are pretty well connected and actually accept less than half respective charges/bills etc...

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Even if you did not get benefits you are not liable to pay for aok if you were without any source of income.

 

 

 

Another gr8 idea is to get an EHIC card from the directgov website (I presume your a uk citizen?)

 

I don't know from where you are getting your (incorrect) information, but perhaps you should leave it to the experts.

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OP: first of all, you are currently violating the German laws if you have no health insurance. Should something happen to you like a severe accident, you would get treated of course but you would then face serious back-charges and fines. You said you are young but not naive but what you are doing is really very dangerous for yourself and also quite unfair and antisocial to the rest of the society as it is. Free-riding is not cool..

 

As was said above, if you have been entered into the AOK at one point, chances are that you are indeed still registered in the system and could face serious back-charges when found out.

ALC is, in my professional opinion, not fulfilling the legal requirements in Germany but this is a dispute on the highest governement level in Germany at this point. I would not sign up anyone with ALC (or BUPA or what not) at this point because I would not like the liablity as a broker if later on you'd find out that you paid for one insurance and still have to pay back-charges for the entire time. Even the ALLIANZ Krankenversicherung, to which the insurance on which ALC is based belongs, has officially informed me that they do not accept ALC as aceptable cover under German law at this point in time and would demand back-charges.

 

Since you do have income and would be considered as freelancer by the GErman public insurances, you'd be paying 322 EUr for health insurance every months, clearly something financially unbearable for you, I understand. You could/should at least get yourself a private health insurance with some higher deductible so that you have some coverage in the worst cases of an accident or a severe illness and at the same time fulfill the German laws. As an EU citizen you can easily deregister from Germany for a couple of weeks and then re-register again and you would be considered by the German private insuance companies like a new arrival and thus avoid the back-charges. But you must get on with this now, everything else is a severe danger to you and, as said, totally "asozial".

 

Cheerio

 

PS: not sure who told you that public insurance would not levy backcharges. He is wrong and certainly not "in the know"...

 

I really do agree with everything you say, I also agree with you that it is unfair from me. But that's life, it is unfair and to be honest, I was prepared to cheat society and be a little 'asozial' in order to stay with my girlfriend. But, I'm not a bad person, I can accept that this is morally unright and it is not something that I wanted to make a habit off. Sometime's you have to make bad choices, in order to make better choices in the future. Society can make you feel like a very bad person sometimes, but for me, it was worth taking such a risk in order to stay with my girlfriend, and perhaps I will find some way to give my bit back in the future, asides taxes.

 

But like I say, here I am, this is the situation i'm in and all I can do is try to resolve it and learn something from it. I hold my hands high and admit that I am a very bad decision maker, but hey, the world would be a strange place if everybody made the 'right' decisions.

 

All I could think of is de-registering. But would de-registering only help me in the case of a private insurer? Would the public insurance companies still want back payment? I'm a little confused - If I re-registered and went with a private health insurer, then found a job with public health insurance, would the public insurer still need back payments.

 

To be honest, I would actually pay the back charges, if I could pay it off in reasonable installments. The only treatment I've had in Germany was paid by Britain.

 

Actually tomorrow, I'm going to meet my bosses secretary who is going to make my job officially legal. I will be getting insured, so I guess it looks like the insurer will see I was registered with AOK 9 months ago and make me pay back until then....

 

Too bad for me, I guess.

 

 

I see this the other way. It is your lack of income / job that is your main problem. That's what you need to address.

 

It's 18 months since Dec 2009. So back charges of the minimum (150 a month) would be 3k. Now - with an OK job - that would be actually a manageable amount. Not nice to pay it off of course. But in terms of a whole life, I don't see it is logical for the threat of having to pay 3k to result in ruin to a potential lifetime here. It's just a relatively small payback for some bad decisions on that context. And money you should have paid anyway.

 

Forget the "I'll go home if you have to pay" dramatics? I know a lot of us do this when in a pickle but: Who cares? Who loses? Nobody except you and your girlfriend of course. Cutting off nose to spite face.

 

Or am I missing something?

 

Absolutely, I wouldn't give up my life here because of that. I will most certainly pay if it occurs, but they can't expect me to pay it off in huge installments.

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I'll be honest - I didn't read the detail of your situation...but if you are interested in looking into private health insurance - then I can highly recommend a broker who helped me through a tough search for insurance (and I work for an insurance company).

 

His name is Thomas Pfleger and he is great. Can work in German or English and is super helpful and approachable.

Website: www.ps-finanzberatung.de

Email: thomas.pfleger@finanzberatung.de

Phone: +49 (0) 8121 47611 71

Mobile: +49 (0)176 101 509 59

 

He will come to you for a meeting if required and can provide objective advice.

 

Tell him Christina sent you :-).

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IAMNOTACTUALLYSURE: if your current job is turned into a real employment of sorts the way around the back-charges thru private health insurance becomes mute anyway as you will be compulsory insured with public health insurance at your salary range. If you are lucky - and I have seen cases like this - they (the AOK or whereever you will get insured) won't check their files properly and you will escape the back-charges. If you don't, that is if they really get after you, you do have the right to pay in installments, usually anything up to 12 months is fully acceptable legally, but you have to become pro-acitve with regards to that, i.e. you'll have to tell them and aks for an installment payment plan.

I can understand you from a humna perspective though I can't condone your behaviour from both a professional perspective and from the perspective of a tax payer etc. But I was young once,too. And yes, very foolish myself... -Wish you best of luck.

 

PS: always nice if some additional financial advisors and independent brokers are mentioned here. But why don't they advertise and support this forum if they want the business? Dealing with or catering to Expats is a two-way-road. Just food for thought...

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Thanks for your understanding and for providing me with really great advice. I know that I haven't done the best thing, I'm always the one who learns after the mistakes rather than the people who seem to have the talent to make the right decisions straight away. I should analyse more.

 

My situation has changed. My boss has given me a 410€ job. So now I have signed up to everything, and I am now with the TKK. I'm just wondering if after they send me my card, they'll send me a large back payment bill. What do you think my chances are? Is it really a case of someone doing the paperwork properly? I guess though, it is a big positive step up for me.

 

Thanks again!

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congrats on the job - a MIDI job like this, with a gross salary of >401 EUR is indeed the cheapest and best way to get health insurance in the public system in Germany, your actually costs (your share and the employers share on top of the 410 EUR) is only around 40-50 EUR per month...

 

Since you were insured with TKK I see a fair chance that you won't get hit with back-charges after all. Don't think they'll exchange data with other public health insurances like AOK, for once.

Of course there is no guarantee here. It could still happen that AOK finds you eventually and asks you where and how you had been insured in recent years. Same could happen that TKK wants to know since when you have been in Germany and how you have been insured beforehand - not sure if they bother or not. Will keep my fingers crossed for you...

 

J.P. Morgan once was asked what his secret for his great success was. He answerd: the many good decisions I make. When the reporter followed up and asked, how he got to these good decisions he answered: from experience. Now the report wanted to know where the experience came from. Answer: from the many bad decisions I made in the past.

So, as you can see, you are on the right track to become very successfull and rich by learning from mistakes :D

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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There was another guy who was unemployed for a year or so and was not getting unemployment because he didn't qualify. He mistakenly thought that things work more like in the US where you don't pay your insurance, you lose your coverage and it's your risk to take so he did not talk to his insurance or pay for it. When he got a job again, the new insurance asked how long he was in Germany and where he was insured before and they must have contacted his prior insurance because at that point he got a bill from them for the whole year so it could possibly happen.

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I'm a bit concerned about the AOK thing. When I tried to sign up for TKK last year, they wouldn't accept me because I'd previously been insured in Germany (years earlier) under a different company. I had to go sign up with my previous provider, which was AOK. I would've expected this would happen with you? Did TKK ask you who you had been previously insured with?

 

It's good that you finally signed up for something, but it's possible that you are now with both insurance companies...

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At least he can't be charged by both insurance companies at the same time, that is impossible by German law. What is correct here is, that once you sign up with a public health insurance you cannot leave to another public health insurance before 18 months are thru. If AOK actually kept him registered and all and if that was less than 18 months ago, he might end up being insured with AOK instead of TKK AND paying back-charges. But from what the OP wrote I am not even sure that ever really became an AOK member in the first place. Otherwise they would have sent him several letters after he ended his short-lived form employment. I think - but admitingly, that is pure specualition - that his "employer" never actually registered him with AOK properly. Or, after the short period of employment, the AOK took him as self-employed, because he did not receive unemployment benefits, either. In which case with foreigners they often end the membership because you can only be(come) a voluntary member of public health insurance as a self-employed if you have been insured with a public health insurance for at least 12 months before turning self-employed and becoming a voluntary member instead of a compulsory member. Even though due to his prior NHS coverage they should have kept him nevertheless, but that would have probably required him to tell them and if you don't, they end the membership. These are scenarios I have seen happening, so they are clearly in a bit of a grey zone legally speaking.

 

Cheerio

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

 

But I have a problem. I was registered with AOK 9 months ago, and now TKK have asked my boss's tax woman about this who emailed me, which means I guess I have to sign up with AOK who will back charge me.

 

Here come the questions -

 

1. Will I just be backcharged 9 months, or will they realise that I was uninsured even prior to that?

2. Can I pay them back over more than 12 months? 12 months to pay back 18 months worth of (unused by the way) health insurance is nigh on impossible for me. 24 motnhs would be realistic. Do they have any rules in place for this?

3. Will all of this hinder me being signed up for health care, or will AOK just register me as normal and then say, "oh, by the way, you owe us €3000"

 

Now is really the time for a time machine, to correct my idiotic decision making but hey Starshallow, you never know, this could be the beginning of a rich person.... but probably (definitely) not.

 

Hope y'all well, and thanks again for your input!

 

Imnotactuallysure

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I woul dlove to answer this, but I have not much experience with regards to how public insurances structure the back-charges payments/installments. Guess at the end of the day they will have to come to an agreement that lets you live above Hartz IV level at the very least... No, honestly, could well be that they agree to more than 12 months, you'll have to negotiate this. In order to this properly you should prepare a balance of your income and outgoing fixed costs and all so that they can see how much you can actually afford to pay off. Good luck,

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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So, now I have a serious question, I was employed for eight months due to my job contract and am an international student. Would that mean that AOK should have terminated my contract after eight months or twelve months. Or they put me on the list of freelancer and I have to pay to them. Reason I am asking is I have a private insurance as a ph.d student and this was just a short contract. Rest I pay for my ph.d from savings or small mini jobs.

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Also I just wanted to say I never signed any contract with AOK it came with the eight months job. I never got any health card. All the time I managed with the private insurance, will AOK still owe me the money

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