Leaving Germany - health insurance question

21 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

 

We have left just left Germany to move back to the UK and it looks like our private health insurance is giving us some headache on how to cancel our existing policy for the kids. Basically they are insisting that we provide something to show that they will still be covered under another policy when we are in the UK and that the Abmeldung letter is not sufficient to cancel the contract.

 

As we are not resident in Germany anymore and by default covered by the NHS, I don't see why they need to insist that we show something from the UK. I can understand this rule being applied to people living in Germany where health insurance is compulsory but they must be having a laugh, surely. Leaving the country as such, armed with the Abmeldung should be sufficient that I want to cancel a product I don't need anymore and cannot be forced to keep paying for it. Well closing my account is the easiest way to deal with it but it needs to be done the proper way, i.e I should be allowed to cancel.

 

Any advice or ways to deal with this would be most welcome.

 

Thank you and regards

Ian.

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They just need a piece of paper for the files. Why don't you give them your NHS registration info, when you actually register for it?

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Hi Gail, thanks for the reply. Well we already have our NHS cards, from when we were living in the UK. We then moved to Germany for a few years and now we are back home. So if that is all they need, although the date on it might be old, then I can certainly send them a copy.

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They re just playing silly buggers, IanB! The Abmeldung IS enough together with a short letter - maybe proof of cancelling your rent or whatever here would also help. I doubt showing them the old NHS cards will be useful - that´ll give the insurance people reason to think you´re not registered in the UK.

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You could refer them to the UK government information page (on the DirectGov site) for UK citizens living abroad entitled, Moving back to the UK.

 

That lists exactly what you should do in order to re-activate your NHS health insurance cover.

 

It is very complicated, so they may not understand it.

 

You must, "Register with your local GP and dentist". :)

 

2B

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Thank you JohnG and 2B for your replies.

 

I have to say I was fuming after the call I had with them yesterday. The first time I had told them we would move was in July and at the time I spent nearly 45 mins to explain to the person from the H.I that in the UK, everyone is covered automatically by the NHS, and if anyone wanted private health insurance on top, it is an option and not a requirement. To get a letter from the NHS for an actual individual is, well, almost impossible. Anyways at that time, the person finally got the message and said it should be fine.

 

But yesterday, we just wanted to confirm the address where to send the cancellation letter and Abmeldung and this time, it was a case of deja-vu...except that this time round she would not accept that we can cancel without proof of further health cover. For God sake, we pay for a service, which is now surplus to our requirement, so it should be straight forward to cancel..

 

Anyways I will take your advices and simply send them a covering letter with the Abmeldung and maybe state again that the NHS covers all residents who work and live in the UK, full stop.

 

If they dont like it, tough. I will re-call any money they keep taking from my bank account. Taking a health insurance in Germany is like getting married, or is it worse?? :-)

 

Enjoy your weekend..

 

Ian.

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Canceling any kind of periodic service or subscription is always a chore in Germany, IanB. Sorry your company are being such dicks, but it's pretty much par for the course here. Once they get their hooks into you, they're reluctant to let you go.

 

Recalling any debits they make from your account is certainly the right way to go. You can also cancel your direct debit authorization directly in writing, in addition to canceling your policy; I suggest you do so (Hiermit widerrufe ich die von mir erlassene Einzugsermächtigung bei Ihnen für mein Konto <account number> bei der <bank>, BLZ <bank code>). They have to honor this request.

 

Hopefully once they realize that they'll have to chase you to get your money, they'll reconsider your policy cancellation as well.

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Hi all,

 

I wanted to update the post so people reading it or who are in the same situation know how it ended up with the health insurance.

 

In the end, it worked out fine for us and the health insurances (2 separates ones for the kids) did cancel the cover from the day we left Germany. However we did also put a copy of the NHS cards (which is the UK's public health service) with the cancellation letter and the Abmeldung. They refunded us the extra monthly premiums they still took while "processing the paperworks".

 

For those who are in the same situation right now, I would advise not to spend hours on the phone trying to explain to the person from the insurance that you are leaving the country and questioning why you need to show them your next cover after you have left Germany. It is not worth arguing with them, they seem to close their ears to the fact that you will not be living in Germany afterwards and still insist you show proof of cover for when you move out of the country. But when you do write your cancellation letter, try and get something in writing to show you are covered in your new country. If you don't have that, then so it - simply indicate that proof of the cover is ONLY for people who are still resident in Germany. Hopefully they will just cancel it and not ask for more money.

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Hello.

 

I have subscribed a private insurance with DKV 1 year ago. The 15th March 2012 I moved and registered in Italy (Torino, my home city), since I moved here for some time.

 

I wrote to DKV to cancel my insurance, but they are telling me that I need to provide 3 months notice period... In Italy the health system is public, so I don't need any insurance.

 

I find this very strange, that I have to pay over 400euro per months for the next 3 months... Is this normal?

 

Does anybody has some advice for me?

 

Thanks

Luigi.

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This is just the usual stupidity by a service provider, here, Luigi. Write them again enclosing a copy of your deregistration from Germany and a copy of proof of insurance in Italy. It is not that strange to hear of these cases - you just to do a little more footwork there and send them written proof you don´t need them and don´t have to stay with them.

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Thanks John for your reply.

 

I had many issues like this in Germany (same thing with the gym subscription), I suppose because I'm not able to speak German decently, and because I lack basic knowledge of the German laws.

 

They already charged me for April... I sent them a letter on the 21st of March, and a mail to my broker (which told me about the 3 months).

 

I'll write them another letter tomorrow with all the registration papers here in Italy. And if needed I will close my bank account so they can't take money anymore from there.

 

I'll update this thread when things evolve.

 

Thanks again.

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You have broker, jigi? Let him/her help you out then. Brokers get a commission for selling insurance and should/must help even it´s painful to lose a client and possibly ( in this case ) have to pay back the commission because the contract didn´t last a year...

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Yes. I sent an email to my broker, which comes from my bank, and he told me about the 3 months of notice period... since I didn't get any answer from the insurance yet (it also may be that my letter has been lost, because I didn't yet received the return receipt).

 

BTW, this is what he wrote me:

 

 

Hello

 

the insurance has your Documents. They send you all information you need as quickly as possible. They need a few days, but in Germany we have a period of notice from 3 month.

Your information is in processing.

Nice eastern,

 

mit freundlichen Grüßen

...

 

I wrote back this:

 

 

Hello Mr. XXX.

 

I am reading on Internet, that for people leaving Germany it cannot be

requested to pay for the 3 months. I read also that people have been

refunded for the time the insurance took for processing the papers.

In any case, I am not going to accept to pay for the insurance for the

next months without involving attorneys. Eventually I will also close

the bank account in your institute if this is needed to avoid undesired

payments, even if I wouldn't like to.

 

I will send another letter tomorrow to the insurance company.

 

If you could verify what are the conditions for people moving out of

Germany, and provide me those information, I would really appreciate.

 

Thanks very much.

 

Tomorrow I will write them again a letter with return receipt. After that I will withdraw any payment my bank will get, and eventually take legal actions if they need to.

 

Thanks for the advices.

Luigi

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Yeah, that's complete bullshit. The broker is either misinformed or lying through his teeth.

 

My advice: Write again, but say that "I have been in contact with another insurance broker, and he told me...". This might have more weight than "I read on the internet...".

 

Also state that you expect them to refund your premium for April and for the latter half of March as soon as they have finished processing your cancellation, or they might "forget" to do so.

 

Good luck!

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Ah, the broker comes from your bank...I think you really want to say a bank employee ( ie NOT a broker ) whose bank has a cooperation with DKV and sold you the policy originally, wrote you that...is that correct?It could also be a result of their ignorance....

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Yes, it was a bank employee, who sold me the insurance.

 

BTW, I am thinking to cancel the payment transaction for April from the bank. What can happen if I do that?

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You can ask your bank to return the money to your account. You always have 6 weeks for that as a Widerspruchsrecht.

 

What can happen? You get your money back!

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Thanks John.

I did it before (for the gym subscription), but I thought that health insurance can make me troubles.

 

I think I will ask the bank to cancel the transaction then.

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jigi: if you need help with the German language for this, just send me a PM.

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