Health insurance for unemployed/returnees

266 posts in this topic

On 8/3/2012, 8:13:44, PandaMunich said:

 

No, they can't.

As a German citizen who doesn't have any prior private German health insurance he has the right to join public health insurance.

 

The legal source for this is §5 Absatz 1, 13 SGB V:

 


  • (1) Versicherungspflichtig sind
    ...
    13. Personen, die keinen anderweitigen Anspruch auf Absicherung im Krankheitsfall haben und
  1. zuletzt gesetzlich krankenversichert waren oder
  2. bisher nicht gesetzlich oder privat krankenversichert waren, es sei denn, dass sie zu den in Absatz 5 oder den in § 6 Abs. 1 oder 2 genannten Personen gehören oder bei Ausübung ihrer beruflichen Tätigkeit im Inland gehört hätten.

 

I'm sorry if it was already answered previously but everything I've read has been unclear to me.

 

Does this also apply to German citizens over the age of 55? My mother, a US-born German citizen who has only visited Germany as a tourist, is now 62 and would like to live in Germany for a few years (possibly longer) but is concerned about the cost of health insurance. She has been employed for the same company in the USA for the past 33 years and never self-employed.

 

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Yes, it also applies to German citizens over 55 as long as they have never been self-employed.

So your mum would be ok.

 

However, be prepared to have the public health insurance put considerable effort into trying to deny her her rights.

As far as I recall, for such cases Starshollow (= Patrick Ott) offers to fight that battle for you, for a fee.

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Public insurance will likely want to know how Wayne´s grandparents were insured in Germany - if Wayne can find out which gesetzliche Kasse his grandparents were in, then contact exactly that Kasse and quote 5 §Absatz 1,13. It´s a fairly well known rule amongst public insurers (as long as you´re not dealing with an Azubi on the phone! ).

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Hi to everyone. I am interested also to find some info about German public health insurance system, since I'm right now in the process of registering with Arbeitsamt for unemployment benefits.  My parameters are like this:

- European citizenship, but not German (being covered by a national health insurance, but very rudimentary)

- established in Germany since 4 years ago, I've been commuting (graenzganger) to Luxembourg all this period due to the job I had there till last month

- I'd like to stay around for another 4-5 months to see if I can get something for work; if not, I will go back from where I came 

- now I'm in process of registering with Arbeitsamt for unemployment benefits (yes, I am entitled for unemployment benefits on Germany!), since i need some incomes 

 

And here it intervenes the health insurance ... Arbeitsamt needs first to see a document that I'm registered with a German Krankenkasse.

I have read about some cases when private system could be cheaper than the public one, but I don't think is my case (40-ish healthy gal, with good teeth!...). I guess in my case a better option would be the public system. 

 

So the issue is to find:

1 - the most affordable German public insurer who would cover a foreigner who follows to benefit of unemployment benefits, while is it possible to disappear pretty soon from Deutschland (if I don't find a job in the time-frame I granted to myself).

2 - would be great if is an insurer who provides support in English

3 - as much as I understood by reading around, there could be an obligation of paying from the past for the period when I was not insured (?)  - in this case I would ask for the insurers who don't ask such things, or ask it just for a very short period from the past

4 - also from what I understood reading around, in case I decide to drop the insurance (due to leaving Germany reasons) is there an obligation to continue to pay my monthly prime for health insurance for a number of months after the moment of leaving???

 

In case somebody had a similar situation, I would be grateful for any recommendations which will put a bit more light on this complicated issue.

 

Many thanks in advance to all people who would take the time to reply :)

 

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You need to obtain proof that you were publicly insured in Luxembourg till last month and go to a public health insurance company of your choice. The TK supposedly offers some services in English.

 

Private health insurance doesn't really make sense for you at the moment. 

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3 hours ago, tiana666 said:

Hi to everyone. I am interested also to find some info about German public health insurance system, since I'm right now in the process of registering with Arbeitsamt for unemployment benefits.  My parameters are like this:

- European citizenship, but not German (being covered by a national health insurance, but very rudimentary)

- established in Germany since 4 years ago, I've been commuting (graenzganger) to Luxembourg all this period due to the job I had there till last month

 

Question: I take it you were employed in Luxembourg? In which case as a true Grenzgänger you were insured with national/state health insurance in Luxembour correctly in accordance with Grenzgänger rules of the EU, right ?

 

3 hours ago, tiana666 said:

- I'd like to stay around for another 4-5 months to see if I can get something for work; if not, I will go back from where I came 

 

You mean staying here in Germany for 4-5 months, right ?

3 hours ago, tiana666 said:

- now I'm in process of registering with Arbeitsamt for unemployment benefits (yes, I am entitled for unemployment benefits on Germany!), since i need some incomes 

 

And here it intervenes the health insurance ... Arbeitsamt needs first to see a document that I'm registered with a German Krankenkasse.

I have read about some cases when private system could be cheaper than the public one, but I don't think is my case (40-ish healthy gal, with good teeth!...). I guess in my case a better option would be the public system. 

 

Appart from the fact that depending on your age and health status it is not a given that private health insurance is actually cheaper (i.e. less costing in monthly premiums) than public insurance in Germany:

no private German health insurance is going to accept an application from you based on no certain income AND potentially leaving Germany after a few months.

 

3 hours ago, tiana666 said:

So the issue is to find:

1 - the most affordable German public insurer who would cover a foreigner who follows to benefit of unemployment benefits, while is it possible to disappear pretty soon from Deutschland (if I don't find a job in the time-frame I granted to myself).

 

There is very little difference in monthly costs with public health insurances in Germany.

Since you are without current source of regular income, you'll be paying the min contribution which comes to a total (including long-term-nursing-care-coverage) of around 170 EUR per month.

 

3 hours ago, tiana666 said:

2 - would be great if is an insurer who provides support in English

 

TKK has an excellent English language service

 

3 hours ago, tiana666 said:

3 - as much as I understood by reading around, there could be an obligation of paying from the past for the period when I was not insured (?)  - in this case I would ask for the insurers who don't ask such things, or ask it just for a very short period from the past

 

Just get a confirmation that you were properly insured in Luxembourg (try to get an E104 or A1 form from your health coverage there as proof of insurance), therefore you will not be back-charged for the time you were a Grenzgänger. Only for the time (with one month period of grace) when you stopped being a Grenzgänger AND left the Luxembourg health insurance system while living in Germany would you be back-charged, if at all.

3 hours ago, tiana666 said:

4 - also from what I understood reading around, in case I decide to drop the insurance (due to leaving Germany reasons) is there an obligation to continue to pay my monthly prime for health insurance for a number of months after the moment of leaving???

 

No - if you leave Germany, just send in your de-registration from the Einwohnermeldeamt and that concludes/terminates  your membership per that day.

 

 

3 hours ago, tiana666 said:

 

In case somebody had a similar situation, I would be grateful for any recommendations which will put a bit more light on this complicated issue.

 

Many thanks in advance to all people who would take the time to reply :)

 

 

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I have been going through this thread, picking through the information that applies to my situation, but thought it might be best to lay it all out to get specific answers. I am a US citizen married to a German citizen. We are planning a move to Germany.  She lived in Germany up to age 21 and is now 53. I am 55. She had public insurance 30+ years ago, we believe through AOK

My plan is to retire. I've work for 30 years for local government and will receive a gov. pension of approx. $50K per year. Wife initially plans to work and retire at a later date. She currently works for IKEA and plans to do the same upon arrival in Germany. Once I leave my job, I can defer my pension and essentially arrive to Germany with no income while living off of savings.

 

First, does anyone see any flaws in this plan, or have any advise to make it work?

 

Is deferring my pension until I can get on to public insurance through my wife the best plan?

 

Once I start taking my pension, what will the impact be on the cost of the insurance?

 

Thanks in advanced for your help

Monty

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2 hours ago, Cherf Monty said:

I have been going through this thread, picking through the information that applies to my situation, but thought it might be best to lay it all out to get specific answers. I am a US citizen married to a German citizen. We are planning a move to Germany.  She lived in Germany up to age 21 and is now 53. I am 55. She had public insurance 30+ years ago, we believe through AOK

My plan is to retire. I've work for 30 years for local government and will receive a gov. pension of approx. $50K per year. Wife initially plans to work and retire at a later date. She currently works for IKEA and plans to do the same upon arrival in Germany. Once I leave my job, I can defer my pension and essentially arrive to Germany with no income while living off of savings.

 

First, does anyone see any flaws in this plan, or have any advise to make it work?

 

Is deferring my pension until I can get on to public insurance through my wife the best plan?

 

Once I start taking my pension, what will the impact be on the cost of the insurance?

 

Thanks in advanced for your help

Monty

 

 

Wow, for once someone did his homework and has already gathered most of the imminent information - my hat is off to you (and I am not joking here!) !!!!

 

Yes, you are pursuing the exact right course of action here, to arrive in Germany without current income. Because your wife in her own right can rejoin public health insurance either based on her prior/last membership or by employment in Germany. And you - who otherwise with the age of 55+ would not have a chance to do so in your own right - can join her membership as a dependent family member. And you'll only need to be dependent off your wife in a legal sense for a short while (actually just a few days, but a month or two would be better IMO) and then you can continue your membership in your own right due to the "obligatorische Anschlussversicherung".

Regarding the costs I am not totally sure myself, it would depend on what part of your pension will count for premium setting in Germany. There are some rather complex bilateral social welfare agreements between Germany and USA.  But if you are willing to spend some money on this I could refer you to a specialized "VERsicherungsberater" (Insurance consultant) who can certainly check this, calculate it and give you the information (which might come in handy as I would not bet the farm on the AOK getting it right from the beginning and without getting a professional like the Versicherungsberater involved on your side).

Cheerio

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3 hours ago, Cherf Monty said:

Is deferring my pension until I can get on to public insurance through my wife the best plan?

 

Yes.

 

But please take care that your other worldwide income (from rent, interest, dividends, and so on) is less than 425€  a month (= 1/7 * Bezugsgröße) during that time, since that's the limit in 2017 for being under a spouse's Familienversicherung.

 

3 hours ago, Cherf Monty said:

Once I start taking my pension, what will the impact be on the cost of the insurance?

 

Once you start having income of over 425€ a month (= 1/7 * Bezugsgröße), you will pay:

 

14.6% for public health insurance (see here)

+ Zusatzbeitrag of your public health insurer (look up your local AOK's Zusatzbeitrag in here, for the AOK the Zusatzbeitrag for 2017 ranges from 0.3% to 1.1%) 

+ 2.8% for public nursing insurance (2.55% if you had a child, i.e. you are a parent)

_________________________________________________________

18.5% (if you move to Southern-Germany and didn't have a child)

 

of your worldwide income (which includes your US pension), for public health&nursing insurance as a voluntary member.

 

But you will have to pay at least around 180€ a month, since they assume a minimum income of 1/3 * Bezugsgröße = 991.67€ in 2017.

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Thanks so much for the replies. This thread has been a great source of information on the subject. you guys rock!!

 

PandaMunich, Yes, we will most likely be moving to southern Germany. My wife is originally from Berchtesgaden.  Why the different rate there?

 

Starshollow, I agree that profession help would be warranted. I will probably need professional help with our tax situation as well.

 

Thank again,

Monty

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2 minutes ago, Cherf Monty said:

Why the different rate there?

 

Every public health insurer charges the Zusatzbeitrag it needs to break even.

 

So why is the Zusatzbeitrag for AOK Bayern 1.1% and the one for AOK Sachsen-Anhalt (a state in the former East Germany) only 0.3%?

Maybe Bavarians go to the doctor more often than people in Sachsen-Anhalt, or maybe they are sick more often or have more expensive illnesses, or maybe the AOK in Sachsen-Anhalt just works more economically.

 

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50 minutes ago, PandaMunich said:

 

Yes.

 

But please take care that your other worldwide income (from rent, interest, dividends, and so on) is less than 425€  a month (= 1/7 * Bezugsgröße) during that time, since that's the limit in 2017 for being a spouse's Familienversicherung.

 

 

Once you start having income of over 425€ a month (= 1/7 * Bezugsgröße), you will pay:

 

14.6% for public health insurance (see here)

+ Zusatzbeitrag of your public health insurer (look up your local AOK's Zusatzbeitrag in here, for the AOK the Zusatzbeitrag for 2017 ranges from 0.3% to 1.1%) 

+ 2.8% for public nursing insurance (2.55% if you had a child, i.e. you are a parent)

_________________________________________________________

18.5% (if you move to Southern-Germany and didn't have a child)

 

of your worldwide income (which includes your US pension), for public health&nursing insurance as a voluntary member.

 

But you will have to pay at least around 180€ a month, since they assume a minimum income of 1/3 * Bezugsgröße = 991.67€ in 2017.

Hm, so if he gets a 50K pension a year and there is no special reciprocal  agreement between  the US and Germany, his voluntary membership of AOK after pension payments start would cost c. 700 euros a month?

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If he has a 4,166€ a month pension, the contribution would be:

 

AOK-Krankenversicherung

608.24 EUR

(= 14.6 %)

 

AOK-Zusatzbeitrag

+ 45.82 EUR

(= 1.1 %)

 

AOK-Pflegeversicherung für kinderlose Mitglieder ab 23 Jahren

+116,65 EUR

(= 2.8 %)

 

 

i.e. in total 770.72€, which is 18.5% of the monthly pension 4,166€.

 
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I rounded up a little. My current pension estimate is $48K USD or $4k per month. Also, at age 65, I would start to collect an additional $24k per year from social security

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The public health&nursing contribution is capped, the most you would pay would be the contribution according to the Beitragsbemessungsgrenze (in 2017: 4,350€).

 

So if you had a worldwide income of more than 4,350€ a month in 2017 (yes, I know, you're not yet 65 and therefore won't), you would pay:

18.5% * 4,350€ = 804.75€ a month

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On 6/10/2016, 1:56:36, tiana666 said:

 

- I'd like to stay around for another 4-5 months to see if I can get something for work; if not, I will go back from where I came 

 

 

 

I don't fully understand why people don't recommend it on this site but - have you considered temporary cover with a BaFin approved insurer like Mawista? As I understand it, they cover you for up to the first 5 years of you being here:

https://www.mawista.com/en/health-insurance-for-foreign-nationals-in-germany/stays-up-to-5-years/#tabs-1

 

It is nowhere near as good cover as other options but if you are really struggling for money it might be a good option. 

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1 hour ago, PandaMunich said:

The public health&nursing contribution is capped, the most you would pay would be the contribution according to the Beitragsbemessungsgrenze (in 2017: 4,350€).

 

So if you had a worldwide income of more than 4,350€ a month in 2017 (yes, I know, you're not yet 65 and therefore won't), you would pay:

18.5% * 4,350€ = 804.75€ a month

Expensive, innit? :) I hope we haven´t put the gentleman off his plans...

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This is a little more than I was expecting, but actually, taxes scare me more than this

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It´s a double whammy, Cherf!!!:o--a lot of expats come to Germany, thinking " ah, social system, all taken care of.."..and don´t know the health insurance costs - the direct costs. Most European citizens who move to Germany have the same problem trying to understand the direct monthly costs and shake  their heads at how complicated it is...

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Most Americans without employer paid insurance pay at least this much,if not more, with high deductibles and and high out-of-pocket expenses, so all things being equal, this isn't as bad as it seems

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