Advice please, family move to Hamburg

25 posts in this topic

Hi, thanks for all the responses, some positive stuff in there! Will check my messages too. Discussions still ongoing, very many questions given to relocators!

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Public health insurance in Germany is absolutely fine - particularly for families.

The vast majority of Germans belong to the public scheme.

Having been both publicly and privately insured - private is a waste of time,

and long term can be incredibly expensive (rates depend on age).

(Had €50k worth of ops. a few years ago.)

Beware of people trying to convince you otherwise - huge commissions are in play!

Unbelieveable to Brits - you can be "locked in" to private insurance and not able to go to return

to the public system!

The public "TKK" is highly regarded and has English on its website (its one of the biggies -

forget the ssmall outfits - a hangover from the past).

Sad to say, being a nurse is quite different in Germany to in the UK.

Generally low paid and low status - there are exceptions, like intensive care 'tho.

Not sure how qualifications are accepted - you need to check.

Do not underestimate the problems in getting your German up to speed.

Contrary to a common UK belief - most Germans do not have much of grip of English -

even medicos.

You would seem to be able to make a "go" of it here from what you have described.

But it will take a lot of effort!

Rule no. 1 - never that assume the tiniest thing here is the same as in the UK - usually it is very different!

But all the (long term) Brits I know here think it is well worth the effort.

 

You live very much better than in the UK for a given income for a start...

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I´m sure you mean well,Jeremy , but your advice re health insurance is too one-sided.

 

There are many reasons some expats take out private health insurance:

 

They have no access to public health insurance (eg freelance non-EU citizens - even UK citizens coming here to be freelancers who have not paid NI contributions )

 

Public insurance is too expensive for many freelancers on a low income ( minimum is usually 340-ish a month) and often considered too expensive by those on a good/goodish income. Why would a single person staying here for three to five years, for example, want to pay 700 euros a month as a freelancer earning 5,000 euros a month?

 

Others are TOLD they have to have private insurance! Only this week a public Kasse (Techniker) told someone who contacted me he HAS to have private insurance as a newly-arriving foreigner to Germany on a good income as an employee ( thus eligible for private insurance). WRONG!

 

The irony: these days: it´s incredibly difficult for any self-employed/freelancer coming here from wherever to get accepted by a private German insurer - they do not want your business - you are potentially a financial risk for the insurer as you cannot be thrown out for non-payment of your insurance premiums

 

High commissions for private insurance sales:in the German system: they are indeed good but caveat: you have to repay the commission ( which you pay tax on, by the way) on a pro rata basis if the client leaves the country or switches provider within 5 years! Call it a business risk if you wish. The aim of the law is to stop poor advice just for a quick sale (good Intention of the law )) but it´s actually unfair on the broker if private German insurance is indeed the best option in an individual client´s case.

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Another comment from me, Jeremy: you say it´s unbelievable for Brits that you can be locked into private insurance and not to be able to RETURN to public insurance - they would never have been in the public system here anywa :D y.!

 

What surprises most Brits ( and not only Brits ) is that there is a dual system here of public and private and NO NHS. And that you have to pay direct contributions to it as well as tax anyway.

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Contrary to a common UK belief - most Germans do not have much of grip of English -

even medicos.

I have been living in Hamburg since March and so far I met only ONE person who did not speak English. Not, it was not a medicos.

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