Public vs. private health insurance

167 posts in this topic

If you stay in public insurance while earning a lot, do you pay much more than in private insurance?

 

I used to earn quite a lot, I was glad and proud to pay a lot in to the public coffers, public health insurance etc. Still took home more than 50%! I was and am so healthy, I rarely go to the doc, gladly paying health insurance just in case.

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6 minutes ago, cb6dba said:

How does all this work when you retire?

I'd expect that if a person has private insurance they will still have to pay the premium etc themselves. 

What about the public system, does the premium come out of their pension, do they only pay half (with the retirement system paying the other), is the premium total covered as part of their pension?  

 

I'd look it up online but we have a few finance/insurance bods on here, which is online, so I guess I am actually looking it up online, right now... 

 

Here's a quick refresher (just the basics) on retirement and GKV:

 

when you reach retirement age and have been a member of public health insurance there are two possible scenarios:

  • You were a member of GKV for at least 90% of the duration of the second half of your working life - then you become a member of KVdR. Means half of the premiums are taken right out of your monthly Rente (amounts to about 7% currently). Other forms of income - like rental income or dividends or interest - are not considered, you don't pay health insurance premiums on those parts of your income.
  • You were a member of GKV for at least 24 months aut of the 5 years preceding your retirement - then you may become a voluntary member of GKV. Means you will get an additional 7% on your Rente to cover part of your health insurance premiums. You will then have to pay around 14% of your total income (up to Beitragsbemessungsgrenze) in premiums to your health insurance provider. So, if your income consists of Rente only, there's no difference between this and scenario #1. But if you have other forms of income (rental properties, dividends, interest bearing accounts, private retirement funds, or even some form of social security from some other country) the 14% taken is going to make your premiums a bit higher (up to whatever the max will be at that time).
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6 minutes ago, Fietsrad said:

If you stay in public insurance while earning a lot, do you pay much more than in private insurance?

 

I used to earn quite a lot, I was glad and proud to pay a lot in to the public coffers, public health insurance etc. Still took home more than 50%! I was and am so healthy, I rarely go to the doc, gladly paying health insurance just in case.

What you pay for public insurance depends on your income. The premium can go up to well over €700 monthly for a self-employed single person with an income above the Beitragsbemessungsgrenze

 

The premiums for your private health insurance can be higher or lower than that - they don't depend on your income. 

 

For my daughter (as an example) her premium as a voluntary member in GKV would be more than twice the amount that she is paying for her private health insurance. Based on her income GKV would amount to 8.9% while PKV is costing her just 3.8% currently. 

 

The question of "pride" or social "responsibility", of course, is a completely different topic.

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53 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

You were a member of GKV for at least 90% of the duration of the second half of your working life - then you become a member of KVdR. Means half of the premiums are taken right out of your monthly Rente (amounts to about 7% currently). Other forms of income - like rental income or dividends or interest - are not considered, you don't pay health insurance premiums on those parts of your income

Just for completeness: The "member of GKV" includes periods of voluntary membership and Mitversicherung if you were included on your spouse's policy. 

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You were a member of GKV for at least 90% of the duration of the second half of your working life - then you become a member of KVdR. Means half of the premiums are taken right out of your monthly Rente (amounts to about 7% currently). Other forms of income - like rental income or dividends or interest - are not considered, you don't pay health insurance premiums on those parts of your income.

 

This is actually a good reason to stay public. If you have a low official retirement Rente (who doesn't)  and plan on living for a long time, then you have very low costs for health insurance when you are retired.

They also have some flexibility with regards to where you are insured. This is not anything to bank on, but I have been told if you are in another public system comparable to the GKV (German public system) they might count that to help you get to the 90% (say you were in another Euro land with similar conditions for a year or so). Best always to check with the Deutsche Rentenversicherung to get it from the source.

But the rule itself is classic German, as complicated as possible. 90% of the second half of your working life... Sentences like these make German worth learning.

 

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1 hour ago, karin_brenig said:

her premium as a voluntary member in GKV would be more than twice the amount that she is paying for her private ...

This is half of the equation. 

The other half, how much will she pay once she's old, and how long "will she remain old", nobody knows...

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1 hour ago, mako1 said:

 

This is actually a good reason to stay public. If you have a low official retirement Rente (who doesn't)  and plan on living for a long time, then you have very low costs for health insurance when you are retired.

They also have some flexibility with regards to where you are insured. This is not anything to bank on, but I have been told if you are in another public system comparable to the GKV (German public system) they might count that to help you get to the 90% (say you were in another Euro land with similar conditions for a year or so). Best always to check with the Deutsche Rentenversicherung to get it from the source.

But the rule itself is classic German, as complicated as possible. 90% of the second half of your working life... Sentences like these make German worth learning.

 

The Verbraucherzentrale is in no doubt about this and indeed they go further and include non-EU countries with which Germany has a social security agreement:

Quote

Für die Pflichtmitgliedschaft in der gesetzlichen Krankenversicherung der Rentner (KVdR) sind bestimmte Voraussetzungen zu erfüllen: Wer berufstätig war, muss in der 2. Hälfte der Erwerbszeit mindestens zu 90 Prozent gesetzlich versichert gewesen sein - egal ob als Pflichtmitglied oder freiwilliges Mitglied. Anrechenbar sind auch Zeiten der Familienversicherung. Zeiten des Verbleibs in einer gesetzlichen Krankenversicherung im Ausland sind anrechenbar bei den Staaten des Europäischen Wirtschaftsraums und bei Staaten, mit denen ein entsprechendes Sozialversicherungsabkommen besteht.

I didn't know that, though it's unlikely to affect me personally it will surely affect many here.

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