Could I stay on "travel" health insurance for 5 years?

23 posts in this topic

Hoping the illustrious Starshollow or John G. could chime in ... We're moving to Berlin but uncertain about how long we'll stay. Could be a couple years, could be forever. My wife is an EU citizen; I'm American. I'm a creative freelancer and would likely qualify for KSK; income is about 50,000 euro/year. My wife is an artist but doesn't generate significant income yet. We have a 3-year-old child. My wife was not previously on an EU public health plan. I will be freelancing remotely (and exclusively) for my clients in the U.S. All of us are healthy, no pre-existing conditions. Contemplating these two approaches:

1) Get Mawista for the whole family and apply for KSK as soon as possible.  What pension and insurance back pay would we be subject to, and going how far back?  Would KSK cover half of the back pay?  

2) We're not sure about our future in Germany, and pension payments plus cost of public insurance (even with KSK 50% subsidy) are daunting. What would happen if we stayed on Mawista for 4 years, and then (assuming we're still in Germany) apply for KSK. Again, what back pay would we be subject to? 

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Yes, I've already read those threads, hence my need to post a new thread. : )  My situation is highly specific with regards to EU spouse, KSK eligibility, and freelancing for U.S.-based clients. I didn't see it covered in the other threads. I know that the travel insurance is not intended to be used how I am suggesting and doesn't meet German legal requirements. However, as far as I can tell, the way the law is enforced is through back pay when the insured needs to switch to a different policy.  In my specific situation with KSK, what would happen?  I already have been in touch with a colleague of Starshollow, Keith Tanner, who suggested that back pay would not be a problem switching into KSK. But then I have read otherwise elsewhere.  

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As I wrote on your previous post, Steve...contact KSK (I provided a link to a lady who deals  with that, I don´t know her but give it a try ) to work out  IF you qualify for them),

All else is speculation re backpayments. and pensions. You have a young child -check out IF KSK are an option for you BEFORE you move to Germany . It is NOT  " cool " to move to another country without considering your child´s health options. 

Just because something is cheap, it doesn´t mean it´s the right thing. 

By the way, KSK do NOT cooperate with insurance brokers..so it´s up to you.

I am a professional independent insurance broker and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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45 minutes ago, SteveHarris said:


1) Get Mawista for the whole family and apply for KSK as soon as possible. What pension and insurance back pay would we be subject to, and going how far back?  Would KSK cover half of the back pay?  

 

The KSK - if you are accepted - takes over its share only from the time of the application. And since the KSK is not a health insurance company, you need health insurance cover before you apply. 

 

Quote

 

2) We're not sure about our future in Germany, and pension payments plus cost of public insurance (even with KSK 50% subsidy) are daunting. 

 

This is a price that everyone who wants to live in Germany (and use the German health system) has to pay.

 

You can have your pension contributions paid out if you emigrate within 5 years (to a non-EU country). But first you need the residence permit - from the 91st day. And within a maximum of three months, your application for admission to the KSK is unlikely to be decided, which usually takes much longer. 

 

And by the way: At the end of the year a bill for mandatory pension insurance contributions for all (!) self-employed persons has just been announced. This also affects you if you are not in the KSK. 

 

https://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/hubertus-heil-will-selbststaendige-zu-altersvorsorge-verpflichten-a-1261596.html 

 

19 minutes ago, SteveHarris said:

Yes, I've already read those threads, hence my need to post a new thread. : )  My situation is highly specific

 

No, not really. This is all standard, you simply need a sufficient health insurance for the residence permit and a travel health insurance (which is meant for people who are definitely only temporarily in Germany, for example students or guest scientists) does not offer that. 

 

 

 

 

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My wife is an EU citizen, though? When I look at the requirements for my residency interview, there is nothing mentioned about health insurance: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/324282/en/

 

2 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

No, not really. This is all standard, you simply need a sufficient health insurance for the residence permit and a travel health insurance (which is meant for people who are definitely only temporarily in Germany, for example students or guest scientists) does not offer that. 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, SteveHarris said:

My wife is an EU citizen, though? When I look at the requirements for my residency interview, there is nothing mentioned about health insurance: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/324282/en/
 

 

Take a closer look. ;)

 

"for non-employed persons: proof of health insurance and means of subsistence" (under" Documents required") In Germany health insurance is obligatoiry. 

 

By the way, your wife only enjoys EU freedom of movement if she either works here or proves that she is actively seeking work ... 

 

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24 minutes ago, john g. said:

As I wrote on your previous post, Steve...contact KSK (I provided a link to a lady who deals  with that, I don´t know her but give it a try ) to work out  IF you qualify for them),

Thanks John. I actually wrote to that lady earlier today. I got a short reply "yes you should qualify" and then got the sense that I would need to pay for their services to get any further information.  I'm fishing around here and Facebook for as much information as I can glean before contacting KSK. 

I am a professional independent insurance broker and authorised advertiser. Contact me.

My wife is an EU citizen, though? When I look at the requirements for my residency interview, there is nothing mentioned about health insurance: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/324282/en/

 

Quote

No, not really. This is all standard, you simply need a sufficient health insurance for the residence permit and a travel health insurance (which is meant for people who are definitely only temporarily in Germany, for example students or guest scientists) does not offer that. 

 

 

 

 

 

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I should also note that Keith Tanner said that it would be very difficult for me to find German private insurance as an expat freelancer. The only options: ASEIG 1225 euro/month and Hans Meurker 850 euro/month to cover all of us.  

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9 minutes ago, SteveHarris said:

My wife is an EU citizen, though? 

 

"Das Recht zum Aufenthalt von mehr als drei Monaten genießen folgende Unionsbürger:

- Arbeitnehmer oder Selbständige im Aufnahmemitgliedstaat sind sowie Arbeitsuchende (für eine gewisse Zeitdauer)

- nicht erwerbstätige Unionsbürger sowie Studierende oder Auszubildende, die über ausreichende eigene Existenzmittel und Krankenversicherungsschutz verfügen

- Daueraufenthaltsberechtigte (nach einem rechtmäßigen Aufenthalt von fünf Jahren)

Familienangehörige dieser Unionsbürger ungeachtet ihrer Staatsangehörigkeit

Grundgedanke ist also, dass Unionsbürger für einen Aufenthalt von mehr als drei Monaten in der Regel in der Lage sein müssen, sich und ihre Familienangehörigen wirtschaftlich zu erhalten und die Sozialsysteme des Aufnahmemitgliedstaates nicht unangemessen zu beanspruchen."

 

https://www.bmi.bund.de/DE/themen/migration/aufenthaltsrecht/freizuegigkeit-eu-buerger/freizuegigkeit-eu-buerger-node.html

 

In English:

 

"The following Union citizens shall enjoy the right of residence for more than three months:

 

- are employed or self-employed persons in the host Member State and job-seekers (for a certain period)

 

- Union citizens who are not gainfully employed and students or trainees who have sufficient resources and health insurance to cover themselves

 

- Permanent residents (after five years of legal residence)

 

- family members of these Union citizens, irrespective of their nationality

 

The basic idea is therefore that, as a general rule, Union citizens must be able to maintain themselves and their family members economically and not unduly claim the social security systems of the host Member State for stays of more than three months".

 

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

 

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

Sorry, correction. My wife will be registered as a freelancer as well.  She actually does work with me on my freelance stuff. And we are 50/50 partners in an LLC through which all billing is conducted. Apologies for not providing clear information!  I know everyone is trying to help.  

 

"for non-employed persons: proof of health insurance and means of subsistence" (under" Documents required") In Germany health insurance is obligatoiry. 

 

By the way, your wife only enjoys EU freedom of movement if she either works here or proves that she is actively seeking work ... 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, SteveHarris said:

Sorry, correction. My wife will be registered as a freelancer as well.  She actually does work with me on my freelance stuff. And we are 50/50 partners in an LLC through which all billing is conducted. Apologies for not providing clear information!  I know everyone is trying to help.  

 

This drop by drop scattering of information is really not helpful...

 

Anyway: She needs a sufficient health insurance, sufficient health insurance is obligatory in Germany. For everyone. 

 

And be prepared that the Ausländerbehörde will ask you why you want to move to Germany - if you intend to continue working with your US company anyway. There's no reason to move to Germany at all, you know?

 

Just use the info @john g.  gave you and talk to this lady about the chances of being accepted into the KSK. That's you best bet atm. 

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Sorry yes, I know, I'm a bit scattered at the moment.  I really appreciate your time.  When you say "sufficient health insurance is obligatory for everyone," my understanding again is that this is enforced through back pay when switching insurers.    Is it enforced in any other way?  If she is registered as freelance, it doesn't seem like it's required for freedom of movement?  And not for me either?  

I already contacted the lady that John G recommended, before posting on Toytown. She simply wrote back "yes you should qualify." Any further explanation costs 100euro/hour plus VAT, or 250euro for the application to KSK. I might book an info session with her anyway, as a lot is riding on all of this.  But I was seeking more information before paying for it. 

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3 hours ago, SteveHarris said:

I should also note that Keith Tanner said that it would be very difficult for me to find German private insurance as an expat freelancer. The only options: ASEIG 1225 euro/month and Hans Meurker 850 euro/month to cover all of us.  

 

Real health insurance costs real money. You've already received professional advice as well quotes. What more do you want?

 

2 hours ago, SteveHarris said:

 When you say "sufficient health insurance is obligatory for everyone," my understanding again is that this is enforced through back pay when switching insurers.    Is it enforced in any other way?  If she is registered as freelance, it doesn't seem like it's required for freedom of movement?  And not for me either?  

 

All German residents are required to have comprehensive health insurance and although some EU citizens have been able to evade their obligations in the past you have no guarantee that you won't be caught.

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44 minutes ago, SteveHarris said:

What happens when you get "caught"?  Besides back pay when changing insurance?   

 

I think the worst-case situation of "getting caught" would be for one of you to break a leg and have to pay full costs out-of-pocket.

Whether you view health insurance for you and your family as necessary or not, you would be a fool not to get insurance.

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My understanding is that a travel insurance like Mawista would cover exactly that kind of accident.  I may have to pay out of pocket but would then get reimbursed. Or am I misunderstanding?  I've corresponded with expats who had MRIs, pregnancy, delivery, hospitalization, etc. covered by their travel insurance. Maybe I'm missing something? 

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Maybe a better question is, for my situation (EU spouse, freelancer), what is the absolute cheapest private insurance I could get that would pass German legal standard?  High deductible is fine for me. I don't need dental or mental health cover. Just the absolute essential.  I could possibly go bare bones for myself, something in between for my wife, and comprehensive for my son. The policy Keith quoted me was 150 euro/month for my son, so that would probably be okay for him. But if I could cut corners (but be legal) for the parents, I'd want to consider that.

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52 minutes ago, SteveHarris said:

Maybe a better question is, for my situation (EU spouse, freelancer), what is the absolute cheapest private insurance I could get that would pass German legal standard?

 

I am not qualified to offer insurance advice and normally I'd tell you to go get a professional quote, however, you seem to have already done that:

 

8 hours ago, SteveHarris said:

I should also note that Keith Tanner said that it would be very difficult for me to find German private insurance as an expat freelancer. The only options: ASEIG 1225 euro/month and Hans Meurker 850 euro/month to cover all of us.  

 

What is so difficult to understand? 

 

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It's known as a second opinion. : ) I would never buy insurance in U.S. only considering two options provided by a single broker. Looking through the Hanse Merkur plan revealed a higher deductible version that Keith did not mention to me in his initial email.  Also Starshollow himself (Tanner's co-worker) mentioned international plans that would be legal on another Toytown thread; Tanner said these options were of questionable legality. So it's all  far from straightforward.  I'm seeking out all the info that I can.  

Yesterday I wrote to several brokers including John Gunn and Spectrum, so waiting to hear now.  
 

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