Retiring soon. What to do about health insurance?

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I used to think health insurance was crap in the US until I moved to Germany.  In my situation at least, its way worse.  It's surprising to me that Germany is not considering a single payer system as they seem to be rather progressive in other areas.

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32 minutes ago, Buzznut3000 said:

I used to think health insurance was crap in the US until I moved to Germany.  In my situation at least, its way worse.  It's surprising to me that Germany is not considering a single payer system as they seem to be rather progressive in other areas.

Too many entrenched interests, unfortunately. The private health insurance industry has a very strong lobby, and the statutory health insurance funds suffer from extreme bureaucratic bloat, because AOK and the others are EVERYWHERE, and it's where politicians of all parties like to park their former local members of the Landtag or Bundestag in well-paid, fancy-sounding makework positions in upper management.

 

Things are improving, but slowly. According to this source, there were 1815 statutory health insurance funds in 1970. As of January 1, 2019, there are only 109. With modern IT, I figure that number could easily shrink by another order of magnitude within the next decade.

 

Having said, that, the German system is certainly less expensive than the American system on a per capita basis and seems more or less effective, bar the occasional bottleneck.

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I don't know of any insured person over here who has gone broke over medical side costs. I do know a few in the U.S. who had "excellent" insurance.

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On 5/11/2019, 12:23:05, Buzznut3000 said:

I used to think health insurance was crap in the US until I moved to Germany.  In my situation at least, its way worse.  

Can you cite a few specifics? And you are comparing US private insurance to German private insurance? And since your wife is public ally insured how does she find the comparison to the US private market?

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On 5/8/2019, 7:33:57, john g. said:

https://www.finanztip.de/pflegeversicherung-rentner/

One problem is retirees who used to have half their nursing care paid for by their employer now have to pay the full whack themselves (unless severely disabled etc ).

That was interesting but not quite what I was after. My understanding is this. As I've been publicly insured my whole life (i.e. never opted for private over public) I will only have to pay my portion of healthcare cost on my German pension only not on any other income (but I still will owe income tax). I will have to fill out a form

 

What I'm worried about is reading stories how some retirees get hit with the full amount, 18% on all income in other words the pension people won't be paying the "employer" portion of healthcare. What I'm trying to figure out is what triggers this? Why are some 6 million a year  getting hit with this. 

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2 hours ago, Rushrush said:

That was interesting but not quite what I was after. My understanding is this. As I've been publicly insured my whole life (i.e. never opted for private over public) I will only have to pay my portion of healthcare cost on my German pension only not on any other income (but I still will owe income tax). I will have to fill out a form

 

What I'm worried about is reading stories how some retirees get hit with the full amount, 18% on all income in other words the pension people won't be paying the "employer" portion of healthcare. What I'm trying to figure out is what triggers this? Why are some 6 million a year  getting hit with this. 

 

You don't have to worry about that, if you spent more than 90% of the second half of your work-life in an EU public health insurance and draw a DRV German public pension, you remain a mandatory member of public health insurance (in other words: a member of the KVdR, the legal basis is §5 (1) Nr. 11 SGB V) even when you retire and will only pay public pension contributions on your worldwide public pensions and worldwide company pensions.

 

It's a shock for people who don't get into the KVdR, since they, when they retire, even though before they were employees who therefore only had to contribute to public health&nursing insurance from their salary (no matter whether they earned below or above the Versicherungspflichtgrenze, see here), change status to "retiree, voluntary member", and suddenly owe 18.x% on all their worldwide income for public health&nursing insurance (well, except for on their German public pension, there DRV always pays a subsidy of 50% of their health insurance contribution on their German public pension. No subsidy for the nursing insurance, i.e. Pflegeversicherung).

 

For details please read this post (and the post that's linked from it):

 

2 hours ago, Rushrush said:

What I'm trying to figure out is what triggers this? Why are some 6 million a year  getting hit with this.

 

That "some 6 million a year" link is about company pensions, not about public pensions. 

 

The explanation is very simple: DRV only pays a 50% subsidy towards the health insurance on their own DRV public pensions. DRV won't even pay out the subsidy for people who were insured at another public pension insurer and therefore draw a non-DRV public pension, so why should they do so for pensions that are your employer's responsibility (or the responsibility of the private insurance company that your employer paid to take that responsibility off his hands)?

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