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Broke freelancer with expensive health insurance... What are my options?

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Hey peeps,

 

I'm a strong believer in bullet points as a storytelling device in online forums, so here is a breakdown of my current situation:

 

1. I'm a Brazilian-German citizen who came to Germany one year ago. In Brazil, I was a freelance translator for a European company, and in Germany I kept doing the same as they provided me with steady work and a decent living wage.

2. Since I had never worked in Germany before, I was not eligible for public health insurance. So, with the help of the wonderful John G. from this forum (hi, John!), I signed up for the cheapest available private health insurance option at the time: HanseMerkur.

3. Cheapest available private health insurance option = 350 Euros/month. It was PAINFUL, but I made it work. Until now.

5. Said European company moved the translation operations to Brazil and gradually stopped sending me jobs. Right now, I am virtually unemployed, with no other meaningful source of income, while still having to pay for private insurance. In fact, they just took this month's premium as a direct debit from my account. Ouch.

6. Of course, I'm looking for a job, and relying on savings meanwhile. But they are running out FAST, and I'm not sure I will be able to afford my expenses next month.

7. I am... kind of desperate. I'm working a Minijob to keep things afloat, but of course it's not enough for rent + health insurance. I don't know what to do if I don't find a job within a month or so.

 

So... what are my options if I don't find a job soon? I can't sign up for public insurance, and it's not legal to just ditch the Krankenkasse. I'm looking into the possibility of changing my Minijob into a part-time contract because this would at least mean partial coverage of my insurance... but not even that is guaranteed. So what does a freelancer do when the tide changes and they suddenly find themselves moneyless? What if I simply cannot afford health insurance anymore? What are my options in the short-term?

 

This has been keeping me up at night... and the irony of it is I can't even afford to go to the doctor now for stress-related issues because of the goddamned annual deductible of 500 Euros. :D

 

Don't trust the freelance fallacy, kids. Find an unbefristeter Arbeitsvertrag.

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  1. Stop freelancing officially.
  2. Find an employee job paying at least 450.01€ a month, this comes with automatic public health insurance included. It also means that your private health insurance contracts stops immediately.
  3. Stay in that employee job for at least 1 month.
  4. Now you can start freelancing again and still stay in public health insurance, which will be 18.x% of your profit, but at least about 190€ a month: https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/373290-after-2017-election-the-center-holds/?do=findComment&comment=3643494
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Thanks! But my idea after finding a job (be it full-time or part-time) is to leave the freelance life forever. However, if I don't find something fast, is there some sort of security scheme in place for unemployed people who... never officially worked for an employer in Germany? Ugh, what a peculiar thing. 

 

By the way, what if my monthly Minijob earnings are higher than 450.01€, but I'm still registered as a Minijobber? Does that change anything in terms of my contractor's obligations?

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 Any job that has a contract with at least 450.01€ a month salary written in it is a midi-job, which comes with the above described benefits (included public health insurance and a "get-out-of-private-health-insurance-immediately"-card).

 

However, what you have is most probably a mini-job contract with 450€ written in the contract. A mini jobber is allowed to exceed the 450€ limit in a few months, but only for three months if the yearly limit of 5,400€ (= 12 * 450€) was breached. For details please see here:  https://www.minijob-zentrale.de/DE/01_minijobs/03_haushalt/01_grundlagen_minijobs_im_privathaushalt/02_450_euro_minijobs_imph/01_entgeltgrenze/node.html

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28 minutes ago, eevee said:

Thanks! But my idea after finding a job (be it full-time or part-time) is to leave the freelance life forever. However, if I don't find something fast, is there some sort of security scheme in place for unemployed people who... never officially worked for an employer in Germany?

 

HartzIV aka welfare, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartz_concept 

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1 hour ago, eevee said:

Don't trust the freelance fallacy, kids. Find an unbefristeter Arbeitsvertrag.

Your case is too risky: only one single source of income and no sufficient savings to overcome a bad period.

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1 hour ago, eevee said:

Hey peeps,

 

I'm a strong believer in bullet points as a storytelling device in online forums, so here is a breakdown of my current situation:

 

1. I'm a Brazilian-German citizen who came to Germany one year ago. In Brazil, I was a freelance translator for a European company, and in Germany I kept doing the same as they provided me with steady work and a decent living wage.

2. Since I had never worked in Germany before, I was not eligible for public health insurance. So, with the help of the wonderful John G. from this forum (hi, John!), I signed up for the cheapest available private health insurance option at the time: HanseMerkur.

3. Cheapest available private health insurance option = 350 Euros/month. It was PAINFUL, but I made it work. Until now.

5. Said European company moved the translation operations to Brazil and gradually stopped sending me jobs. Right now, I am virtually unemployed, with no other meaningful source of income, while still having to pay for private insurance. In fact, they just took this month's premium as a direct debit from my account. Ouch.

6. Of course, I'm looking for a job, and relying on savings meanwhile. But they are running out FAST, and I'm not sure I will be able to afford my expenses next month.

7. I am... kind of desperate. I'm working a Minijob to keep things afloat, but of course it's not enough for rent + health insurance. I don't know what to do if I don't find a job within a month or so.

 

So... what are my options if I don't find a job soon? I can't sign up for public insurance, and it's not legal to just ditch the Krankenkasse. I'm looking into the possibility of changing my Minijob into a part-time contract because this would at least mean partial coverage of my insurance... but not even that is guaranteed. So what does a freelancer do when the tide changes and they suddenly find themselves moneyless? What if I simply cannot afford health insurance anymore? What are my options in the short-term?

 

This has been keeping me up at night... and the irony of it is I can't even afford to go to the doctor now for stress-related issues because of the goddamned annual deductible of 500 Euros. :D

 

Don't trust the freelance fallacy, kids. Find an unbefristeter Arbeitsvertrag.

Hello, eevee! I am sorry to hear of your predicament. Hey, I´m not a fly-by-night mosquito...please feel free to Skype me anytime - even tonight! I am sure we have Skyped before..even though I don´t know which client you are by name based on your TT moniker!

john.gunn3

 

If necessary, we could get married in Gretna Green to help you solve the problem! ( I think you are a  lady client!!)...

:D

I am a professional independent insurance broker and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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2 minutes ago, john g. said:

 

If necessary, we could get married in Gretna Green to help you solve the problem! ( I think you are a  lady client!!)...

:D

 

 

You never made me that offer, John!

I am sooooooooooooooo jealous!!!

:D

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3 minutes ago, john g. said:

If necessary, we could get married in Gretna Green to help you solve the problem! ( I think you are a  lady client!!)...

 

Won't help, you don't have public health insurance ;)

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But I have new teeth, Panda!!! Have you not been following TT lately?

:D

And I twisted my foot today on a doggie round and am feeling in pain...Mist...

Still one-eyed as well!

:D

I am a professional independent insurance broker and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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4 minutes ago, robinson100 said:

 

You never made me that offer, John!

I am sooooooooooooooo jealous!!!

:D

Oh sorry, rob..I forgot!!

:P:P

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

 

Won't help, you don't have public health insurance ;)

Could try to get her into the Scottish NHS before they change the rules!!!

:P

I am a professional independent insurance broker and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Just now, john g. said:

Oh sorry, rob..I forgot!!

:P:P

 

Aha! Getting old and forgetful?!

If you were rich, I would marry you!!! :wub:

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eevee, there's a hard and fast rule that many of us freelancers live by, and that is, never, ever put all your eggs in one basket. If possible, spread your work over as many different companies as possible, so if one of them goes belly up, you have other work to keep you going.

 

I hope you can sort this problem out and think again about what you want to do here.

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I AM rich, rob..I feed the 5,000 in Harburg and I don´t even live there!

(reminder to self: bloody Finanzamt there begging again!!! )

:D ( this smiley shows I have just brushed my new teeth again! )

I am a professional independent insurance broker and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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I'd say ask the mini job if they are willing to make it a midi job first because it's easy and will solve your problem fast. If not, go to the job center and apply for benefits. The job center will help but they may delay your payments every month until they've seen how much money you made etc.

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18 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

Your case is too risky: only one single source of income and no sufficient savings to overcome a bad period.

...and if the Govt does succeed in making public pension payments for all freelancers/self-employed compulsory...ouch

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

I'd say ask the mini job if they are willing to make it a midi job first because it's easy and will solve your problem fast. 

 

That's a very good idea.

 

To convince the employer, show them that you would cost them less as a midi jobber with a 451€ salary.

A 450€ mini jobber costs the employer 584.10€ a month, while a 451€ midi jobber only costs them 544.53€ a month:

 

450€ mini job, cost to employer:

5cd0843736982_minijob450.png.9f5a714fd67

 

451€ midi job, cost to employer:

5cd084389a959_midijob451.png.fc03b640696

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