Obligatory back-payments on health insurance

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Hi there,

I've been reading through all the Health insurance topics that everyone has been posting and still can't find any anwers.. I'm sure there are many people out there who have the same problem. I'm an Irish guy who has been living in Berlin since 2005. As many people know the job situation is tough and I've been scraping by as a Stagehand freelancer for the past year or so.. Since my income was roughly 400 euro a month there no way I could afford health insurance. With this new law in April 2007 that makes Health Insurance compulsury people like me are screwed... What really confuses me and makes me angry is that I heard I might have to pay back-insurance from April 2007 even though I wasn't insured... How?? Why?? Who makes up these laws.. I've been looking always for a better job as I speak German too but the only work I come by seems to be a 400 euro job or Gewerbeschein work.. Does the employer of a 400 euro job pay your insurance? If you earn under 400 euro I read that you don't have to have insurance... well it's impossible to pay for it if you earn that much... Getting help from the Arbeitsamt is out of the question... Was there before when I first came and the anwer i got was you're not German, you haven't worked here yet... no social help.. not that I want any... but if this stupid Health Insurance law is true what can I do...I love Berlin and don't want to leave .. my girlfriend studies here.. I love my apartment... but the Burokratie gives me a migraine... Anyone have any anwers...

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Does the employer of a 400 euro job pay your insurance?

The employer should pay a "Pauschal" or consolidated levy, which includes the social security contributions and tax. It should be paid to the Knappschaft and you should have notified your health insurance ... but you haven't got one. You speak German so I'd suggest you contact the Knappschaft. Just google it.

 

 

Getting help from the Arbeitsamt is out of the question... Was there before when I first came and the anwer i got was you're not German, you haven't worked here yet... no social help.

You're Irish: The question is do you have a right to Benefit at home ? There are (or certainly were) reciprocal agreements whereby Germany administers your benefits here and charges them to Ireland. Contact your benefit office in Ireland. The Arbeitsamt has 2 functions here. The ARGE looks after benefit and the A-amt should assist you in your search for employment. Even if the ARGE turned you down you should have pressed to be regsitered as "Arbeitsuchend" in any event.

Something doesn't match in your situation. If you've been Freelancing you're not in a 400 Euro job. You may only have earned 400,- Euros but Freelancing is working independently, i.e. Selbstständigkeit. The 400,- Euro job is an "Arbeitsverhältnis" with an Employer. Herein may lie the root of your confusion.

If you were "Selbständig" you will have a liability back to April 2007, you should also be registered with the Finanzamt. It sonds to me, whether you know it or not, that you're working illegally and to your own disadvantage.

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Thanks for your replies... I am registered with the Finazamt, have a steuernummer and Gewerbeschein, done everything legal.. and I based that I earned roughly 400 euro a month on all my bills for the last tax year and divided the sum by 12... 396 was my average monthly income... The only thing I don't have is Health insurance ... and as of April 2007 that's illegal. That's my problem..

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paradoxrock: I guess I can ease some of your fears: nothing in the law (and I am probably one of the few people in Germany who have acutally read it and the follow-up regulations) says that you will be back-charged for the last years from now. So you need not fear that.

 

What will happen is this: the need to have an insurance compulsory, whether German or international health insurance, will become effective by Jan 1st 2009 ( I am pretty sure I already explained that in another thread but what the heck). But even then, especially for EU-citizen, you will not be charged backwards in 2010 for missing insurance payments since early 2009 by some German authorities AS LONG AS YOU CAN COVER any medical costs for treatments you incure in Germany. Only if - for instance after an accident or medical emergency - the doctors or hospitals find that you have neither an insurance nor sufficient funds to pay for the bills, then a German insurance will step in to cover for any standard costs/treatment required to keep you alive, but then they will go after you and charge back all the way since Jan 2009 or your later arrival date for back-premiums. Which from where I stand is correct because free-riding is not something the society should tolerate.

 

Going without health insurance - even if I can understand your financial dilemma - is not only dangerous to you, it is also anti-social because you know if something serious happens to you by way of an accident for instance no German doctor or hospital will let you bleed to death because you carry no insurance and someone - which is the public, normaly - will have to take up the bill. Therefore I urge you get health insurance very, very soon.

 

One low-cost way is what you mention with regards to 401 EUR jobs which come with compulsory health insurance, public pension contributions and so on. There the employer does pay on top of your net salary some 80-100 EUR to cover all this and you have at least a health insurance. Or try at least to get a basic health insurance from an international health insurance company which covers you for out- and in-patient only, no dental, no other frills, just the basics.

 

Going without health insurance is not only your risk and your decision, it is your decision to risk the rest of the world to pick up the tab when something happens to you and thats not o.k. Health insurance and third party liability insurance are a must for everyone, period.

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Just curious :Question : What happens if one works as a freelancer eg teacher and is employed also elsewhere in a 400 Euro job, is this legal having two different jobs? If so, then will this person have to contribute twice to his health insurance fund?

Good luck Paradoxrock, you have great advice given to you here.

Thank you in advance.

Elizabeth

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two answers:

1) of course it is legal to have two jobs, one say with 401+ EUR and public health insurance and one on a contract freelancing.

2) it could be (would be logical actually) that you'll have to report the additional income to the public health insurance and be charged a higher premium on the total since public insurance is always income based. But here for once I am really not sure how this works. Anyone has had experience with that yet and can contribute from first hand knowledge?

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Hello!

 

I have the same issue. Deided to write again since these comments are almost ten years old. Things have probably changed a bit.

 

I am from Sweden and moved to Berlin in 2006. In 2008 i moved back to Sweden and lived there for 1,5 years and then went back to Berlin again. So I've been registered here now since 2010. I have a mini job and a self emplyed job where i have to write invoices. None of these jobs pays for my health insurance. I have never had one during all these years that I've lived in Berlin. It's about time. I am just scared of having to back pay. Any suggestions of what is the easiest way to get around the issue?

 

Don't know if it makes a difference but i did break my leg in Germany maybe back in 2010 or 2011. I had the european travel insurance card and used it as if i would have been a traveling turist. But that means that my name has been in contact with a german health isurance copany. Was just thinking if thats bad that my name might come up some place?

 

Hope to get some help on how to get isurance the easiest way and not being in insane debts.

Thanks!

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Contact Starshollow or johng pronto to see what your options are for purchasing health insurance (e.g., public or private)!

 

The health insurance you should have purchased would have been tax deductible against your self-employed earnings. You may be required to make back payments based on your self-employed income back to the date of your Anmeldung in 2010 (or the minimum amount charged to the self-employed).

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Since 2009 having an adequate health insurance is obligatory in Germany for all residents.  Hence the potential back-charges.

 

As an Eu-citizen at least you did not have Visa-issues, otherwise you would have either had to leave the country already or set up a health insurance way back when.

The free mobility is a huge privilege within the EU that also comes with responsibilities. And you can't have missed since then that it is required in Germany to have a health insurance... but I am not here to preach. So, let's move forward.

 

As an EU citizen you could use an international health insurance (EWR-Dienstleister) to get covered for health without back-charges. However, it is at least the current opinion of the German BAFIN and the head association of German private health insurances that such insurances are not fully compliant with German laws. So, if you intend to stay long-term in Germany, you need a law-compliant solution,too, and not just health insurance per se.

If your regular monthly gross income is in excess of 3.000 EUR, I would have such a solution available (and without back-charges, too) but if your income is below that, an international insurance is your best option for now, I am afraid.

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Yeah i would really prefer a german one.

 

My income is way below 3000/month. Ive earned in between 300-1000/month.

 

I would need a insurance that also covers mental heath. I feel like an international one might not do that.

 

There is another thig that might be of importance that i forgot to mention. During all these years i have never deregistered from Sweden. So that means i have had insurance there the entire time. Ive talked to a guy that is having meetings about this and he was suggesting to deregister in Germany, go to Sweden, deregister in Sweden and come back and register here again. That would mean that im new in Germany and have papers that i have just left Sweden.

 

As far as i've understood the german health insurance will ask for when i was insured before and if i can show papers on that i just left Sweden maybe its fine?

Any thoughts on that?

 

Thanks for your answers.

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23 minutes ago, RobinNils said:

Yeah i would really prefer a german one.

 

My income is way below 3000/month. Ive earned in between 300-1000/month.

 

I would need a insurance that also covers mental heath. I feel like an international one might not do that.

 

There is another thig that might be of importance that i forgot to mention. During all these years i have never deregistered from Sweden. So that means i have had insurance there the entire time. Ive talked to a guy that is having meetings about this and he was suggesting to deregister in Germany, go to Sweden, deregister in Sweden and come back and register here again. That would mean that im new in Germany and have papers that i have just left Sweden.

 

As far as i've understood the german health insurance will ask for when i was insured before and if i can show papers on that i just left Sweden maybe its fine?

Any thoughts on that?

 

Thanks for your answers.

 

Mental health - if an existing condition - will lead to outright rejection by any German private health insurance, so you can forget about that, I am afraid. Plus, with your low income, no German private insurance is going to take you in anyway.

 

Deregistering from Germany and coming back with proof of existing Swedish coverage is the way. But even then you will find that you can't afford the German public insurance for self-employed (to which you are eligible when re-registering and which covers all existing conditions) because they will charge you something like 350 EUR per month. Or, at the very least the lower one for start-ups which is still around 200+ EUR p.m.   So, in the end, with your income you cannot sustain a legally compliant stay in Germany, I am afraid. You either need to find employment with health insurance or give it up all together. Sorry for sounding harsh, but these are simply the hard true facts I am stating here. 

 

Cheerio

 

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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That must be the price for private health insurance.

But what about the public? Everyone i talk to say its about 150.

 

I might have used the wrong term. Self emplyed. That might not be correct. I dont have a company. Im just working on hour basis and i have to write bills for my work.

 

I dont quite get how I am supposed to live here leagally even if I try to. It's not like im just gonna leave. I have lived here for over ten years now. This is my home.

I just wanna try to do things the right way.

 

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If you write bills, you're self-employed, and public health insurance costs at least around 250€ a month (if you have no assets):

************************************************************************

 

You need to look for an employee job that has a gross salary of at least 450.01€ a month, i.e. a midi job, that midi job comes with public health insurance at a much lower amount.

Do not get a mini job, which has a gross salary of up to 450.00€, since that comes without public health insurance.

 

A midi job that has a gross salary of 450.01€, pays out net 399.87€:

Detailrechnung Arbeitnehmer:
 
Bruttolohn:
450,01 €
Krankenversicherung:
20,87 €
Pflegeversicherung:
3,84 €
Rentenversicherung:
21,92 €
Arbeitslosenversicherung:
3,51 €
Nettolohn:
399,87 €
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11 minutes ago, RobinNils said:

That must be the price for private health insurance.

But what about the public? Everyone i talk to say its about 150.

 

I might have used the wrong term. Self emplyed. That might not be correct. I dont have a company. Im just working on hour basis and i have to write bills for my work.

 

I dont quite get how I am supposed to live here leagally even if I try to. It's not like im just gonna leave. I have lived here for over ten years now. This is my home.

I just wanna try to do things the right way.

 

 

Public is around 150 if you are living off your savings.  If you are self employed, they will assume that you are making at least 2230 a month, even if you aren't, and you will pay according to https://nordost.aok.de/inhalt/krankenkassenbeitraege-fuer-selbststaendige-5/ 14% of that so 312€ a month minimum.  Panda is right that if you get a midi job or a full time job, anything over 450 a month, you would get your health insurance included.  However, if you get one now and your employer tries to register you for health insurance, they will ask to see your anmeldung in Germany and ask you for proof of insurance since your anmeldung.  As you don't have any, they will back charge you.  I am not sure either that it works if you take a job and continue to be self employed on the side.  You might still be required to pay as a self employed in that case.  I think you should listen to Starshollow.  He's doing this for a living so knows what he's on about.

 

As for living here legally, that includes getting insurance which you should have done 10 years ago.  Same for you, me and anybody else.  If you can't afford to be self employed, then you take another employment.

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18 minutes ago, RobinNils said:

That must be the price for private health insurance.

But what about the public? Everyone i talk to say its about 150.

 

I might have used the wrong term. Self emplyed. That might not be correct. I dont have a company. Im just working on hour basis and i have to write bills for my work.

 

I dont quite get how I am supposed to live here leagally even if I try to. It's not like im just gonna leave. I have lived here for over ten years now. This is my home.

I just wanna try to do things the right way.

 

 

as @PandaMunich already explained to you: now - these are not private health insurance costs but those for self-employed in Germany.

In public insurance you can have three different status forms:

- no income higher than 425 Eur p.m. (or max a Minijob with 450 EUr p.m.) - in that case you can be insured for around 170 EUr p.m.

- employee with obligatory public health insurance, starting with a Midi--Job of at least 451 EUR  p.m. and more. In which case you and your employer share the costs for public insurance 50:50 (more or less)

- self-employed (which you are, as you are not an employee). There is a min. premium for self-employed, which is around 370 EUR total per month, based on an estimated gross income of around 2.000 EUR per month. For self-employed below that there is a chance (but not a legal right, mind you) to get a lower rate of around 250 EUR +/-  p.m.  That is the lowest there is.

 

If you can not do any of the above options, your stay in Gemany is simply illegal. Sorry to say that. But that's what it is.

 

Cheerio

 

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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2 hours ago, Starshollow said:

If you can not do any of the above options, your stay in Gemany is simply illegal. Sorry to say that. But that's what it is.

 

And what happens then? 

I mean if the person has asset and income so small that it's just mathematically impossible to pay? His/her staying in Germany is illegal, and next ...?

 

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1 hour ago, Gambatte said:

 

And what happens then? 

I mean if the person has asset and income so small that it's just mathematically impossible to pay? His/her staying in Germany is illegal, and next ...?

 

 

It is illegal not to have health insurance but he's been here for 10 years and so I doubt that anybody is about to kick him out if they didn't already.  He could probably continue working as a self employed and if anything ever happens, the health care will patch him up anyway and give him a big bill he can't pay.  This actually happened to someone here some years ago.  It was a relatively young guy but he had a heart attack and the bill was something like 20,000€

 

Robin Nils, since you've lived here so long, you might qualify for a Harz iv top up since you are not making that much.  You can apply for it.  They may agree to pay for your health insurance as of now.  The back charges would likely be your problem though.  They may also try to convince you to give up your self employment and take a full time job since it doesn't seem to be going too well for you financially.

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1 hour ago, Gambatte said:

 

And what happens then? 

I mean if the person has asset and income so small that it's just mathematically impossible to pay? His/her staying in Germany is illegal, and next ...?

 

 

The right to freedom of movement technically isnt absolute, you have to be able to pay your way.  In theory such a person would be deported, but more likely they just end up gradually accumulating bills they cant pay, having their stuff taken by bailifs and eventually homeless and/or decide to leave on their own.

 

Or as Leon so rightly says get hartz 4.

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