Health insurance for freelance English teachers

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I know there are quite a few posts and discussions pertaining to health insurance, but I just want SPECIFIC information. Is there anyone on TT who is a freelance English teacher (maybe from the US) and doesn't have expat insurance? Would you be able to tell me the company you have insurance through, how much it costs, and what it actually covers? My head is spinning with all the informatin I have been reading recently. I'd just like to know what other people (like myself) pay/have for insurance.

Thanks.

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I paid about 750€ for the year with AXA PPP. I can't just walk into a doctor's office with a sore throat, but that's fine for me because I don't do that anyway. It covers anything that requires an emergency room visit or worse. And covers it fully. And it includes travel insurance, including to the states (though limited). I paid in one payment. The rate's maybe 15% more if you pay in installments.

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I am also a freelancer from the US. What I did is go to one of the public health insurance companies (Gezetzliche Krankenkasse). I am with AOK and am "Freiwillig versichert", but I know people with the Techniker Krankenkasse etc. It functions like an HMO at home (without the insanity!) and unlike the private insurance companies here (like DKV) you DON'T need a doctor's exam to apply. They take you no matter what. It's only really worth it though if you think you will need go to the doctor here or ever take medication. You tell them you are Freiberuflich and earn such and such a month. Then they calculate your monthly premium. I pay around 300 Euros per month. It's a lot compared to a catastrophic health insurance, but everything is covered. I'm happy with it. Just another option...

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and unlike the private insurance companies here (like DKV) you DON'T need a doctor's exam to apply.

First of all, a freelancer teaching English isn't going to make that much. Second, I have yet to come across a private health insurance that required a doctor's exam. Then again, I've only been with two. (BUPA and Allianz) Both of the private insurances I've had covered everything but vision and dental, cost around 75-90/month for me...male in late 20's.

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:) It is possible to earn quite a lot as a english freelancer... depends who/where you work for :) DKV wanted a doctor's exam for whatever reason and being that I was pregnant, it would have been pointless... they wouldn't have taken me (I told them up front).

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jsuravicz: as a freelancer you have basically three options:

1. voluntary membership in public health insurance as mentioned by Spaetzle. If you want to go for the best, take TKK, if you want to take the least expensive (since the general treatment coverage is the same in all public insurance since this is regulated by law), take IKK DIREKT. Based on your estimated income you can compute the premium yourself at the website from IKK DIREKT here:

http://sponli.ikk-direkt.de/Beitragsrechne...schaft_143.html

Just fill in your estimated monthly income here: Selbstständig mit Einkommen in Höhe von [ ]

and also click the long-term care insurance which is compulsory here : Pflegeversicherung allgemein - or if you are single without children the one directly below with the higher prmeium for childless members and then [Berechnen] et voila, there comes your premium

However: since last year it has become extremely difficult for not-employed foreigners to enter public health insurance if they are not EU-citizen or have not been insured with an EU-memberstate public health insurance for at least 3 years during the last 5 years. I can't predict if you will be accepted or not if you apply

Cons regarding public health insurance: very expensive in comparison for singles and DINKs, not very flexible, in certain areas no good coverage

Pros regarding public health insurance: if you have family (spouse without income, children) they are covered with your insurance without extra costs. Lack of coverage in certain areas can be balanced through private add-on insurance. Public health insurance does not concern with pre-existing conditions, thus if in need of treatment without waiting period, this is better

2. International health insurance/ExPat health insurance

Usually 1-year contracts, some limits regarding coverage, some insurance have waiting period for certain treatments, not recommended if you have pre-existing condition requiring soon new treatment or if you are suffering from chronical ailments. In case of visa- and residence permit requirements not all international health insurances are excepted with German authorities, especially since more and more Ausländeramt require also long-term care insurance (Pflegepflichtversicherung), make sure that the international health insurance of your choice can cover that too.

Pro: can be quite inexpensive for younger people and you can elect to opt out from certain areas of coverage (dental, pregnancy) which make German insurance in some cases more expensive. But when you compare comprehensive coverage with not caps/limits, usually German insurances beat international insurance in the comparisons I do when you are over 30 years old

Cons: increase premium prices steeply when getting older, thus only a short-/mid-term solution if you think you'll leave Germany in a couple of years anyway. Some problem with German authorities may occur in visa and residence permit issues. contract does not end immideately if you pick up employment in Germany with compulsory German health insurance, thus potential danger of double-premium costs in such a case

3. Private German health insurance

Depending on what you expect from a health insurance, with German private health insurance when properly selected you can get very good comprehensive coverage world wide for comparatively little money. But you can not opt out from certain areas of coverage like with international insurance, therefore an unfair comparison (leaving out direct comparison of coverage) can lean towards international insurance if you just want to cover out- and in-patient treatment only because then the premium difference can be big.

If you are not pre-insured with European public health insurances you will have to go through medical and dental check up for the application

If you have pre-existing conditions, these will either lead to steep incerease of premium or exclusion of coverage for this.

If you have chronic ailments/disablements: forget it

Pros: better coverage then public insurance for lesser costs, better treatment from doctors and hospital (same as with international health insurance)

insurance stops the same day when a compulsory public health insurance due to an employment starts - no double cost risk.

Neg: premium is not income related like public health insurance. If you have lower income, premium remains the same. Premium is based on age, gender and health status, not suitable for the old, ill or suffering

 

And finally: this is a very complicated issue with lots of loopholse and problems to consider, a wrong decision now can harm you a lot in the future. Therefore get professional assitance, bet from an independent broker. If you don't know one, ask other ExPats for recommendations ------ and in my very biased opinion good service for you is just a click away if you check out the disclaimer below :rolleyes:

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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I am an American applying for a one to three year work permit in Germany. I have international traveler´s insurance, but was informed by the visa/work permit personnel that I need German medical insurance. Unfortunately, when I asked them to recommend a company they could not. They just insisted that there was a specific insurance for freelancers (English teacher).

 

Can someone please recommend a SPECIFIC company that was approved by the work permit office? I have an appointment on Thursday to turn in my paperwork, so I would greatly appreciate a swift response.

 

Cheers!

 

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I have been hired as a freelance English teacher for a language center here in Berlin. I need health insurance for my visa and I'm getting more and more confused about what I actually need and the best way to get it. I know I need full health coverage, but when I called TK they said they couldn't cover me. Of course, this could have been a misunderstanding due to my broken German, but they said I needed private health coverage. I also really need the cheapest policy I can get. I keep hearing conflicting information from the people I ask. Does anyone have some information for me? Do I actually have to go through a private company or should I try calling AOK and see what they have to say? If I do need private health care does anyone know someone reliable and affordable?

 

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Oh, also, another friend has health insurance through insuremytrip.com. I guess they're insurance specifically for americans who are going to be out of the country. They have policies for short trips and also for people abroad for up to a year. Once again, however, she has been living here for a while now and requirements have changed. Does anyone know if this would still work for someone in my position?

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ok, so i have been offered a job as a freelance english teacher, and this seems to be the place where all other freelance english teachers gather for health insurance questions. i thought that i will be pretty much forced to go private. i will be making voer 400 eur a month with this job. quotes have ranged from 60-130 eur looking around at a glance. i have the chance in a month or two to become an employee with this company and i guess thats def something to make sure happens.

 

now i have been asked to work part time in a bar i assume as an employee. only one night a week to start off with so nothing great, doubt i will make over 400 eur a month on it.

 

which insurance do i go for? or will be forced to go to.

 

if i had to go private until i get this employee status by the english job then going private for 3 months would be ideal, with the view to going public once having gained employee status.

 

aslo i've heard that going from one type of insurance to another can cause problems in the future.

 

any help would be greatly welcomed.

 

also i am 21, male and straight from uk so have had only the nhs. don't smoke and have no health problems.

 

thanks

richardlowe

 

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I can't help you with any specifics, I'm afraid, but I'd recommend reading the entry on Health insurance (if you haven't done so already).

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RichardLowe: if you are insured until recently with NHS you do -even as a freelancer - have the right for voluntary membership in public health insurance. However: even though the public health insurance premium is computed on income, they do set a min. income estimate at around 1200 EUR and change - which will probably make this insurance more expensive then you think/want to afford riight now.

On the other hand no insurance broker for German private health insurances is going to touch you with a barge-pole if you are reasonably sure that you will move into employment within 3 month. The reason is that not only will the broker have to repay all commission to the insurance (and thus have worked for naught), it will also give him/her a bad rep. at the insurance company if that happens too often (and once may be too often already). Since most international health insurances have become not legally fully sufficient anymore and offer only 1year-contract-durations anyway, that leaves you in my opinion on the private side with only two alternatives:

a) try and go with a travel-health insurance or the EHIC (or whatever the contemporay of that is, even I lost track) from NHS for the short time until you are employed. Since you are from UK and need to visa/residence/work permit etc. this should not cause a problem

or

B) go with a special Expat insurance. There is one I know of that offers a min duration of only 6 month and with 79.- EUR premium per month. Thus you do not end up spoiling a lot of money if you happen to get your employment in 3 month time or so

 

besides, you could try to ask the bar for a 401.- EUR job for working with them, that would end all complications right away and you would get public health insurance for little money.

 

One more word of caution: as a freelance teacher you are liable to pay your share of income into the public pension system in Germany! Make sure that you do that or at least lay aside the funds for that if someone comes later to backcharge you...

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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QUOTE One more word of caution: as a freelance teacher you are liable to pay your share of income into the public pension system in Germany! Make sure that you do that or at least lay aside the funds for that if someone comes later to backcharge you... UNQUOTE

 

I am also an American who is a freelance English teacher and trying to sort out the insurance issues. I have a question about the public pension system here. Is it mandatory to pay into this at a freelancer? If so, what percentage of my income should I be setting aside each month? I have been told that if I would work work for 2 companies I don't have to pay into the public retirement but could pay into the private (?) retirement or take care of my retirement my self. Does anyone know if this true?

 

Thanks for your help!

 

Adam

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eaglerunner: AFAIK the special regulation for freelance teachers to contribute compulsory to the public pension system is not depending if you work for only one school/institute or more. But I could be wrong.

 

A quick search I did turned out this information:

 

 

Von dem Einkommen auf Honorarbasis muss in Deutschland - da LehrerInnen, auch wenn sie freiberuflich arbeiten, BfA-pflichtversichert sind - die Rentenversicherung an die BfA gezahlt werden. Da man als freiberuflicher Lehrer aber sein eigener Arbeitgeber ist, muss man sowohl den Arbeitgeber- als auch den Arbeitnehmeranteil bezahlen, ca. 19,5 % des Bruttoeinkommens (das ist kein Witz). Angesichts des hohen Beitrags, den man im Vergleich zu Festangestellten (bei denen ja der Arbeitgeber die Hälfte des Beitrags zahlt) leisten muss, ist die BfA-Rentenversicherung für freiberufliche LehrerInnen ein echtes Verlustgeschäft und oft wegen des häufig sowieso sehr geringen Einkommens einfach nicht zu finanzieren. Viele freiberufliche LehrerInnnen zahlen deshalb in die BfA nicht ein und versichern sich wesentlich günstiger privat oder auch überhaupt nicht. Das ist aber illegal und für den Fall, dass sie/er entdeckt wird, drohen Nachzahlungen in erheblicher Höhe. In der Regel wird verlangt, dass die Beiträge der letzten vier Jahre nachgezahlt werden, also 1/5 des Brutto-Einkommens der letzten vier Jahre.

and this is the legal norm the liability for ppublic pension contributions derives from:

 

 

SGB VI § 2

§ 2 Selbständig Tätige

1Versicherungspflichtig sind selbständig tätige

 

1.

Lehrer und Erzieher, die im Zusammenhang mit ihrer selbständigen Tätigkeit regelmäßig keinen versicherungspflichtigen Arbeitnehmer beschäftigen,

2.

Pflegepersonen, die in der Kranken-, Wochen-, Säuglings- oder Kinderpflege tätig sind und im Zusammenhang mit ihrer selbständigen Tätigkeit regelmäßig keinen versicherungspflichtigen Arbeitnehmer beschäftigen,

3.

Hebammen und Entbindungspfleger,

4.

Seelotsen der Reviere im Sinne des Gesetzes über das Seelotswesen,

5.

Künstler und Publizisten nach näherer Bestimmung des Künstlersozialversicherungsgesetzes,

6.

Hausgewerbetreibende,

7.

Küstenschiffer und Küstenfischer, die zur Besatzung ihres Fahrzeuges gehören oder als Küstenfischer ohne Fahrzeug fischen und regelmäßig nicht mehr als vier versicherungspflichtige Arbeitnehmer beschäftigen,

8.

Gewerbetreibende, die in die Handwerksrolle eingetragen sind und in ihrer Person die für die Eintragung in die Handwerksrolle erforderlichen Voraussetzungen erfüllen, wobei Handwerksbetriebe im Sinne der §§ 2 und 3 der Handwerksordnung sowie Betriebsfortführungen auf Grund von § 4 der Handwerksordnung außer Betracht bleiben; ist eine Personengesellschaft in die Handwerksrolle eingetragen, gilt als Gewerbetreibender, wer als Gesellschafter in seiner Person die Voraussetzungen für die Eintragung in die Handwerksrolle erfüllt,

9.

Personen, die

a)

im Zusammenhang mit ihrer selbständigen Tätigkeit regelmäßig keinen versicherungspflichtigen Arbeitnehmer beschäftigen und

B)

auf Dauer und im Wesentlichen nur für einen Auftraggeber tätig sind; bei Gesellschaftern gelten als Auftraggeber die Auftraggeber der Gesellschaft,

so, the only way to escape this as a teacher (and obviously "teacher" is defined pretty broadly, even teaching Yoga or Golf counts) is to employ someone with a 401+ EUR job. But if you are already working as a teacher for a while in Germany, this would only free you of future contributions - they could still demand backpay for contributions during the last 4 years. And as mentioned above: you'll have to contribute roughly 19-20% of your gross income. You can not escape this by paying into a private pension plan instead.

 

Cheerio

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

 

im coming to berlin in may, i'll be looking for work as an english teacher, i understand i'll need to work freelance.

what im not sure about is how medical insurance works? im kiwi so non eu, i will have travel insurance from my country, my travel insurance told me even if im working i'll be covered for medical expenses..

 

so what im wondering is if im covered with travel insurance for medical, am i still required to take out german medical insurance to be able to work freelance? i heard it was a requisite for getting freelance work status

 

or is medical insurance sth that is automatically deducted from wages? so no choice but to double up on insurance?

 

is there a different system for taxing and medical between work permits and freelance status?

 

any knowledge on this would be greatly appreciated

 

thanks

 

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1. your travel health insurance will not be sufficient, neither in general by German laws nor especially when you need to get permits from the Ausländeramt (immigration authorities)

2. as a freelancer you do not receive a "wage", thus health insurance can not be deducted from it.

 

you need to contact an independent advisor/broker to getyourself set up with a health insurance which gets you through all legal problems here in Germany. You should also do some research here on Toytown to understand better the difference between employment and freelancing. Ample info available, just use the search engine...

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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ok, so i have been offered a job as a freelance english teacher, and this seems to be the place where all other freelance english teachers gather for health insurance questions. i thought that i will be pretty much forced to go private. i will be making voer 400 eur a month with this job. quotes have ranged from 60-130 eur looking around at a glance. i have the chance in a month or two to become an employee with this company and i guess thats def something to make sure happens.

 

now i have been asked to work part time in a bar i assume as an employee. only one night a week to start off with so nothing great, doubt i will make over 400 eur a month on it.

 

which insurance do i go for? or will be forced to go to.

 

if i had to go private until i get this employee status by the english job then going private for 3 months would be ideal, with the view to going public once having gained employee status.

 

aslo i've heard that going from one type of insurance to another can cause problems in the future.

 

any help would be greatly welcomed.

 

also i am 21, male and straight from uk so have had only the nhs. don't smoke and have no health problems.

 

thanks

richardlowe

 

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I have been in Germany for just over 2 years and during these 2 years I had AOK German public health insurance, which was covered by my UK national health contributions. This only cost me 10 euro quarterly for doctor's and dental appointments. I'm not an expert in this field, but do know that I obtained a special form - E106 rings a bell (but not sure!). I suggest you phone the Overseas Health Department in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and ask for guidance - Phone number 00441912181999.

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dairiesman - are you employed in Germany?

If you are a pensioner who has gone to Germany and never been employed there,

then what you write rings true.

Otherwise it does not agree with what the UK DWP says.

I am a pensioner in Germany and because I have worked in Germany

I must pay Krankenkasse contributions (sadly, more than my German pension).

If you are a normal employee there was once a way that your Krankenkasse payments

came from the UK for a short time, but never 2 years.

Basically if you work in Germany you must pay Krankenkasse, Pflegeversicherung etc.

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1. your travel health insurance will not be sufficient, neither in general by German laws nor especially when you need to get permits from the Ausländeramt (immigration authorities)

2. as a freelancer you do not receive a "wage", thus health insurance can not be deducted from it.

thanks for your reply but could you tell me what you mean by " health travel insurance will not be sufficient, neither in general by German laws..."?

If as a tourist/unemployed person in germany my full cover travel insurance covers me for medical etc.. and my travel insurance company says the maximum period of a year for which you are covered it is posible to be on a work permit, yes you will still be covered by us.. then why is it that travel insurance can "not be sufficient"?

why do i need to buy more if I already have some, Im only there for 6-12months

 

please enlighten me

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