Health insurance and Germany go hand in hand! So much so that you need a health insurance coverage even before you enter the country. Here are some option for health insurance for German Freelance Visa application.
There’s a lot to think about as a freelancer planning to immigrate to Germany. Even if it is not your top priority right now, sooner or later you will have to deal with health insurance in Germany. If you are applying for a German freelance visa, then you definitely need to prove that you have adequate health insurance coverage for your stay in Germany.
Health insurance is one of the most widely discussed topics for the German Freelancer Visa application. Proof of a secure livelihood must include sufficient health insurance coverage in Germany. This obligation is called Versicherungspflicht.
So what should you choose as health insurance for a German freelancer visa?
In this post, I will explain some of the well-known health insurance for German freelancer visa.
While I am doing my best to provide comprehensive and up to date information, please make sure you do your own due diligence and pick the best option for your health condition and budget.
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1. Short-Term Health Insurance in Germany
There are German insurance providers that offer short term health insurance coverage for visitors who want to stay in Germany for a few months. Some expats have reported successful German freelancer visa application with their travel insurance coverage.
Below are a few well-known travel insurance providers in Germany.
Care Economy is an international policy offered by Care Concept, a German health insurance company. Care Concept is often recommended by several fellow expats who have successfully applied for a German Freelancer Visa using their coverage.
The Care Economy’s health insurance plan has a maximum duration of two years. This special international health insurance plan is ideal for foreign nationals who are travelling to Germany on a Schengen visa.
Care Economy provides coverage against the costs of diseases and accidents abroad – starting from 1.00 EUR per day. It is simple and easy to sign up for this plan online.
Another very convenient Care Economy feature is that you can buy their plan for as little as one day of coverage as opposed to a long term contract. It makes Care Economy very suitable for expats who are still waiting for the results of their visa application and want to wait until signing a more comprehensive two-year-long health insurance contract.
By purchasing only 90 days of coverage upfront you
- get enough coverage to get the visa itself.
- minimise the risk of paying for a long-term plan that you cannot use (or refund!) if you don’t get the visa and have to leave Germany
2. Expat Health Insurance in Germany
If you are planning a longer stay in Germany, it is important that you have adequate and high-quality health insurance coverage.
Generally, expat health insurance plans are adequate to apply for your German freelance visa. However, it is always best to confirm this with the providers – either from their website or through their customer care service.
Here are some well-known expat health insurance providers in Germany.
Care Expatriate is for anyone who intends to stay in Germany for more than 6 continuous months.
This insurance protects you against the costs of medically necessary treatments – starting at €58 per month!
You can apply directly online, quickly and easily. Any citizen of a 3rd country who is staying in Germany can take coverage of Care Expatriate.
The minimum duration of this coverage is 6 months. If you live in Germany you can get health insurance coverage for a maximum of 5 years.
There are three types of Care Expatriate tariffs – Basic, Comfort and Premium. All these tariffs provide various health care coverages and have varying monthly premiums.
Feather Expat Health Insurance
Feather’s expat health Insurance covers expats and freelancers who don’t yet have full-time employment in Germany.
You can easily sign up for Feather’s expat health insurance online from their website. The entire process is expat-friendly and in English. Payments are made month-to-month. You also have the option to cancel anytime with just one click.
3. Private Health Insurance in Germany
Most expat health insurances are not great long term option, both for fulfilling health insurance requirements and actual health care during your stay in Germany.
Most of them are only valid for a couple of years so you will need proper and more comprehensive health insurance if your plan is to stay in Germany for a longer period.
Below are some options for private health insurance providers in Germany.
Feather Private Health Insurance
Feather has partnered with several longstanding German health insurance companies and they basically match you up with the one that meets all your health care and visa requirements.
Their website states that their policies are provided by reputed German companies which are all accepted at the visa office. Their policies fulfil the legal requirement for health insurance for German Freelance Visa.
To find a private health insurance policy through Feather, you set up an appointment with one of their consultants. The entire process is done in English so you don’t even need any German language skills.
The consultants at Feather scan the market for the best offers and compare prices to find the best policy for you. Feather’s expert not only support you finding the insurance coverage, but also provide you with ongoing support for policy lifetime.
4. Public Health Insurance in Germany
If you’re planning to stay in Germany permanently, it may be worth considering joining the public system despite its higher cost.
Why? Because as you get older, your private insurance premiums are likely to get higher and your ability to switch policies or add an additional cover, due to your higher risk status, is likely to be very tricky.
While private health insurance may be advantageous for young and healthy freelancers, switching back from a private scheme back into statutory health insurance is usually ruled out by the law (except for in some special cases.)
In particular, if you are a bit older or have a chronic disorder, or have a family should check critically whether switching into a private health insurance scheme really makes sense.
However, getting into the public health insurance system as a foreigner freelancer is quite hard.
The only way to sign up with a German public health insurance provider is if you were already a contributing member previously – for example as a student or as a full-time employee in Germany.
For freelancers who are considering going down the route of public health insurance, the income threshold is relevant for the size of the contribution.
If you want to opt for public health insurance as a freelancer in Germany, there are many public health insurance providers to choose from.
Here are some of the most popular public insurance companies in Germany.
Techniker Krankenkasse (TK):
TK, or Techniker Krankenkasse, is one of the largest statutory health insurance provider in Germany. It is very popular in expat community because it has been known to provide services in English as opposed to many companies who only operate in German.
Like most other insurance providers in Germany, TK covers the costs of your doctor visits, treatments, medications and other types of care. Although some parts of your care (i.e. special medications and treatments) might be subject to additional costs or contributions.
Anyone can apply for TK coverage – students, employees, pensioners and self-employed people qualify for TK’s coverage.
As is the case with public health insurance in Germany, TK costs are also determined by your monthly income. Generally, you can expect to pay 15.3% of your gross monthly income.
Barmer is another statutory health insurance provider in Germany. I have been with Barmer since 2014 and have had no issues with their services (so far anyway).
As of lately, Barmer has also launched an English support hotline for their non-German speaking customers. It is available 24/7 to provide direct, expert assistance about your health insurance coverage. You can even call this hotline from abroad.
Besides this, there are a number of perks of being a Barmer customer.
They offer up to 100 euros cashback each year to members who can demonstrate a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Generally, gym membership, a healthy BMI score, or maintaining regular check-ups are rewarded.
As a general rule, those with statutory health insurance are considered sufficiently insured for German freelance visa application. However, it is hard to sign up for it if you are not a resident of Germany.
Private health insurance must include the specific type and extent of coverage to be sufficient health insurance for a German freelance visa. Expat health insurance might just provide enough coverage to qualify as adequate health insurance for your German freelance visa.
While this post gives an overview of various health insurance plans available for expats and freelancers in Germany, you absolutely must do your won research to find a plan that works for them and also meets the requirements.
So there were some of the best known options for health insurance for German Freelance Visa application. Have you applied for freelancer visa in Germany with a different health insurance plan? Let us know your experience in the comments below.