This post gives an overview of private health insurance in Germany for freelancers who want to renew their self-employment residence permit.
Public health insurance is considered ‘safest’ for German freelance visa renewals. However, it is hard for non-EU foreigners to sign up for it.
Unfortunately, most expat health insurances are rejected by German foreigners’ offices. Most of them are only valid for a couple of years so international freelancers need more comprehensive health insurance if their plan is to stay for a longer period in Germany.
This leaves them only with private health insurance providers which fulfil these conditions.
In this post, we’ll explain everything about private health insurance in Germany for freelancers.
Disclosure 1: We are not insurance brokers and this article does not constitute professional advice. We simply recommend these companies based on ease of sign-up and English language correspondence. Just like everything, we recommend you read the small print.
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What is Private Health Insurance in Germany?
Private health insurance is known as Privatekrankenversicherung (PKV) in German. Around nine million people have opted for private health insurance in Germany.
German freelancers commonly take out this health insurance because of its super flexible options and affordable monthly rates. Private health insurances make it easy for their members to customise their personal needs and chosen benefits, including the associated costs.
Freelancers interested in private health insurance in Germany can choose between more than 40 providers and hundreds of monthly plans. Since the options are virtually unlimited, it is useful to concentrate on the offers that are tailored to the personal requirements of health insurance.
Eligibility for Private Health Insurance for Freelancers
Private health insurance in Germany is open to almost all occupational groups without any preconditions. However, there are various factors that are taken into account by a private health insurance provider, such as:
- Your age
- Your general health condition
- Your profession
- Your or your family’s medical history (This is relevant for those who have dependents)
- Any preexisting health conditions or certain health risks
In some cases, expat freelancers usually need to pass a medical examination in order to get approved for private health insurance in Germany.
Costs of Private Health Insurance in Germany
Monthly income does not play a role in private health insurance plans. So both low and high earning freelancers can benefit from affordable health insurance in Germany.
The monthly premium for private health insurance depends on individual health requirements as well as the monthly budget and eligibility of the freelancer.
Most private health insurance providers offer modular plans with various different benefits, add ons and contribution levels. You have the freedom to choose a tariff that suits your personal requirements and monthly budget with private health insurance for freelancers in Germany.
Freelancers who have a relatively low income can start with a basic tariff. They can change to a more comprehensive tariff later as their income grows.
However, those with pre-existing health issues or in an older age group can expect to pay more for their health coverage. Even if you sign up with private health insurance at a young age, your monthly contribution will get higher as you get older.
Advantages of Private Health Insurance in Germany
- Non-income based contribution – you pay for the coverage you choose
Freelancers with a high or even low monthly income, in a younger age group and sound health, may benefit more from private health insurance.
- Better basic coverage when compared to public health insurance
Patients with private health insurance in Germany often enjoy shorter waiting times at the doctor’s and for a specialist appointment than those with public health insurance.
- It is possible to create your own individual coverage by choosing add ons or modules
With very flexible options, expats in Germany can take out a private health plan that is individual to their personal needs and their chosen benefits, including the associated costs.
Disadvantages of Private Health Insurance in Germany
- Preexisting health conditions and age factor in the monthly premiums
The biggest disadvantage of private health insurance in Germany is for those with a pre-existing chronic illness or in an older age bracket. In both cases, you can expect to pay much higher monthly contributions to your private health insurance provider.
- Monthly costs add up as the insured gets older or sick
In a similar vein, even if you sign up with private health insurance in Germany young and in good health, your monthly premium is likely to increase as you get older or develop a health condition.
- Difficult to change the provider at a later stage
Even though private health insurance in Germany is advantageous for international freelancers most of the time, switching back from a private scheme to public health insurance in Germany is very hard, except in some very rare cases.
- Each family member must be insured separately
Unlike public health insurance, you cannot cover your dependents in your private health insurance plan. This makes private health insurance in Germany unsuitable for freelancers with young families or dependents.
If you have dependents you might want to consider public health insurance for freelancers in Germany.
Which Private Health Insurance to Choose in Germany?
Below are some options for private health insurance in Germany for freelancers.
ELEMENTAR Bonus (inkl. Tarif Kompakt Zahn)
Minimum Duration: 1 month
Maximum Duration: Ongoing until formal cancellation or switch
Coverage: AXA’s private comprehensive health insurance cover you for a lifetime. Their coverage includes:
- Reimbursement of doctor’s fees in Germany for outpatient or inpatient treatment
- Extensive cost coverage for medical aids
- Participation in the statutory preventive programmes.
Other Features: You can also add several modules to your insurance cover, such as:
- Individual dental insurance cover with up to 90% reimbursement for dental prosthesis
- Daily sickness benefit
- Private nursing care provision
Foyer Global Health Exclusive
Provider: Foyer Global Health
Minimum Duration: One year
Maximum Duration: Ongoing
Coverage: Foyer offers a full-health insurance plan – also known as Vollversicherung in German. It covers all your medical costs and needs, preventive health screenings, inpatient and outpatient treatments.
Other Features: This plan is suitable for foreign citizens moving to Germany for the long term and require real international health insurance instead of travel insurance.
Minimum Duration: One year
Maximum Duration: Ongoing
Coverage: If you run an established company or have a regular customer base as a freelancer, you will benefit from the more comprehensive services with HanseMerkur and enjoy the coverage all-around cover.
- Additional modules with a daily hospital allowance or against loss of earnings.
- Extensive options for preventive care such as a lung function test or a stress ECG.
- General hospital services (shared room and treatment by the attending physician) are insured.
- 80% of the invoice amount for inlays, crowns, bridges or dentures is covered.
- A maximum of 50 Psychotherapy sessions per calendar year are reimbursable.
- You can benefit from attractive premium refunds if you are rarely ill.
- You receive a discount on your monthly premium if your values are within the normal range during a regular health check: HanseMerkur will waive 10% of your premium.