Can you get health insurance without a job in Germany?
Apply for private health insurance
If you receive unemployment benefit I (ALG I), you are automatically covered by public health insurance (gesetzliche Krankenversicherung, short GKV), even if you were previously privately insured.
Today, the country operates as a universal, multi-payer healthcare system. The German healthcare system puts a strong emphasis on choice. Foreigners and residents can choose from three options for health insurance. The most common option is the government-regulated public health insurance system.
|Public health insurance
|Private health insurance
|Who is eligible?
|Everyone who is a long-term resident in Germany is eligible for public insurance.
|Only those that exceed the income threshold, which is set at EUR 66,600 currently.
What happens if I have no money and I am not insured? → Even if you have no money, you are still subject to gen- eral compulsory insurance in Germany. First find out whether you are insured in statutory health insurance. If you have no money, you can apply for social benefits at the Job centre or Social welfare office.
Health insurance in Germany can vary between EUR100 to EUR500 per month or more, depending on whether you are eligible for private or public insurance. For statutory health insurance, the contribution rate is around 14.6% of the income, with additional contributions determined by the insurance company.
Yes, all Germans and legal residents of Germany are entitled to free “medically necessary” public healthcare, which is funded by social security contributions. However, citizens must still have either state or private health insurance, covering at least hospital and outpatient medical treatment and pregnancy.
Expats who move to Germany are also included in the healthcare system and must be holders of health insurance. Depending on their income situation, they may be eligible for only public health insurance, or they may have the option to get coverage from both systems.
Healthcare in Germany is accessible to all residents through public health insurance – this system covers 90% of residents. While non-residents require private insurance coverage to receive medical care.
The public health insurance rates charged by the Krankenkassen are 14.6% (plus 1.3% average supplemental premium) of your monthly income up to a maximum salary amount of 4,837 Euros. This means that the average monthly premium on the market for 103 public Krankenkassen can be up to 770 Euros.
Is private health insurance worth it in Germany?
If you are young and healthy, you could pay just 175€ per month for private insurance (350€ if you are self-employed). Public health insurance can cost up to 470€ per month for employees (925€ if you are self-employed). If you are young, healthy and well-paid, private insurance can be much cheaper.
|Less than 9.744 euros
|9.744 - 57.918 euros
|14% to 42%
|57.919 - 274.612 euros
|More than 274.613 euros
Healthcare System Performance Ranking
Key findings: “The top-performing countries overall are Norway, the Netherlands, and Australia. The United States ranks last overall, despite spending far more of its gross domestic product on health care.
In Germany, the average cost of an uninsured consultation with a doctor ranges from €30 to €100 or more, depending on the type of doctor and the location of the medical facility. A visit to a general practitioner is usually less expensive than a visit to a specialist.
Generally speaking, most hospitals in Germany accept all patients, whether they have public or private health insurance. However, it's important to keep in mind that a few smaller, private hospitals may only accept those with applicable coverage.
There were 143,000 people lacking health insurance in 2019 as opposed to 79,000 four years previously, according to the statistics gleaned from a so-called microcensus carried out every four years. Of the 143,000, 89,000 were men and 55,000 women.
The average salary of full-time employees in Germany amounted to 4,105 euros in gross terms in April 2022. The individual salary usually differs from the average salary and depends on a variety of factors.
In 2023, the TK contribution rate to health insurance is 15.8 per cent of the gross income. It consists of the general contribution rate of 14.6 per cent and the health insurance fund's individual supplementary contribution rate of 1.2 per cent.
Health expenditure in Germany rose to 474.1 billion euros in the second Covid year of 2021. That was 5,699 euros per inhabitant. Health expenditure per capita and total health expenditure were up by 7.5% from a year earlier, which is the largest increase since calculations started in 1992.
Applying for public or private healthcare
Either way, private or public healthcare is mandatory by law in Germany. You can find out more about how to register for public healthcare insurance on our Public Healthcare in Germany page.
Is dental care free in Germany?
In Germany, residents qualify for free dental treatments if they receive Hartz IV (welfare) payments. This also covers costly procedures such as bridges and crowns. However, if you don't receive welfare payments but qualify as a low earner, you can access dental care at reduced rates.
Safety. Germany is often thought of as a country of strict regulations and rules. Global Peace Index ranks 163 countries based on their overall level of peacefulness; Germany was ranked 16th in 2022. The crime rate is low, and Germans place a high value on law and order.
U.S. health insurance plans typically do not cover regular and routine medical care required overseas. This means your health insurance won't pay for care if you need to visit a doctor for a prescription medicine, or if you need treatment for a condition that is not considered an emergency.
What if I don't have health insurance in Germany? If you're visiting Germany and don't have health insurance in the country, you can still see a doctor. You will, however, have to find a private doctor and be responsible for the cost of the visit — a GP consultation without medical insurance costs from €30 to €60.
Almost all the countries in Europe have a universal healthcare system. There are people who call it a “free healthcare” system but it is actually not free. Each nation has its own variation; however, a common feature is that everyone has to pay for healthcare as a society.