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Healthcare in Germany

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Health insurance is obligatory for everyone residing in Germany who is employed full-time by a company. The company pays half of the insurance contributions, the other half comes out of the employee's salary. The employee's half usually totals around 10% of their gross salary. When starting work with a company usually the employee won't have to worry too much about how the system works. The company will automatically sign them up with an insurance company and the contributions automatically deducted from the salary. Sometimes the employee may be asked if they have a preferred insurance company. It is recommended to simply go with one of the big names, like "AOK" or "TKK".



The way the public healthcare system works in Germany can be confused by many, in particular expats looking to live in Germany and find work. If you are employed in Germany and are earning less than €48,600, then it is compulsory to be a part of the state healthcare insurance scheme. This is also true for students at a state or state-approved university in Germany and certainly for interns too.

You are only exempt from mandatory public health insurance as an employee working in Germany if you are seconded by a company which has its HQ in a member state of the EEA ( European Economic Area; including all of the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or in certain contracting states (among them being Canada and Quebec, PR China, Israel, Japan and the USA).



Now if you are earning more than the threshold of €4,050 gross salary per month, you can elect to leave the public health insurance and get a private health insurance while employed in Germany. Here the comparison between different offers is a bit more complicated and you may want to get the advice of a professional advisor or broker.

One of the main advantages in Germany in relation to state healthcare is that if one member of the family is working and insured, the whole family gets covered for free as a result. Be aware that if both the mother and father are working, the highest earning between the two will get used for insurance for the children. 

Typical office hours of a local GP are 08.00-13-00, and then 15.00-18.00, Monday-Friday.

                                             European Emergency Number: 112 




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