Healthcare in DE

Healthcare For UK Expats in Germany  -  Post-Brexit Information

In order to live and work in Germany, it’s understandably crucial that you have reliable access to healthcare; what’s more, it’s a legal requirement that you hold health insurance if you want to live in Germany. With this in mind, you might still be liable for certain expenses, and considering this can help you choose a suitable insurance strategy for your business’s needs.

Joining German Health Insurance Scheme

Generally speaking, residents of Germany sign up with a Krankenkasse, to whom they pay for their insurance schemes.
The vast majority of people in Germany will choose a statutory health insurer, and this offers the best coverage with support for immunisations, check ups for dental care, etc. What’s more, these plans are often also able to help with mental health, GP appointments (you can book with any registered GP when you partner with a statutory health insurer, fortunately), physiotherapy, maternity care, rehabilitation, and the like.

However, you also have the opportunity to sign up for private health insurance if you earn €64,350 per year or higher. These schemes are also available to civil servants, self-employed workers, and students aged between twenty-three and thirty years of age. You must meet one of these requirements if you wish to get private healthcare insurance while living in Germany, and if you don’t, you’ll have to choose a statutory health insurance scheme instead.

How to Join a Health Scheme as a UK National in Germany

Health insuranceIf you’re a UK national living in Germany, you will first need to consider joining up with a German health scheme. Fortunately, there are numerous ways that UK nationals living in Germany can go about this, and the most obvious is to join up with a statutory German health insurer. However, if you meet one of the requirements to go private, you might also be able to apply for private health insurance in Germany.

What about other options? Well, if you have an EHIC card that’s still working, or if you’re using a temporary UK Global Health Insurance card, you may be able to rely on these while living in Germany. Alternatively, you could register an S1 form, issued in the UK, with a relevant statutory health insurance service; this available for those individuals who are looking to move to Germany after already beginning to draw on their state pension.

As a final option, if you’re employed in Germany and have a job offer ready, you may be able to get health insurance through your employer. This will vary depending on the type of contract you have signed and the services that your chosen employer offers for their employees. As such, you shouldn’t count on this before moving to Germany; you’ll need to check your contract specifically to see whether or not this is something that your employer can offer.

Healthcare Insurance is a Legal Requirement in Germany

In order to get healthcare if you’re living in Germany and making an income, healthcare is a legal requirement for numerous aspects of your residency. For example, you won’t be able to apply for residency or a Visa without having healthcare insurance fully established.

Fortunately, it’s possible to add dependants onto your existing statutory health insurance plan in Germany for free.
In summary:

  • If you are employed by a German business, you may be able to apply for health insurance through the company itself. This depends on your contract, so check carefully before assuming this is the case; it may not be the same for every job offer.
  • As a posted worker, you will usually have a role in a UK business but have had to temporarily move to Germany as part of your job. If this is the case for you, you may be able to apply for German health insurance through an EHIC form, a GHIC form, or an S1 form.
  • For those who have begun drawing on their UK state pension, the UK government may entitle you to free healthcare support; the S1 form is relevant in this instance, and you can register this with a statutory health insurance provider. You’ll receive the same level of coverage in this instance as is provided by a statutory health scheme in Germany.
  • Students may be able to apply for a GHIC, which offers state healthcare while you are studying abroad; this is also applicable for those students studying in Germany. Student EHICs also provide the same level of support, and if you already hold one, these remain active until their expiry date. However, it’s worth noting that some services may be available for a lower cost, but not for free, through the GHIC card.
  • If you also intend to work in Germany while studying, you will also need to apply for a statutory or private health insurance scheme, depending on your preferences.

If you need any further support about applying for health insurance while living in Germany, the German embassy or consulate may be able to provide additional assistance.

Applying for Healthcare in Germany

Healthcare applicationAt this point, we’ve summarized some of the key points you need to know about the options for healthcare in Germany – but how can you apply? While it might seem like a daunting process at the outset, applying for healthcare in Germany fortunately doesn’t have to be a major headache; with this in mind, the following steps may help.

  • Register as a German resident with the relevant authorities – you’ll need to request an Aufenthaltsdokument-GB from the authorities in order to complete this.
  • After your registration has been processed and approved, you can apply for an account with a healthcare insurance provider, who in turn will send an ID card with your German EHIC on the reverse. This will allow you access to any German GP, unlike in the United Kingdom; this definitely takes the pressure off for many people and ensures that you won’t have to register each time you wish to visit a new general practitioner.
  • In some cases, a GP referral won’t be necessary; in such instances, you’ll be able to head directly to a service provider for healthcare related support. However, if you do need a referral to begin with, you should request an Überweisungsschein document from your preferred GP.

A Word of Caution for Statutory Healthcare Insurance

At this point, while we have mentioned that you won’t need to sign up with a GP to get healthcare in Germany, it’s worth noting that not all German GPs will treat those with statutory healthcare.

As such, before choosing a GP in Germany, check that they are able to help; however, if you hold private healthcare insurance, this usually won’t be an issue. Some key phrases you should look out for when checking that your chosen GP can help include “Kassenarzt,” “Vertragsarzt,” and “Alle Kassen.”

Is Private Healthcare Insurance Worth It?

Is private healthcare insurance in Germany worth the expense? Generally speaking, most people will prefer to opt for statutory healthcare over private, as it’s capped at €368 monthly; contrastingly, private healthcare can cost as much as €1500 for the over 45 age group. However, it can be much more affordable for younger applicants, so it’s worth asking around for quotes to see which offers the best deal for you.

Final Thoughts

Applying for healthcare insurance in Germany is a little different from the UK. Nevertheless, as a UK National living in Germany, you will still need private insurance – and we hope that today’s guide will have helped you find out a little more about the process overall. If you are looking for good mover offering professional services at affordable rates, we recommend to request free quote on removals to Germany. You will easily find out that moving to Germany can be both efficient and still cheap.