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Gernan health system

(17 Posts)
YoniBottsBumgina Tue 14-May-13 21:31:26

Can anybody explain to me please, as someone who has never paid for healthcare ever and doesn't understand a thing, what you pay for and what is covered by insurance? I am feeling very clueless!

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 15-May-13 11:40:04

Daytime bump

LinzerTorte Wed 15-May-13 11:59:14

You could always ask on the living in Germany and Austria thread - I'm not much help personally I'm afraid, as I'm in Austria, but most of the other posters are in Germany.

FamousFiveForever Fri 17-May-13 21:56:21

It is mandatory to be insured if you live in Germany. You can chose between state insurance or private. State ins. will cover every single thing and you don't need to pay up front though you will have to contribute to meds and insoles, special bandages, spectacles, teeth inlays, etc.

I'm not so sure about what goes on with the private insurers but they are more expensive and once you are with them it's not easy to move back to a state insurer.

You pay a monthly fee according to your or your husband's salary.

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 18-May-13 09:12:56

Thank you both. Linzer I always feel bad about popping in for advice as I'm rubbish at chat threads! I feel like I'm ignoring everyone..

itsmagic999 Sat 18-May-13 15:54:26

My understanding is that you will struggle to get into the public health insurance coming from another country. My neighbour (both german) DH is private, she is public and their son must be private. Having lived here and Belgium i can say that iin my experience it is much more expensive here. Just been to the dr for a two vaccinations - 125 euros. The dr even said "are you privately insured, I have to take it from a different fridge" in Belgium not only was it free for your children to have a yearly check up but the bill for me would have been 40% of here. Much as I like Germany a lot, the health system is expensive and certainly no better (and lets not talk about the crazy school system)!

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 19-May-13 00:26:21

DP has health insurance through work, not sure which kind it is. It probably doesn't cover me and DS though.

outnumberedbymen Sun 19-May-13 05:37:07

I've been wondering whether I should post or not, but I really cannot understand why everyone seems to be talking so negatively about the German health care system so much. Health care is one of tge reasons we will not be moving back to the UK. Obviously, the private insurance isn't cheap, but neither is the private one in the UK. The state insurance gets automatically deducted from your salary, and spouse and children are insured at no extra cost.

I like the fact I can go and see a specialist straight away rather than seeing a GP and then having to wait 6montgs plus for a specialist appointment. And I am absolutely positive that had we stayed in the UK, we would still be waiting for a diagnosis for our ds', possibly even still waiting for an appointment for assessment.

Similarly, in the UK we had to wait over 6months to get ds1 heart murmur checked out. Here, for ds2, the heart murmur was checked out by sonography a few minutes after the paediatrician had detected the heart murmur at a regular check up.

So far we have not had to pay for any treatment, medicine or therapies for the dc ourselves.

For ourselves for medicine we have to pay a contribution. But in general, what I get, I am more than happy to pay a little more than I would in the UK.

Btw people on benefits are automatically insured through one of the state insurers.

Don't want to glorify the German healthcare system by any means, and I am sure there is plenty room for improvement. But I still much prefer it to what we got in the UK.

BeyonceCastle Sun 19-May-13 06:42:33


Check re husband's work health insurance - most do Familie mitversichert - and will cost you substantially less.
Avoid private insurance - certain preconditions and any mental health issues and they are tricky buggers - once you are in private system practically impossible to switch back and you do not get more for your money imho

Suggest you google Toytown Germany and in the search engine put in health insurance - you will find lots of threads there no doubt.

There are also excellent trustworthy brokers on toytown who could advise you John G and Starshollow - they are lovely and often advise expats online for free but can also get quotes for you.

You ought to have public liability insurance too - Haftpflichtversicherung - it really is an essential in Germany as it can get litigious.
Legal insurance is good - big tip - join your local Mietverein (Tenant rights) ASAP - not only is it cheap for whole family but they often offer cheap rates on legal - also the advice/acting on your behalf often takes three months to kick in i.e. you join before not when there is a tenancy issue.

Hope this helps. Most Krankenkassen are very good btw - and the healthcare here has been excellent.

FamousFiveForever Sun 19-May-13 15:39:23

Not surprised at all by doctor's comment re different fridges fr diff insurances. Have been prescribed Amoxillin for my youngest and been given a generica by pharmacy as this is the only one my insurance will pay for, not the expensive brand one.

A&E for kids, on out of hours number can be up to 40km away for us. Health care in Germany has gotten worse, no doubt about it.

itsmagic999 Sun 19-May-13 18:00:59

If the comments are negative, so be it - these are my experiences. I have no problem with the care I received in the UK, Belgium or Germany, but no one in Belgian was the least bothered by me being privately insured, not the case in Germany and I certainly receive no better treatment (having sat and waited 2 hrs with a toddler to be seen for 5 mins by a specialist - all patients having been given an 11 am appt). I have to say Belgium was pretty good. The cost of vaccinations and childrens check up - unbelievable here - someone is making some money.

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 19-May-13 18:20:48

DP and I aren't married %yet) and ds is not his son so I doubt anything he has will cover us.

Have found out that state insurance for UK citizens is based on NI contributions, which I doubt I've earned enough to pay. So may be stuck with private anyway! Based on this and the other threads I've started and the research I've done, I'm even more confused, I think we will just gave to wing it and hope for the best.

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 19-May-13 18:22:38

Generic vs branded medicines don't bother me a bit TBH. As long as it does the job!

FamousFiveForever Sun 19-May-13 21:11:25

The generic for Nurofen is Ibuflam and my youngest breaks out in a rash with the latter so there is a difference and I have raised it with her doctor.

LinzerTorte Mon 20-May-13 07:05:05

Glad you've got some answers on this thread now. smile Just wanted to say that, even though most posters on the Germany/Austria thread are regulars, we do get others popping in from time to time to ask a quick question and are always happy to help if we can!

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 20-May-13 19:39:55

Ah ok linzer - good to know smile thanks!

cheaspicks Wed 22-May-13 11:12:43

Will you be working in Germany? As a freelancer, I have what's known as Freiwillige (voluntary) state health insurance. I would strongly recommend that over private insurance as I assume it would cover your ds (you should check that, though).

High earners often opt for private insurance as it works out cheaper for them. You can choose a private policy based on what you can afford monthly, but a cheap monthly fee will mean a high yearly excess (I looked briefly at paying €200/mth, but would have had a excess of €1000/yr.)

If you're not planning to work, then you should be eligible for benefits as an EU citizen, otherwise what are UKIP harping on about?

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