In Germany, there is no national health insurance. Instead, you must either be covered by a private health insurance plan or enroll in one of the country's public health insurance programs (GKV/PKV). This guide will help you understand how German healthcare works so that you can make an informed decision about your own coverage while living here. bookinghealth.com
Health insurance in Germany
As a non-EU citizen, it’s compulsory for you to have a health insurance policy for the duration of your stay in Germany. There are two types of health insurance: public and private.
Private health insurance can be taken out by you or your employer and will usually cover private treatment, including dental care. These policies are not cheap and may even cost more than €500 per month, but this depends on your income level and whether or not you are eligible for state subsidies (which would reduce the price).
Public health insurance is provided by the government through sickness funds that cover different groups of people such as employees working in certain sectors, retired people over 65 years old and children under 18 years old. Depending on which fund an individual belongs to, his/her contributions will vary greatly from year to year depending on their age group (there are also special rates for those who do not work full time or who have low incomes).
The public health funds (Krankenkassen) offer several different types of coverage depending upon whether they want their members to receive outpatient care only (a so-called mini-private contract), hospitalization only (another so-called mini-private contract) or both outpatient care and hospitalization (a standard private contract). Individuals who don’t belong to any statutory scheme must take out private medical insurance policies with one of these seven main providers: AOK; Barmer GEK; BKK Dachverband; Deutsche BKK Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse eV; TARGOBANK Gesundheitswesen GmbH
Setting up your health insurance for an extended stay in Germany
As a non-EU citizen (or a citizen of another country that doesn't have a reciprocal agreement with Germany) you must be able to prove that you have adequate health insurance in order to live in Germany for more than three months.
The easiest way to do this is by purchasing health insurance from an insurance provider before arriving in Germany. You can also get insurance through an online broker, who will help you find the best plan for your specific needs, or at any major travel agent when booking your trip.
Where to find a doctor or dentist in Germany
You’ll want to find a doctor or dentist in your area who speaks English and accepts your insurance, and then you can use Google Maps to look up their address. If you need help translating that information into German, we have some tips for you!
Types of doctors in Germany and what they do
There are many different types of doctors in Germany. These include general practitioners (GPs), specialists and even dentists.
General practitioners (GPs) are the first point of contact if you have a medical issue or need to see a doctor. They deal with all aspects of health, including serious illnesses like cancer or heart disease as well as common ailments such as colds and coughs. In some cases, GPs may refer patients to other specialists for further treatment if necessary.
Specialists are experts in their field who treat people with specific conditions or diseases such as neurology, cardiology or dermatology (skin problems). Many Germans choose to see a specialist when they're ill because they know that this will mean faster treatment and better results than going straight to the GP for non-emergency issues such as flu symptoms or arthritis pain relief .
Hospitals and other medical facilities in Germany
Germany has a wide variety of hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities. For example, there are:
Hospitals – These are large-scale medical facilities that provide care for patients in their area. Some have emergency rooms and specialized departments for treating specific illnesses or injuries.
Ambulance – These vehicles (sometimes called "emergency vehicles") transport patients to hospitals or other medical facilities when they need urgent treatment. Ambulances are staffed by paramedics who can administer first aid in emergencies before transporting the patient to a hospital emergency room or other medical facility with more resources than an ambulance itself can provide.
General practitioners (GPs) – GPs are doctors who specialize in providing primary healthcare services such as diagnosing and treating common illnesses/injuries at home without having to send a patient elsewhere after receiving treatment from them first (such as going straight back into surgery). If you're feeling sick then make sure you go see one so they can check your symptoms thoroughly!
The takeaway is that if you're a tourist, you will need to buy travel insurance. If you're going to stay in Germany for more than three months and aren't covered by any other insurance plans (like your employer), then apply for health insurance.
You can get health insurance through the government or through an employer. If it's through one of these two options, then hopefully this guide has given you some insight into how the system works!