The German Healthcare System

An Overview of the German Healthcare System

Germany is known to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Residents are offered a variety of services and benefits while having the possibility to choose from a diverse number of health insurance providers.

Health insurance in Germany is divided into two sectors:

  • Public (Statutory) Health Insurance
  • Private Health Insurance

Sometimes residents may also opt for a combination of the two for more thorough services.

How does the German Healthcare System work?

Public Health Insurance

Employees in Germany who receive a monthly income of less than €5,063 are entitled to public health insurance. Employees who earn a monthly income of more than €5,063 (or €60,750/year) can register with private providers instead of the public ones.

Public health insurance in Germany covers in-patient and out-patient hospital care, medical check-ups, medications, pregnancy treatment, basic dental care, ambulance transport, repatriation to home country and funeral costs in case of death.

Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance, on the other hand, is only available for people who earn more than €60,750/year. Self-employed people and freelancers are eligible for private health insurance as well, no matter the amount of their income, however they have to pay all the contributions on their own.

People choose private health insurance since they can customize their insurance plans according to their needs. In addition to the services public health insurance offers, private health insurance schemes also offer the following:

  • Extended Hospital Services
  • Clinical Surgery
  • Dental Check-Ups & Surgeries

Healthcare System Costs in Germany

Individuals insured in public healthcare have to pay their health insurance in premiums, meaning they contribute 14.6 to 15.6% of their salary to the state healthcare, half of which is paid by their employer.

The costs of private health insurance depend on numerous aspects, such as age, coverage limits, extra coverage you choose to obtain, as well as the duration of your stay (if you’re a visitor).

In addition, before you decide on one health insurance provider, make sure to read their contracts, services, and check their prices, since you do not want to end up with a low-quality health insurance. There are low cost options you can get such as Dr-Walter’s health insurance plans, offering some of the cheapest monthly prices and thorough services.

The Pros and Cons of German Healthcare System

Although one of the best healthcare systems in the world, German Healthcare System also has its own cons. Below we have listed a few distinctive pros and cons of the healthcare system in Germany:


  • You have the possibility to opt for private health insurance.
  • You can choose your own health insurance provider depending on what suits you.
  • You can combine public and private health insurance.
  • You will get high-quality services and medical care.


  • Sometimes you have to pay for prescription medications and elective procedures.
  • Pre-existing conditions are often not covered by private health insurance providers.
  • Dental coverage only covers the basic needs.
  • Pregnancy care is often not covered by private health insurance providers.

List of Private Health Insurance Companies in Germany

Some of the best private travel health insurance providers in Germany are:

  • AXA
  • DKV
  • HanseMerkur
  • Allianz
  • Mawista

List of Public Health Insurance Companies in Germany

Some of the best public health insurance providers are:

  • AOK Baden Württemberg
  • TK – Techniker Krankenkasse
  • KKH – Kaufmännische Krankenkasse
  • DAK
  • Barmer

More information about health insurance for Expats in Germany