Krankenversicherung & Pflegeversicherung

Krankenversicherung is the name given to the main form of health insurance in Germany.  It does not, however, cover all the costs that you pay when you visit a doctor in Germany.

Although the doctor’s fee will usually be covered, there is a fee of 10EUR per quarter that has to be charged by the doctor and forwarded to the insurance company.  Also, consultations for holiday vaccinations are generally not covered.

When the doctor writes a prescription, the costs of that prescription may be in part covered by the insurance, or it may well be a private prescription and thus not covered at all by the health insurance.

Under certain circumstances the insurance may, however, cover other costs such as taking leave from work to look after a sick child, or loss of earnings during a stay in hospital.

Some insurance companies offer extra options, such as staying in a single room when you are in hospital, or being taken care of by a consultant rather than a junior doctor.

Krankenversicherung is usually paid for directly out of a person’s wages as the employer pays a contribution towards the insurance.  Self-employed peopple have to pay the entire amount themselves.  The amount due is dependent on someone’s income.

Pflegeversicherung was introduced in 1995 and covers the situation when people are unable to care for themselves.  They are classified into different Pflegestufen and the insurance pays for the relevant care appropriate to the Pflegestufe.

Not only is this insurance paid separately, but in order to assist in financing it a public holiday – Buß- und Bettag – was reverted to a normal working day.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Disclaimer: this podcast is a simple explanation for non-native speakers. For insurance advice, please contact a Versicherungsvertreter or Versicherungsmakler.

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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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