The healthcare system in Germany is one of the most developed in the world. Here are some key aspects of this system and information on how to find a doctor and health insurance after moving to Germany.
Health insurance after moving to Germany
In Germany, health insurance is compulsory. There are two main types of insurance: public (“gesetzliche Krankenversicherung” – GKV) and private (“private Krankenversicherung” – PKV).
GKV (Public Health Insurance)
Approximately 85% of the German population benefits from public health insurance. Premiums are charged according to income and are shared between employer and employee. People with lower incomes, the unemployed or students often have lower premiums.
PKV (Private health insurance)
Higher income earners, freelancers and the self-employed can opt for private health insurance. Premiums are based on age, gender and health history. They often offer a wider range of services and shorter waiting times for certain procedures.
How do I find a doctor after moving to Germany?
Medical Chamber in Germany
Each state (region) in Germany has its own medical chamber, which keeps a register of doctors. Many doctors speak English, but it is worth checking this before you visit.
There are many outpatient clinics in the larger cities that offer a wide range of specialists.
Asking friends, colleagues or neighbours is also a good way to find a trustworthy doctor.
What are the costs of medical treatment in Germany
If you are insured under the GKV system, you do not pay directly for most medical procedures. Your insurance premiums cover the costs. However, in some cases, such as for prescription medicines or dental appointments, you may be required to pay a small fee. If you are privately insured, you must pay for medical services out of your own pocket and then seek reimbursement from your insurer.
Moving to Germany
When you removals to Germany, one of your first steps should be to register for health insurance. If you work as an employee, your employer will often help with this process.
Keep in mind that the health care system in Germany can be complicated, so it is worth researching the different options and choosing the one that best suits your needs and financial situation.