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Germany Healthcare


Healthcare system in Genrmany has the reputation of being one of the best in the world. There is an extensive network of hospitals and doctors covering even the remotest areas of Germany. Waiting lists for treatments are rare. Medical facilities are equipped with the latest technology and the statutory health insurance scheme provides nearly full cover for most medical treatments and medicines. Almost everybody in Germany has access to this system, irrespective of income or social status.

The downside is that medical costs are high. Health care costs – for doctors, hospital stays and even medicines – are among the most expensive in the world. There is no such thing as "free" treatment in Germany, not even in state hospitals. All care, including emergencies, has to be paid for by you or your health insurance.

When coming to Germany, it is therefore extremely important to have a full healthcare insurance, as a serious illness could cause a financial disaster. Therefore, health insurance is a must, and most expatriate workers will have this included in their contract. It is usually necessary to show evidence of your health insurance in order to obtain a residence permit

The majority of German nationals are insured under the national health insurance programme, which is subsidized by the Government. It is compulsory for everyone earning less than EUR3,825 per year to enrol in this scheme. Employers pay half of their employees' contributions, which amount to around 14% of monthly earnings and are tax-deductible up to a certain limit. The contributions cover a component for nursing care required as a result of old age or disability. Dependents of employees are also covered and receive the same benefits. Employees earning more than EUR3,825, and the self-employed, can also opt into the government scheme.

There are also several private insurance companies providing cover. If employees opt for private insurance, their employers still often contribute to the premiums.

In order to receive health treatment from a doctor, hospital or clinic, you will need to show your social insurance card, which will be issued to you once you have registered as employed or self-employed in Germany. Those on the national health insurance scheme will not generally be required to pay any medical expenses, while those in private schemes will have to make a payment by bank transfer following their treatment, but will be reimbursed by the insurance company. Some types of treatment, however, are not covered by public or private insurance. Hospital treatment is generally free of charge for residents of Germany, except for a small co-payment fee.

Most private companies only cover medical treatment within Germany, but the public health insurance scheme is recognised for treatment throughout Europe.





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