Krankenkasse

The most common health insurance deal in Germany.

In detail

This is the normal health care cover that most Germans have. Essentially, you pay a fixed percentage of your salary to an insurance company and your employer does the same. Then, the insurance company provides you with health cover.

The percentage varies from one part of the country to another. For example, in Konstanz, which is a popular retirement destination, large numbers of old folk are subsidised by those in work and the percentage is high. Also, if your monthly earnings are above (currently) DeM6300, you only pay the percentage on that first DeM6300.

This is a much more extensive scheme than the UK and that sounds good until you consider a few things:

You are paying for it yourself. If you are contracting, then any employers contributions that you pay are coming out of your own money.

The scheme is actually rather more comprehensive that you might ever want or need and remember, you are paying for it!

There are some benefits for which you are unlikely to be eligible even though you are paying for them.

If you are earning a good income, you may well find that you are paying an awful lot of contributions.

In the Krankenkasse, highly paid single people are subsidising poorly paid people with large families.

The main alternative to the Krankenkasse is the Privatkasse. This is a private scheme where you pay an amount linked not to your income but to your health outlook. So, if you are old, have a poor medical history or a large family, you will pay more than a young single person.
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