Health insurance for unemployed

I have been reading over the internet that in Germany health care is mandatory if you are registered here and working. But how does it work if a person comes here, is registered but doesn't have a job yet? Is it excluded from paying?

Health insurance is compulsory for EVERYBODY living in Germany. There are no exceptions!
If you are working, a portion of the fees (nearly 50%) are paid for by the employer, and the rest automatically deducted from your salary.
If you lost your job and receive unemployment benefits, the fees are covered by the authority paying your benefits.
If you are not employed for other reasons, or self-employed, you have to pay the complete fee from your own pocket. In the public insurance scheme, this will cost you between €350 and €750/month, depending on your estimated world income.
If you recently arrived in Germany and have not registered with a health insurance yet, there is no point in delaying it further: When you eventually register, they will back-charge you from the day you arrived (even though you had no chance to use the insurance) - up to four years!

If a newcomer is registered at Agentur fur Arbeit as looking for job, can they cover this? I find it quite strange to ask somebody without an income to pay for health care only for living and not actually using it as well.

Alexa91M :

I find it quite strange to ask somebody without an income to pay for health care only for living and not actually using it as well.

As far as I know, most countries act that way. But how do you know you won't use the health system? You can fall ill at any time or have an accident. This is when you go on holiday, you take out holiday/travel insurance out.

Healthcare insurance is one of the things that should be considered before any expat makes the decision to move to another country; if you can't afford to pay for it, then you should probably delay your move until you can.

As far as I know most of the countries request health care if you have some sort of income, if not you will just have to pay when you have a medical problem. And it makes sense in my opinion. For e.g what are homeless people doing here in Germany about this? How do they pay?

As I wrote, your health insurance fees are only paid by the employment authority if you receive unemployment benefits. Just registering with them as job-seeker is not enough.
Germany, like most European countries, has a system based on solidarity: Everybody pays in, to prevent those with serious illnesses from financial destitution. It works well and the vast majority here does not want it otherwise. Thus as our guest, please comply!
The poor (like the homeless you mentioned) are entitled to social security payments (called "Hartz IV") and these also cover the health insurance, similar to unemployment benefits. As a foreigner, you are not normally entitled to social security benefits (unless you have been here several years and had a job) - the idea is to prevent benefits tourism: If you become poor, you are requested to return to your own country and apply for such benefits there (all EU countries have similar systems, and others will only get a visa if their livelihood is financially secured).

Thanks for the message. Nobody said anything about not complying. I am just trying to understand how it works and now it's more clear. But having to pay backcharges even if you haven't used health care is something I haven't heard to be happening in other countries. But if this is the law here what can you do. Unfair I would say but that is just my opinion.

Solidarity means you have to pay in whether you use the system or not. Back-charging is just a way to prevent people from dodging their responsibility here.

Backcharging people who have no income and not worked here before is not something a state should do. They should differentiate between those trying to doge a system and the case I am talking about. I can understand the concept of solidarity but not in this case. Anyway it is how it is and I got the answer about how it works.

Alexa91M :

Backcharging people who have no income and not worked here before is not something a state should do. They should differentiate between those trying to doge a system and the case I am talking about. I can understand the concept of solidarity but not in this case. Anyway it is how it is and I got the answer about how it works.

Then what are you doing in Germany if you aren't working? You are expecting handouts. Citizens of EU countries have a great advantage that they can come to countries like Germany and get a job without needing working visas. But if you have no skills and can’t get a job then why not go home? Why should the German tax payers pay for people who come here and just want to live off of the system? This is exactly the kind of misconduct that is fueling anti-immigrant sentiments. And most of this fraud and much of the criminality and begging in Germany is NOT caused by refugees - but by people from Bulgaria and Romania.

Your comment is mean. I am working fyi. I wanted to know more about the health care system. And I did not say that tax payers should cover this. I am perfectly fine with paying when I actually have a health problem and not be for e.g backcharged just for living here for e.g and not using the health system. Fyi I actually work and I pay health care, I got easy flu several times and didn't even go to the doctor. So please stop putting everyone in the same box. Obviously you have a problem with my nationality but not all people coming here are trying to get advantages without giving something in return. If you would have paid attention to the thread maybe you would have understood more. Anyway I am not here to argue with you or anyone so keep your hating for yourself!

Alexa91M :

Backcharging people who have no income and not worked here before is not something a state should do. They should differentiate between those trying to doge a system and the case I am talking about. I can understand the concept of solidarity but not in this case. Anyway it is how it is and I got the answer about how it works.

Once you have lived here long enough to get German citizenship, you can participate in our elections (or become a politician yourself) and thus contribute your opinion to how we run our country.
But until then, it counts for nothing. Sorry!

By the way: Somebody who wants to live here (and thus benefit from our high living standard) but NOT contribute to social systems (which includes the general health insurance) IS dodging his/her responsibility. We don't want that - thus these strict, but clear and fair rules.

Tom: Please tone down your voice!
Emotions should not be part of this discussion!

Alexa: If you are (legally) working here, you must be member of a health insurance already. It seems you are not telling us the whole truth?
In any case, are you also fine with paying €500000/year for a cancer treatment if the disease hits you, or be told to die quietly at home if you cannot pay? It is exactly these cases that our health insurance system prevents, not a small cold and running nose. And it only works if everyone contributes, including you!

Who said about not wanting to contribute? My problem is with backcharging newcomers if they are still seeking for a job. And yes I have an opinion and I think I can share it. I am not asking you to approve me or to do something in this regard, so no problem here. I would appreciate if everybody here stop accusing of trying to doge the system. I had a question, got my answer and I particularly happen to not like the way the law is. End of story!

I am working here and legally but I don't have to share my personal information to be believed. And yes if I had a serious problem like this I would go and treat myself where I can afford it, be it in my country, Germany or anywhere else. These things are not that uncommon.

Like every newcomer who moves to Germany, you were required to join a health insurance from the day you arrive.
If you did not do that, it was your mistake.
But instead of penalizing you for the mistake, the system just charges you the same as you would have had to pay if you joined immediately.
I cannot find anything unfair in this!

So you are working here legally, thus are already member of a German health insurance and paying their fees.
If you are lucky, they will not look closely enough to notice that you have already been here before starting work and thus that they (by right) have to back-charge you. Such mistakes happen (just like your mistake of not joining immediately). But right it is not!

Alexa91M :

And I did not say that tax payers should cover this.

Yes, you did, but implicitly (and probably without realizing it):
In Germany, anybody with a medical problem is treated to the best possible as required by his/her conditions and the newest scientific resilts, no matter who he/she is (rich, poor, foreigner, local) and almost no matter what it costs - and INDEPENDENT OF if/how he/she is insured or paying the bills (which can be huge). The financial aspect is only checked afterwards - and if you (or your insurer) does not pay in the end, the taxpayer steps in.
It is the legislative's responsibility to prevent abuse of this system. They decided to do this by making sure everybody is insured and thus contributes. And that is good!

I think we are going around in circles now. When starting a topic off in the forums it's always best to give all the information possible in the question.

Alexa91M you started off with a header Health insurance for unemployed which leads us to believe that you are unemployed and need advise on health insurance.

Alexa91M :

Your comment is mean. I am working fyi. I wanted to know more about the health care system. And I did not say that tax payers should cover this. I am perfectly fine with paying when I actually have a health problem and not be for e.g backcharged just for living here for e.g and not using the health system. Fyi I actually work and I pay health care, I got easy flu several times and didn't even go to the doctor. So please stop putting everyone in the same box. Obviously you have a problem with my nationality but not all people coming here are trying to get advantages without giving something in return. If you would have paid attention to the thread maybe you would have understood more. Anyway I am not here to argue with you or anyone so keep your hating for yourself!

That’s exactly the kind of response we see here from people trying to scam the system. I have nothing against ANY nationality - only against individuals who want to ignore the laws and then complain about being treated badly when called out on it. It’s not mean to state the facts. If one wants to come to Germany and look for a job then they have to finance themselves. End of story. If you don’t like it then leave. They cannot expect free health care or anything else! And in the end it is the tax payers who pay, who else?! And just paying when one has a health problem is a stupid rationalization. One needs to have insurance. If one gets sick or has an accident they can unexpectedly land in the hospital creating thousands of Euros of costs. It is to the benefit of both the health care system and the individuals that they are covered. And it’s the law. Maybe you should have informed yourself about the rrules before coming to Germany.

I did pay from day one so lucky me I am actually having no problem. Maybe I implied it asking because  I said if u are legally seeking job if it is covered, it felt natural to ask as they are providing you a way to find a job so maybe they provide that too. It was not trying to get something from any taxpayer. My opinion on the way it works does not influence things in any way. I am glad it works for you all and you don't find a problem with these corner cases. Good day to everyone, even to the not that nice!

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