Health insurance update

Updated 2010-03-18 17:27

Since my last blog, the noose has tightened even further as far as freelance/self-employed expats in Germany goes.The health insurance issue is becoming more and more complicated and even contradictory.The word has spread around the Ausländerämter that most international health insurances are -as far as the authorities here are concerned - only travel insurances and therefore not acceptable for anyone wishing to live in Germany,let alone work.UK and other EU citizens coming directly from an EU state where they have paid into a public health system(eg NHS) can apply to join a public German Kasse if they can prove payments elsewhere.

I recommend getting hold of that proof on paper before coming here! As soon as possible after you register your address here,you should apply for health insurance. Every month that goes by means a month´s enforced backpayment even if you weren´t insured here!For freelance non-EU citizens,it´s harder.You cannot join a public Kasse at free will!Your only choice is a private solution..but this is also fraught with difficulties as the vast majority of German private insurers will no longer accept non-EU citizens.

There are one or two exceptions but with stringent requirements:a medical check-up (plus dental),proof of job contracts,proof of economic viability etc.In contrast to EU citizens,a non-EU citizen coming over to work as an employee and who has earned over 4000 euros(or equivalent of)per month for each of the last three years MUST take out private insurance!!!!This is tough if you have a family coming with you as each member must be separately privately health insured!Expensive!I urge everyone reading this to seek professional advice BEFORE coming here and NOT to wait until you´re here.I am happy to answer any of your questions on this forum!Best wishes!John

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