Living in Frankfurt?
Healthcare in Frankfurt
A Well-Established Healthcare System
Germany is known for the high quality of its medical care and its healthcare coverage. However, depending on your country of origin, healthcare contributions may seem quite high. While living in Frankfurt, you may choose between the two sectors of the country’s healthcare system: gesetzliche Krankenversicherung (public health insurance) and private Krankenversicherung (private medical care). Your choice depends not only on your preference but also on your annual income: as of 2016, employees with an annual income of less than 56,250 EUR will have to stay with a public insurance provider.
It has become illegal to be uninsured while living in Germany. In fact, you need to have some sort of health insurance when you apply for a job. This means that every German citizen and legal resident is entitled to healthcare coverage and health insurance providers cannot turn you down.
Public Health Insurance
If you are a regular employee with a gross monthly income of less than 4,687.50 EUR, then you are automatically insured under the gesetzliche Krankenversicherung. Your monthly contribution to your public health insurance provider is automatically deducted from your monthly income. You pay 7.3% of your income, while your employer also contributes the same sum. You may also have to pay a small supplemental rate on top of this. Please note, these percentages and income numbers are subject to change and were up-to-date in 2016.
Luckily, it is quite easy to sign up with a public health insurance provider. The best way is probably to get in touch with a regional office and make an appointment. Don’t forget to bring along your passport and your Aufenthaltserlaubnis (residence permit). If you are lucky, your employer’s HR department can assist you or even take care of the process for you.
Private Health Insurance
Private health insurance, although it is the first choice of many well-off employees, is more expensive than public healthcare. Only self-employed individuals, German civil servants, and those with a sufficient income are eligible to apply for private health insurance. In the course of the application process, you might have to undergo medical examinations and be asked to give your potential insurance provider information on your medical history. A proof of sufficient income might be required as well.
The benefits of choosing private over public health insurance lie not in the quality but in the speed of care. With a private health insurance it will be easier for you to get an appointment at an otherwise busy doctor’s practice and you will not end up waiting for hours. Your employer might be able to help you with the rather tedious selection and application process.
Medical Care in Frankfurt
As one of the founding cities of the Network of Healthy Cities in Germany, Frankfurt offers its inhabitants a variety of information centers and medical centers. It is one of the goals of the city and other members of the network to enable its residents to take better care of their own health.
In addition to a good network of information centers, there were, at the time of writing in 2016, 17 hospitals in Frankfurt. Two of the largest are the Bürgerhospital and the Goethe University Hospital. For a general overview of doctors, pharmacies, and hospitals, have a look at this comprehensive website (in German).
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