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Changing from public to private health insurance (Hamburg)

HI All

many people have contacted me about when a change over from public health insurance to private health insurance is possible and whether or not it would be advisable.
Well, let me tackle the changing over topic first.

Scenario 1.
You move to Germany and you start a job that pays over the earnings threshold of € Protected content . (The threshold is called the JAEG "Jahres Arbeits Entgelt Grenze, and € Protected content the qualification level in Protected content . It usually increases every year, so be aware of that). You then have the choice to either enter into public health insurance or private health insurance immediately.
Scenario 2.
If you are in your job which pays under the JAEG, and you receive a pay rise, and that pay rise takes you over the JAEG of € Protected content , then you will only be eligible to change over to private insurance at the beginning of the following year (in this case 1/1/ Protected content . Your salary however must also be over the new JAEG for Protected content this to work.
Scenario 3.
If you are in a job paying under the JAEG, and you change jobs, and the new job pays OVER the JAEG, then you can change immediately, to the start date of the new job.
Scenario 4.
You have already started your new job in Germany, yous salary started over the JAEG and you are in public insurance. You are then Freiwilligversichert....a voluntary member of the public health insurance. If you decided to change over to private then, you can cancel your public health insurance, with two full months notice. E.G. You cancel today (11/2/ Protected content you have to give the public insurance two full months notice...so that's March and April. So your first possible day of private insurance will be 1/5/2014.

Public health insurance is based on what you earn, so the more you earn, the more you pay into the public health insurance. This level is capped however at € Protected content . So if you earn over that, you are paying the highest level of public insurance (Max total per month is €718,88) The employer pays just under half towards that, which leaves you with a grand total, deducted from your salary of €381,71 (there are deductions for people with children....but not much).
At this stage, if you are looking at possibly changing over from public health insurance to private health insurance, you also have to take into account your personal circumstances. If you are going to be married and are planning on having kids, then it is probably advisable in staying in the public system, as your spouse and children will come under your public health insurance, at no extra cost. (SGB V §10 Familienversicherung). That is only the case if the spouse doesn't earn over roughly €360 per month. AS soon as you start to earn more than €450pm, you are responsible for your own health insurance.

Health insurance is a compulsory insurance here in Germany, and if you start here as a freelancer/self employed person, then you won't have the pleasure of having somebody else covering just under half of your monthly health insurance.

To list the reasons of when to change and why, it would take up too much space on this post.
If any of you would like a little bit more info about what your opportunities are and whether or not it is wise to change or stay where you are, then let me know and I will help wherever I can

I hope this has helped some of you.

See you at the party
Glyn

Hamburg Forum