This is a message for those of you who are already in private health insurance.
If you are considering changing your private health insurance, and your contract has run for at least a full year, then the standard cancellation terms are three months to year end. So that means your cancellation has to be with the private insurance company by no later than Monday 29th September to be on the safe side. (You have a special cancellation right if your health insurance provider increases your premiums, but that's another story)
Now, this doesn't mean that once you have cancelled, you MUST have found another private health insurance immediately. No. Important is that the cancellation (Kündigung) has to arrive at your private insurance provider by the end of this month.
They will then write back to you saying that they have received your cancellation, but your cancellation isn't valid until they receive proof of new insurance. This then gives you a little time to scout around and look for better deals. You obviously need to make a decision but you then have a decent amount of time to find something new.
If you can't find anything suitable and you just can't find anything else, then all you need to do is send another letter to your existing insurance provider telling them that you want to rescind your cancellation and you will want to carry on. It's that simple. They won't throw you out, because they can't.
Reasons NOT to change:-
1. If you have had any nasty illnesses in the last 5 years, or if you have had to go to hospital for some reason, and has left you with a few health issues. Now, I can't obviously know what these issues are, but by applying to another health insurance provider, you could possibly have a risk premium added to your new insurance due to your previous medical history, or there is also a possibility that you would be denied due to some problem or another.
2. Don't forget changing your health insurance means that you will need to declare any issues you may have had over the last three to five years. (see number 1)
A lot of people seem to "forget" that they had a doctors visit for some reason for one thing or another (not a cold or anything like that) and choose not to declare that issue. Well, if something happens to you in the future, and you are indeed with a new provider, and you didn't declare certain health issues, and the insurance company find out about the previous health issues (and believe me, they will find out), then the insurance provider has the right to throw you out of your insurance, back dated to the beginning of the policy, and also claim damages and any monies that they paid to you. So be honest with yourselves when it comes to changing.
Also don't forget, you are older now than you were when you signed up for your current health insurance provider, which means that the tariff's will possibly be more expensive elsewhere.
Reasons to change:-
Some of you may have had problems with getting yourself a private health insurance provider at the beginning and had very little choice who to choose. Which means that the policy you are in isn't that cheap, or doesn't include the coverage you wanted in the first place. But now that you have (at the end of this year) potentially a minimum of 2 years of German insurance, your options are now unlimited, and you will have the choice of every single insurance provider there is, and I can pretty much guarantee, that in most cases (not all), there are better AND cheaper health insurance policies out there to have.
So, if you want to change, or would just like to see what's available, then speak to an independent broker, and gather information, so that you can make a fully educated decision.
I hope that helped some of you.
All the best