ok, now that the get together for info and advice about how the pension system works here is over (I can still help anybody anytime about this...I will be glad to explain this to anybody who wants some more info about how the pension system here works and how good the tax benefits are) I'm going to start on the health insurance issue.
I would imagine that most of you that have come over here to work as an employee, have just been stuck straight into the public health insurance system without anybody telling you why or what your options "could" be. For a good deal of you, that would be, and is your only option (public health insurance). For some of you however, (who earn over a certain threshold) private health insurance is also an option. That doesn't meant to say that it is the better option....it all depends on your personal circumstances.
For those of you who have come over to Germany/Hamburg, looking to work as freelancers or as a self employed person, you face a much stricter and complicated challenge when it comes to getting yourself health insurance.
There are only two "pflichversicherungen" (compulsory insurances) here in Germany. Car insurance (if you have a car that is) and health insurance. You have 30 days of grace (from when you first register here) to sort out your health insurance affairs. Luckily for the employed people among you, that is normally taken care of by your employer.(whether the insurance that you get at the beginning is right or wrong, remains to be seen)
For the freelancers among us, you have to take care of this yourself, and that can be a daunting and a confusing task when it comes to choosing the right insurance. Those of you who come to Germany from outside the EU, MUST provide proof of insurance or at least proof of an application to a health insurance, before you can obtain your visa.
So, I want to help you all understand just what the system offers you....what it doesn't offer and how you can make the right choice.
Please let me stress at this point, that I am trying to help you. I am not out to sell you a merry chase and get you to sign up for things that aren't right for you. I know of at least one other independent broker in Hamburg who also looks after ex pats. Once you've spoken to me, you can always to talk to him to get a second opinion....I'll even give you his name and address.
If any of your are interested to find out how the system can work for you, or just talk to somebody who is in the position to give impartial advice , just send me a message and I will help wherever I can
Have a good one
All the best