The German Health Service
Germany has a well-developed and socially supported health service system. In terms of health care, Germany is one of the most advanced and well equipped countries in the world, with highly qualified doctors and specialists to treat the patients. Everyone insured is free to choose their own doctor or dentist from amongst the registered health service practitioners. The health insurance scheme pays the costs for treatment by a doctor or a dentist as well as for hospital treatment and many other kinds of treatment and preventive measures.
Statuary Health Insurance Scheme
In the statutory health insurance scheme / gesetzliche Krankenversicherung (GKV) patients have to pay a certain small fee for medicines, medication, medical aids and other items themselves. There are, however, certain costs that are not covered or are covered partially, e.g. costs for dental work, including crown and orthodontic work.
Germany’s main statuary health insurance companies are:
- AOK (Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse)
- BEK (Barmer Ersatzkasse)
- DAK (Deutsche Angestelltenkasse)
- TK (Techniker Krankenkasse)
Private Health Insurance Scheme
Private health insurance is not accessible to everyone. In order to be insured privately, you need to meet certain minimum income requirements or be self-employed.
The level of your insurance contribution does not depend on your income but on a risk assessment determined by age, gender, and medical history. As a consequence, contributions for private health insurance are usually higher, but in return you get more medical services.