Information for self-employed or non-employed persons

Since 2009, German law requires everyone to have health insurance.

Regardless of a person’s health status, this health insurance law also requires private health insurance companies to accept all applicants into their “Basistarif” which became available as of January 1, 2009. Even in the case of a serious pre-existing medical condition, an individual can purchase this basic plan tariff as a last resort when denied private health insurance coverage.

This statutory basic tariff offers similar benefits to the government system and the cost is capped at the maximum rate of the Krankenkasse. Unfortunately the private health insurance premium is about 710 Euros per month per adult and about 300 Euros per dependent child. Welfare support is available in hardship financial cases.

Someone with no pre-existing condition and in good health should purchase suitable health insurance coverage from a German private health insurance company willing to accept non-Germans. For the best help, consult a qualified insurance broker specializing in health insurance for expatriates.

If you are self-employed and were already covered by an international insurer before the cut-off date of April 1, 2007, you should check that your coverage applies in Germany. German law requires you to prove that your insurance is still in force and to provide certification in the German language to the visa authorities.

If you decide to keep the non-German insurance, please note that you are still required to pay into the government long-term nursing care plan (Pflegepflichtversicherung). You might also consider supplemental disability and “sick-pay” insurance. Although, this may prove difficult as German insurers are reluctant to insure self-employed foreigners.

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