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German Members I Need Help Getting Heath Insurance  
User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2215 times:

I'm happy to announce that I got hired today and I'm due to sign my labour contract next week. However, while I do have my income tax card now, I still need health insurance (this way, I'm also supposed to get my German social security number), and I don't know how to apply. Legally, I'm still registered as unemployed (though due to cash reserves, I chose not to get Hartz IV-Money), but I am sending information to tell them that I will be employed by next month. So, how can I apply for proper health insurance (of the type Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung, as I am not eligible for private insurance), after not having any proper health insurance of my own at all?

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14127 posts, RR: 62
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2191 times:

I had the same problem when I returned from having lived in Ireland for several years. I still had my social security number though.
If you don´t pick an insurance company by yourself you will by default be insured with the local AOK (government health insurance company). A bad choice, since they are among the most expensive concerning contributions (due to the fact that social security cases and unemployed often end up there).
I´m insured with the Techniker Krankenkasse, which IMO give a good service for the contributions, also it is one of the cheapest health insurance companies.
You´ll have to call a few companies and ask for their terms and conditions, then pick one and, once you have signed the contract, tell it to your future boss. Concerning social security, your boss will have to register you with them, but to get a number I´d ask the local labour office (Arbeitsamt).

Jan


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2163 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 1):
You´ll have to call a few companies and ask for their terms and conditions, then pick one and, once you have signed the contract, tell it to your future boss. Concerning social security, your boss will have to register you with them,

  

That's exactly the way it works!

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 1):
but to get a number I´d ask the local labour office (Arbeitsamt).

Yes, I would also call the Arbeitsamt and ask where to get the number.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 1):
the local AOK (government health insurance company). A bad choice, since they are among the most expensive concerning contributions (due to the fact that social security cases and unemployed often end up there).

That's right. I would also compare a few health insurances, you can save a few EUR per months. But basically they are all rip-off, they ask for outrageous fees every month but offer riducolous benefits in return. Sometimes I am asking myself if I still have a health insurance because you have to pay so much from your own pocket (e.g. Praxis- and Medikamentengebühr, diverse Zuzahlungen, etc.).

Patrick


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14127 posts, RR: 62
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2145 times:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 2):
That's right. I would also compare a few health insurances, you can save a few EUR per months. But basically they are all rip-off, they ask for outrageous fees every month but offer riducolous benefits in return. Sometimes I am asking myself if I still have a health insurance because you have to pay so much from your own pocket (e.g. Praxis- and Medikamentengebühr, diverse Zuzahlungen, etc.).

Patrick

Actually I agree with many of the additional fees. Many, like the Praxisgebühr are just symbolic, but they have a psychological effect. Before everything was "free" (ok, it was paid by the health insurance company through the contributions, but since the contributions are being deducted from the salary "at the root" by the employer the employee never sees them). This led many people to go to the doc when they felt that they had drunk a bit too much the night before or simplöy didn´t feel like going to work to get a sickness cert. Now, since they have to pay for it, this practice has almost disappeared.
Also, before medications were "for free". This led to many people not using the medications, which they picked up in the pharmacy and which got paid for by the insurance company.

If it is for free, it is probably not worth it.

Jan


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2135 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 3):
Actually I agree with many of the additional fees. Many, like the Praxisgebühr are just symbolic, but they have a psychological effect. Before everything was "free" (ok, it was paid by the health insurance company through the contributions, but since the contributions are being deducted from the salary "at the root" by the employer the employee never sees them). This led many people to go to the doc when they felt that they had drunk a bit too much the night before or simplöy didn´t feel like going to work to get a sickness cert. Now, since they have to pay for it, this practice has almost disappeared.
Also, before medications were "for free". This led to many people not using the medications, which they picked up in the pharmacy and which got paid for by the insurance company.

Yeah, ok, I can live with the 10 EUR Praxisgebühr and the 5 EUR Medikamentengebühr. What I find ridiculous is that my health insurance doesn't give a single Cent for my contact lenses. I have to pay 240 EUR per year for them, my optician laughed me off the chair when I asked him if I get some money from my health insurance. I am shortsighted, that is a disease in my book and thus something the insurance should pay, I would already be happy when the insurance would pay 25% of the 240 EUR but they give exactly 0%.

Patrick


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14127 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2125 times:

OK, I understand this issue. I´m wearing glasses myself, but I have to say that the last time I needed new ones I didn´t bother to go through the official channels. I was based in Italy at the time and just went to an Italian optician and had them made (paying in cash). I also used to opportunity and had a set of Ray Ban sunglasses made with optically correted lenses, which the insurance wouldn´t pay for anyway.

Jan


User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2114 times:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 4):
I have to pay 240 EUR per year for them, my optician laughed me off the chair when I asked him if I get some money from my health insurance

What kind of contacts do you use that it costs 240EUR per year? Good god.


User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2110 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 1):
If you don´t pick an insurance company by yourself you will by default be insured with the local AOK (government health insurance company). A bad choice, since they are among the most expensive concerning contributions (due to the fact that social security cases and unemployed often end up there).

My father was insured with the BKK, but even so, I don't know anthing about things, plus my father will probably not even have any papers from them anymore (or at least won't remember anything about it by now). Anyway, good thing I didn't send the form to the AOK (I would have done that, just in the rush).

My landlady suggested the DAK, as she's insured with them herself.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 1):
Concerning social security, your boss will have to register you with them, but to get a number I´d ask the local labour office (Arbeitsamt).

I called my future employer, and they told me to ask the insurance company for my Sozialversicherungsnumber. And since I'm ONLY registered as unemployed but I'm not getting any money by choice (in my case, I'm not getting Hartz IV, as I'm not eligible for ALG I), I don't think I'm even insured.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 1):
I´m insured with the Techniker Krankenkasse, which IMO give a good service for the contributions, also it is one of the cheapest health insurance companies.

OK, though while I know that pretty much all health insurance companies are now free for all to choose, somehow I doubt that in my line of work, I'd fit in the TK.


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2105 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 5):
I was based in Italy at the time and just went to an Italian optician and had them made (paying in cash).

Are glasses cheaper in Italy compared to Germany?

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 6):
What kind of contacts do you use that it costs 240EUR per year? Good god.

I wear normal soft contact lenses. Every month I have to put in new ones. The company who makes them is called "Acumed" or so (on the pack is the remark "made in USA"). I have to say that these contact are extremly comfortable, you can wear them three days and three nights in a row without having an uncomfortable feeling in your eyes (but usually I remove them every night and put them in again in the morning).

Patrick


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2080 times:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8):
The company who makes them is called "Acumed" or so (on the pack is the remark "made in USA").

Sorry, I have to correct myself, the contacts are made by: "Cooper Vision" and called "Proclear". I mixed it up with "Acumed" because it is the company that is making the cleaning liquid for my contacts.

Patrick


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8971 posts, RR: 39
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2058 times:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 4):
What I find ridiculous is that my health insurance doesn't give a single Cent for my contact lenses. I have to pay 240 EUR per year for them, my optician laughed me off the chair when I asked him if I get some money from my health insurance. I am shortsighted, that is a disease in my book and thus something the insurance should pay, I would already be happy when the insurance would pay 25% of the 240 EUR but they give exactly 0%.

That's 20 EUR a month. It's not worth it to throw it in insurance. It's gonna cost the insurance company that 20 EUR + all associated overhead, which means your insurance costs will balloon by more than 240 EUR a year.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineJJJ From Spain, joined May 2006, 1883 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2053 times:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 8):

I wear normal soft contact lenses. Every month I have to put in new ones. The company who makes them is called "Acumed" or so (on the pack is the remark "made in USA").

Mine (monthlies) are also made in the USA (CIBA Vision, Duluth, GA) and cost me 60 euro per year.

At the local Alain Afflelou.


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2043 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 10):
It's not worth it to throw it in insurance. It's gonna cost the insurance company that 20 EUR + all associated overhead, which means your insurance costs will balloon by more than 240 EUR a year.

When I was a student, I had a private health insurance via my father, this insurance was paying everything incl. my contacts. And guess what, the monthly fee was even cheaper than what I am paying nowadays for the mandatory health insurance (unfortunately is it not possible for me to change back to a private health insurance because I am not earning enough money, I am not sure but I think that you must have an income of 3.500 EUR or higher/month to switch from a mandatory health insurance to a private one).

They should get rid of the mandatory health insurances as soon as possible because they are money burning morons. It is actually beyond believe what my employer and me (50%/50%) are paying every damned month for their shitty service. I could puke when I look on my salary statement every month! You pay a fortune every month and you can additionally pay to see the doc and to get medicine or other stuff.

Quoting JJJ (Reply 11):
Mine (monthlies) are also made in the USA (CIBA Vision, Duluth, GA) and cost me 60 euro per year.

Thanks for the info! I will ask my optician next time, maybe I can also switch to them.

Patrick


User currently offlineLufthansa411 From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 692 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 1989 times:

Well, I am one of the AOK morons.  

It's not so bad for me, as I am in Berlin on a student visa, and the University didn't give me much choice in the matter, although it is pretty cheap anyway (About 60€ a month), but I don't know if that is a special student rate.

It's much better than my general health insurance in the US, and the medication that I take is 1/10 of the cost that it is in the US, although it is manufactured in Belgium anyway.

I just went to the AOK office, showed them my visa and my letter of admission to the university, and then they handed me a 3 page form to fill out. I paid my money, and was mailed the card about 2 weeks later. The insurance even came with 2 free movie tickets, which came in very handy  



Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14127 posts, RR: 62
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1931 times:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 12):
When I was a student, I had a private health insurance via my father, this insurance was paying everything incl. my contacts. And guess what, the monthly fee was even cheaper than what I am paying nowadays for the mandatory health insurance (unfortunately is it not possible for me to change back to a private health insurance because I am not earning enough money, I am not sure but I think that you must have an income of 3.500 EUR or higher/month to switch from a mandatory health insurance to a private one).

When I was a student, I also was insured through the private system, but I hated it. First, the insurance (DeBeKa) had limits on how much they would pay for the (cheaper) student´s contract. Normally doctors like privately insured patients, because there they are free to negotiate a higher fee, unlike the mandatory system, which has a maximum rates per procedure. But the private student insurance had a cap on it, lower than the normal private one. Then I had my then wife and child insured under the same scheme. Especially dentists were always bitching about the "low" rates they were allowed to charge and in one case on dentist even refused to treat my then-wife (fortunately I never had problems with my teeth in my life so far) unless I would agree to pay him a substantial amount in cash additionally to what the insurance would pay.
Then you often had to forward the money and then claim it back later, a thing almost impossible for a notoriously broke student.
I was glad when I got under the mandatory system. Much less hassle for me.

Jan


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9657 posts, RR: 31
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1909 times:

I think the question wasn't answered yet.

Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund should be the one where you have to register for the social secruity number. If you never worked in Germany, not even with an apprenticeship, they won't have you on the radar.

Health insurance - like the others said, shop around. AOK is the worst of all, usually with the highest fees since they have to carry all the bad risks no one else wants to have.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlinecgnnrw From Germany, joined May 2005, 1167 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1880 times:

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 12):
They should get rid of the mandatory health insurances as soon as possible because they are money burning morons. It is actually beyond believe what my employer and me (50%/50%) are paying every damned month for their shitty service. I could puke when I look on my salary statement every month! You pay a fortune every month and you can additionally pay to see the doc and to get medicine or other stuff.

Don't be fooled by the myth "private insurances pay for EVERYTHING and are better than the public insurances" Do some research and you'll find out the privates are also looking to save a few Euros and no longer issue blank checks to their customers.

Barmer is okay. I'm happy with them and I have no problem with the€10 fee which is only due once per quarter. That means you pay €10 once and can go back to the docter as many times as you want in that quarter. Also paying for meds isn't such a big deal anymore...there are reliable online pharmacies where you can save a ton of money.

No system is perfect but you can get good reliable health care at "reasonable" costs through the "Kassen" which can't be said for a certain North American country.



A330 man.
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 1875 times:

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 16):
Don't be fooled by the myth "private insurances pay for EVERYTHING and are better than the public insurances"

My private insurance paid everything back then, I was more than happy with them!

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 16):
Barmer is okay.

I am also one of their customers and I am actually very happy that I used their card just three times in the last 7 or 8 years (one broken wrist, one stomach flu because of too much beer and junk food during the last World Cup, and one tetanus refreshing shot). I am happy that I don't have to visit the doc oftern and I hope that it will stay that way!

Patrick


User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1856 times:

Today I got a phone call from one of the companies I wrote to. They're sending me information, and possible application, by mail in the next days.

User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 19, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1843 times:

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 18):
Today I got a phone call from one of the companies I wrote to. They're sending me information, and possible application, by mail in the next days.

You also can get lots of info online.
TKK which was mentioned earlier has info under http://www.tk-online.de/tk/jetzt-zur...icht-ist-der-wechsel-zur-tk/153750 on how to join.
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
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