Private health insurance: everything you always wanted to know

Is it worth it for you to switch to private health insurance? Do the check here

5 minute read2022-08-30
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Private health insurance is open to all those who are civil servants, self-employed workers or students. Employees who earn a certain income can also switch to private health insurance. With private health insurance, you have access to more comprehensive medical services in many areas. This article explains when private health insurance is the best choice.

For whom does private health insurance make sense?

Private health insurance (PHI) is especially worthwhile if you meet these criteria:

You earn well

If you’re wealthy or you make a good living and are sure that you’ll have a high income in the long term, you should think about switching to private health insurance. Important: If you have a family, their contributions will be added on top. Therefore, check whether you can afford the contributions in the future – including retirement. For single, high-earning employees and civil servants, private health insurance is usually worthwhile. For self-employed people, it depends on their income.

You are healthy

In order to be accepted into private health insurance, you need to answer a catalogue of questions about your health. This is because providers are choosy – they want to insure people who are as healthy as possible. Pre-existing conditions are often difficult, because they cause higher costs for the insurance companies and thus mean higher premiums.

You are under 40

Premiums for private health insurance increase with age – as expected, the need for medical care also increases proportionally. In order to keep the increase within a tolerable range, a buffer is created with part of your premium: the so-called age reserves. For this to work well, long periods are better than short ones. Then interest and compound interest help build up this buffer. If you are only privately insured for a short period of time or join private health insurance late, your total premium will be higher because a larger part of it is saved for old age.

Which insurance is best for your professional situation?

Whether you are self-employed, employed or studying, private health insurance is not only attractive if you earn well. Here you can see what applies depending on your occupational group and which providers are recommended.

Salaried employees:

If you earn above average, you will benefit from private health insurance. If you have statutory health insurance and your salary is above the so-called assessment limit for statutory health insurance, you have to pay the maximum rate of contributions for statutory health insurance. In 2022, the limit is 58,050 euros per year or 4,837.5 euros per month gross. With private health insurance, you can reduce your contributions in the long term. As an employee, you are in good hands with these insurers: ARAG, Signal, Hansemerkur, Allianz and Ottonova.


For employees, employers pay half of the contribution to the statutory health insurance fund. If you are self-employed, however, you have to pay the entire amount yourself. It is therefore possible that you will pay more for statutory health insurance than for private health insurance. It is therefore advisable to do a cost check. The best insurers for self-employed people are: Continentale, Hansemerkur, Signal, ARAG as well as Ottonova.

Civil servants:

All those who want to become civil servants or are already civil servants can choose freely between public and private health insurance. PHI is more worthwhile for most because civil servants receive an allowance for private health insurance that covers at least 50 percent of the costs. This means that you only need residual cost insurance, which is particularly cheap. You are in good hands with these insurers: Signal, DBV and Bayerische Beamtenversicherung (BBV).


If you are a student, you can either take out statutory or private insurance. Often, you can stay in your parents’ family insurance while you study. However, if you want to switch to private health insurance, you must be exempted from compulsory health insurance for the duration of your studies. This is especially worthwhile if your parents are civil servants – you can then benefit from up to 80 percent of the allowance. The best PHI insurers for students are: Signal and Nürnberger.

Which insurance is best for expats?

Expats – people who live outside their native country – have different options when it comes to their health insurance. The decisive factor is the length of their stay. However, everyone needs health insurance when coming to Germany. Even if they’re only sent to work here on a temporary visa.

In general, they can choose between public and private health insurance plans. The same annual earning threshold of 64,350 euros applies here: If you earn more and are in good health, you’re eligible for private insurance. If not, public health insurance is what you need.

Once you have PHI, it’s not so easy to get out. With one exception, you can switch to public health insurance if you fall below the income limit.

Expats on temporary visa can take advantage of special expat tariffs that allow for premium savings in their private health insurance. Why? Unlike the other occupational groups, you do not build up any age reserves, which means that the expat tariff is significantly cheaper. We recommend Allianz or Ottonova because they offer high premium stability and great value for money.

With most insurers, if you live in Germany as an expat for more than five years, the same rules apply to you as to locals.

What benefits are covered by private health insurance through Getsafe?

Your health should always be well protected. Therefore, no matter which insurer and tariff you choose, you can always be sure that these costs will be covered:

  • Outpatient costs
  • Inpatient costs
  • Dental costs
  • Daily sickness benefit
  • Daily nursing allowance
  • Travel expenses abroad
  • Any optional benefits

Can I simply change my existing private health insurance if the premium has been increased?

Your private health insurance premium was suddenly increased and you want to change insurers for this reason? No problem, in this case you even have a special right of termination and can cancel your existing contract within one month.

Can I switch my PHI provider for optimisation purposes?

Another possibility to change is if you are dissatisfied with the agreed benefits and would like to optimise them. However, you must make sure that you cancel your insurance at the end of the insurance year. Therefore, do not forget to submit the cancellation to your insurer by 30 September.

What happens during a consultation with Getsafe?

In your consultation with us, everything revolves around you and your needs! We assess your personal situation and advise you in detail about your private health insurance. We show you all the pros and cons as well as the differences in the individual systems and take time to answer your questions.

You might also like:

A how-to guide to private health insurance

Mental Health Matters

Author: Getsafe