Private health insurance for professions

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Different professions have different requirements for taking out private heath insurance in Germany. Here is an overview:

Self-empoyed and freelancers

Self-employed and freelancers can choose between statutory and private health insurance. Once the decision for private insurance has been made, it is irrevocable. The decision can only be reversed by changing to a salaried employment relationship. Self-employed persons and freelancers bear the costs for their health insurance completely themselves.

Advantages for self-employed persons:

Their income remains unconsidered without exception

  • If the income increases due to higher income or sales, this does not change the health insurance contribution

  • Self-employed persons can individually design their benefit package and thus receive a benefit plus compared to the statutory insurance.



Salaried employees must have a gross annual income (JAEG) above the compulsory insurance threshold in order to be insured in private health insurance. This is set at 62,550.00 euros/year for 2020; in 2021 it is to rise to 64,350.00 euros. If employees exceed this limit, they are free to choose whether to take out statutory or private insurance. If they opt for private health insurance, they should have a permanently stable income above the JAEG.

At the same time, employees with private insurance who earn less than the gross annual income as stated above will become subject to compulsory insurance in the statutory health insurance system (GKV) on January 1, 2021. However, those who wish to remain privately insured can be exempted from this insurance obligation. A corresponding application can be made by anyone who becomes subject to compulsory insurance due to a change in the annual income threshold. The exemption from compulsory insurance is irrevocable.

Advantages for salaried employees:

  • High-earning salaried employees benefit from the calculation of contributions independent of income.

  • If, for example, they receive bonuses or supplements from their employer, the private health insurance contribution does not increase.

  • The employer contributes half of the monthly costs for private health insurance of the employee. In principle, the subsidy is limited to half of your actual contribution to private health insurance and private long-term care insurance. At the same time, it amounts to no more than half of the maximum employer's contribution for employees with public health insurance. Thus, the maximum employer subsidy for private health insurance in 2021 is 384.58 euros/month.



Students also have the option of taking out private insurance. Within the first 3 months after enrollment, they can apply for private insurance without any major requirements. The private insurance remains in place during the entire study period and cannot be cancelled.

Advantages for students:

  • They often get very favorable rates in private health insurance, because: the younger and at the same time healthier the insured is, the lower is their monthly contribution to private health insurance.


Civil servants

Civil servants can take out insurance without any major requirements and irrespective of their earnings. In many cases, they are also entitled to a subsidy from their employer. The employer pays between 50-80% of the expenses, so that the premium costs for civil servants are significantly reduced.

Advantages for civil servants:

  • Employer allowance entitlement of between 50-80% for insured persons and their non-working family members.

  • Spouses and children are taken care of by this state subsidy in PKV

  • Civil servants or civil servant candidates only need a so-called residual cost insurance for complete coverage

Photo by Christopher Gower

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