Germany Private Health Insurance and Corona

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Mon 30th Mar, 2020

The number of corona infections in Germany is increasing every day - despite efforts by the health authorities to limit the growth. Despite the massive restrictions such as school closings and curfews, it can currently be assumed that the peak of infections has not yet been reached.

Even if the course of an infection with Corona is usually more like that of a mild flu, there is still the question of coverage through an existing or planned private health insurance.

Here are some possible questions and answers that might occur in this context:


1. Does private health insuramce cover the costs for a Corona Test?

There are usually no specific provisions regarding infection tests in the insurance conditions. Here applies the general principle: private health insurance pays for what is medically necessary. A corona test is at the moment considered medically necessary if you have been in the vicinity of infected people or in an at-risk area and you experience symptoms that justify a specific suspected corona. A test without justified reason "just to be absolutely sure" is therefore not included. At least you cannot assert a claim to retrieve these costs. Private health insurers will act no differently than statutory health insurance companies. Here too, the costs are only borne if there is reasonable suspicion of infection.


2. Am I entitled to daily sickness benefits if I have to be quarantined?

A quarantine is not a disease as such, but a government-ordered infection control measure. If you continue working from a home office, the question of daily sickness benefits does not arise and you will be paid your wages as normal. If working is no longer possible, that loss of earnings will be paid for the first six weeks, which corresponds to continued wages in the event of illness. There are corresponding provisions in the Infection Protection Act.

If the quarantine lasts longer than those six weeks - which should be rather unlikely - the daily sickness benefit insurance will generally not occur unless there is actually a corona infection. Because the insured event is limited to "the medically necessary treatment of an insured person due to illness or the consequences of an accident" according to the model conditions. Quarantine is not a disease. It is different with a specific illness. In the event of an infection, the insurance will of course pay the agreed daily sickness benefit if the deadline requirements are met.


3. Can I take out private daily sickness benefits subsequently?

Private daily sickness benefit insurance can be taken out at any time if you haven't got that covered already. It is actually a must for privately insured employees and generally for the self-employed. Because sickness benefit, which compensates for lost earnings, is only available for employees with statutory health insurance and for those self-employed who are voluntarily staying with statutory health insurance and pay the full contributions.

When taking out new daily sickness benefit insurance, however, waiting times of usually three months apply. Completed today, the insurance coverage would not take effect until the summer.


4. Are treatment costs for Corona reimbursed abroad?

In the case of private full health insurance, foreign health protection is largely included in the tariffs. However, the scope is inconsistent. There are restrictions in terms of both space and time. Especially for longer stays abroad and stays outside of Europe, not every tariff automatically provides international health protection. Only a look at the insurance conditions or inquiring with the insurer will tell you about the details here.

If the corona disease occurs in an area and/or period covered by the tariff, the treatment costs are covered, otherwise not. In such cases, appropriate travel health protection abroad is recommended.


5. Are costs for a possible emergency relocation due to Corona covered?

With many private health insurance tariffs and also with travel health insurance abroad, the cost of returning the patient to home is included. However, this often only applies if the illness cannot be treated adequately in the country of travel and the return transport of the sick is medically necessary. Sometimes the insurance conditions are a little more generous - it depends on the tariff. The corresponding provisions are not disease-specific and also apply to corona diseases.


6. Can or should I quickly switch to private health insurance due to the Corona Crisis?

Switching to private health insurance is a fundamental decision and should not be made dependent on a single illness - not even on the corona virus. In the case of employees, the change is only possible if the income exceeds the compulsory insurance limit. As a member of statutory health insurance, you can generally expect appropriate treatment for a corona infection. If you have overcome or are currently suffering from a corona infection, you must indicate this in the application for private insurance. This may affect the acceptance of the application, the premiums or the benefits of the chosen tariff. However, there are no empirical values for how insurers will handle this yet.

In general, self-employed, freelancers and civil servants can switch to private health insurance without restriction. The same applies to employees with an income above the compulsory insurance limit.

Many people who are entiteled to, use the privilege of being "privately insured" not only because of the far better benefits. The contributions are often cheaper in the private health insurance than in the statutory health insurance.

If you are currently thinking about switching to German private health insurance, the following links may help you with your decision:

Private Health Insurance Comparison Tool

Health Insurance for Foreigners in Germany

Private Health Insurance 101 and Request for Quote

German Engineering Jobs
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