Skip to content

South Africans in Germany

Home » Finances » Medical


Health insurance is mandatory for everyone visiting or living in Germany.
When living in Germany you can either take our private (privaten Kran­ken­ver­si­che­rung – PKV) or public (gesetzliche Kran­ken­ver­si­che­rung – GKV) health insurance. Your choice will depend on your age, salary and employment status.
To know:

  • It is extremely difficult to change from Private to Public insurance. The other way around is no issue
  • Contributions for public depends on your salary, contributions for private depends on your risk profile (age and health). Private insurance become more expensive the older you get
  • Private insurance – you pay expenses out of your pocket and claim them back
  • Public insurance – your claim is submitted and paid by the company
  • Only civil servants, the self-employed, students and employees whose salary exceeds the annual income limit (Versicherungspflichtgrenze) may take out private insurance. In 2023, this limit is € 66,600 gross per year. 
  • For employees, the employer pays half of the premium (14.6% / 2) plus a statuary additional contribution (1.3%/2) , but only up to the maximum rate of a statutory insured person (Beitragsbemessungsgrenze). In 2023 the limit is €59850 or €4987,5 per month. That calculates to a max contribution of  €384,58  per month

Resources on the web

  • An article from “How to Germany” about the different health insurance options
  • “Just Landed,” wrote an article about health insurance in Germany

Top up medical cover

You can top up your medical cover for example Dentist cover.
You can read more about it on the How To Germany Site. There is also a good article (German) from Focus about Zusatzversicherung

Tourist Health Cover (travel to Germany)

Tourist needs travel and medical insurance before they can apply for their Visa’s.
Some of the options are your medical aid or a company like TIC.
Please be aware of the requirements from the Embassy, not all credit card cover is accepted.
When you need cover for 6 to 12 months, you can look at Klemmer.

Cover for freelancers

At the time of writing, these two companies offer medical aid for freelancers in Germany. 
Except for publicists and people working in the arts, all freelancers and self-employed should be privately health insured.
For Expats coming over, you will not be allowed to go onto Vol Privat Krankenversicherung (full private health insurance) until you have been in Germany for 2 years and held other health insurance for that time (keep in mind you will not qualify for public health insurance). You need a expat/travel health insurance (private health insurance) for those 1st two years.It also needs to meet the requirements of the Embassy for the Visa and the Behörde (not all do).

Cover for students and Au Pairs

You will need medical insurance to cover the whole period that you are in Germany. Good options are Klemmer or Dr Walter

Comparative websites

The following websites offer a comparison of medical insurance. Please always read the fine print before signing up through comparative sites

Medical insurance companies

  • Krankenkassse  has a list of private and public health insurance companies.
  • PKV lists members of the Private Krankenversicherung (PKV)

Advisors listed on this site

 If you are in need of assistance with your health insurance application, here is a list of competent and reliable professionals who are equipped to provide you with top-notch support throughout the entire process. You can rest easy knowing that these individuals are well-versed in all aspects of healthcare and have ample experience helping clients navigate the often confusing world of German health insurance. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any of the exceptional individuals on our list- they are more than happy to help you apply for the healthcare coverage you need!

Chad Joubert – Wealth Advisor

DIE GUTE WAHL – THE GOOD CHOICE – Agency for Allfinanz Deutsche Vermögensberatung. We are here for you, we provide you with professional support in your planning for the future: With the right concept, you are fully protected and build your wealth step by step. Ask for an individual (no fee) consultation. We advise you competently and reliably, via online meetings. Click the link to get access to our Bookings page: Financial advice as comprehensive

Related content

Visiting a doctor

When I first came to Germany, I was fortunate to still frequently travel back to SA, so I did all my check-ups there and tried