Herta and Ralf had until now contracts with a private insurance association fro, Netherlands.
Now they have to choice a health insurance in Germany. Germany has a reputation for having one of the best health care systems in the world, providing its residents with comprehensive health insurance coverage. So Herta and Ralf they do not think that in Germany they do not find a good insurance.
There are three options for health insurance while living in Germany; the government-regulated public health insurance system (GKV), private health insurance from a German or international insurance company (PKV) or a combination of the two Full private plans are suitable if personal income is above a certain threshold or if the person is self- employed. Finding the best service provider of state health insurance or finding the most suitable coverage from a private health insurer while still at a competitive rate is not always easy but is well worth the effort.
Herta and Ralf need help to understand the system in order to filter out the most suitable plan while living in Germany. In Germany approximately 85% of the population is mandatory or voluntary members of the public health scheme while the rest have private health insurance. But the situation with public health insurance (i.e. Kramkenkassen) became worser due to the introduction of the Gesundheitsfonds which is a monstrous collection and distribution fund for all monies paid into the GKV went into effect as of January 1, 2009. The consequences were felt by all: the present 113 Krankenkassen claim that the amounts being distributed per head are not enough to cover costs and a number of the Kassen have already registered for bankruptcy. Their members will, of course, be allowed to change to another Kasse.
Herta and Ralf like to be members of a private insurance because private health plans cover a wider choice of medical and dental treatment and provide broad geographical coverage. As private patient you can expect more service from medical profesion who use this kind of insurance to supplement their incomes. In Germany there are about 40 insurance companies. The cost per person is based on the level of benefit chosen, on entry age and pre-existing medical condition. For people older than 55 it is very high.
Herta and Ralf do not have high income and they are older than 55 so they can not afford a private health insurance and would like to become members of a public insurance like AOK or TK.
Now they try to find friends and public German services to help them to find a public health insurance which take them.