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FAQ

Frequently asked questions for employees, students, families and self-employed

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Employees

It depends on the salary. In 2022, employees in Germany with an annual gross salary below €64350 (monthly €5362.50) are subject to mandatory public health insurance. Once the gross salary exceeds this limit, the employee can be voluntarily insured.

At Barmer, you only pay 8.05% of your gross salary for the security and benefits of public health insurance. As contributions are shared 50/50 between employer and employee, the contribution rate for employees is currently 16.1%. This is a combination of the standard statutory contribution rate of 14.6% and the additional individual contribution rate of 1.5%.

Your employer. In most cases, your employer will deduct your share directly from your salary and then transfer the total amount directly to Barmer.

Health insurance contribution for EMPLOYEES in Germany

It’s easy. We organize it for you. When you join Barmer, we will apply for your Social Security Number (Sozialversicherungsausweis) and send it to your postal address. So you don’t have to do anything.

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Your financial security and peace of mind. Barmer protects your income if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury. In most cases, your employer will continue to pay your salary for the first 6 weeks of sick leave. After that, Barmer protects your financial security with sick pay if certain preconditions are met.

No, but we appreciate it when you do. As your partner in health insurance, we like to know when your employment changes so we can coordinate any relevant information with your new employer to make sure you have the perfect start in your new job.

It depends on the length of the gap. As a Barmer member, you can continue your mandatory insurance without contributions if the period between employments is no more than one month – as long as both employments are subject to mandatory health insurance. If the gap between employments is longer than one month, we can change your membership status to voluntary and continue your insurance at the minimum voluntary contribution if you are not earning income in this time. In some cases, it is also possible for you to be covered under family insurance when you’re between jobs.

Yes. You need to inform Barmer when you leave Germany permanently so we can cancel your health insurance at the right time. You’ll need to visit the residents’ registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) in advance to deregister your address and submit a copy of this document to Barmer. If you continue to work for a German employer but move your main place of residence abroad, both you and your German employer will be subject to the social security laws of your new country of residence. In this case, you’ll need to liaise very closely with your employer and local authorities to avoid any complications.

Students

Yes. Students under 30 years of age who study at a state-approved university or college in Germany are subject to mandatory public health insurance and long-term care insurance. In some cases, an exemption is possible, but you’ll need to think carefully about the consequences before making your decision. It’s always best to contact Barmer directly for further advice on this important topic.

No. Once you begin your course of studies, you cannot change between public and private health insurances. Your decision is binding for the duration of your course.

For students in Germany, it’s not possible to get public health insurance alone – long-term care insurance is mandatory as well, and both contributions are combined. All students pay the same reduced rate for these insurances.

From October 2022 on, students are required to pay a monthly contribution of €119.94 (under the age of 23 or with children) or €122.78 (from the age of 23 and without children).

Health insurance:

Long-term care insurance: 

Additional individual contribution rate

€82.99

€24.77* respectively €27.61**

€12.18

* under the age of 23 or with children
** from the age of 23 and without children

Via direct debit each month. In most cases, Barmer books the contributions directly from your bank account. The payment is always due on the 15th of the following month. For example, your contributions for October will be debited from your bank account on the 15th of November. You’ll need to give Barmer the authorization to debit the contributions from your account with a signed SEPA direct debit mandate.

Health insurance contribution for students in Germany

Yes. As a student, you can work alongside your studies – but there are various restrictions. The underlying rule is that your main occupation remains that of a student.

Students from the EU/EEA can be employed alongside their studies – as either a “working student” (Werkstudent) or in a so-called “Mini-Job”. Working students can generally work up to 20 hours a week on average. It’s possible to work more than 20 hours a week during weekends and study breaks, but only for a maximum of 26 weeks per year. It doesn’t matter how much money you earn as a working student, as long as the time restrictions are maintained. If your work time exceeds these limits, your main occupation is no longer a student – and you’ll be insured as an employee.

When you start working alongside your studies, you’ll need to take out mandatory student health insurance with a German health insurance provider like Barmer. As soon as you plan to start your job, please contact us so that we can provide you with all the necessary documents.

Non-EU/EEA students can be employed alongside their studies – as either a “working student” (Werkstudent) or in a so-called “Mini-Job” – if the residence permit allows for this. When you apply for a residence permit, speak with the immigration authorities about working alongside your studies so you know exactly what work permits and time restrictions apply to you. 

Yes. You need to inform Barmer when you leave Germany permanently so we can cancel your health insurance. Please visit the residents’ registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) to deregister your address and submit a copy of this document to Barmer along with a copy of your flight ticket and certificate of exmatriculation.

Self-employed persons

The amount of health insurance contributions for self-employed persons depends on the contribution rate, the amount of income generated and whether there’s an entitlement to sick pay. The health insurance contribution rates for self-employed persons insured with BARMER are currently:

  • 14.6% (statutory contribution rate*) + 1.5% (additional contribution rate) = 16.1%
  • 14.0% (reduced contribution rate**) + 1.5% (additional contribution rate) = 15.5%

* Sick pay as of the 7 th week of incapacity to work
** Without entitlement to sick pay from the 7 th  week of incapacity to work.

In 2022, health insurance contributions for self-employed members are calculated from a minimum income of 1,096.67 euro (as of 2022) and a maximum income of 4,837.50 euro per month. Any income you earn above this maximum income amount is no longer subject to contributions.

In Germany, self-employed persons who are insured with public health insurance are also required to contribute to long-term care insurance. 

With an income tax assessment. To calculate your contributions, we need your most recent income tax assessment from the tax office. If you have just started your self-employment and do not yet have an income tax assessment, you can estimate your income. You also need to fill out an income declaration form, which you’ll receive from us at regular intervals. As soon as you receive a new income tax assessment, please submit it to us. This is the only way to ensure that your contributions correspond to your actual circumstances.

No. It is important to us that your contributions are calculated correctly. When we receive your income tax assessment, your contributions will be retroactively adjusted to the income you actually generated in that year. This may result in a refund or an additional payment.

Yes. A temporary recalculation of contributions due to reduced income is possible if your income has been reduced by a minimum of 25%. For the temporary recalculation, you are required to submit Barmer a “pre-tax assessment” (Einkommensteuer-Vorauszahlungsbescheid) issued by the relevant local tax authority (Finanzamt). It is also possible for a tax advisor to issue, in most cases, a so-called “business accounting report” (betriebswirtschaftliche Auswertung or BWA). The business accounting report could be used as a basis for the temporary recalculation of future contributions while you wait for the pre-tax assessment to be issued.

Yes. Self-employed members can receive sick pay by selecting an optional tariff. There are different tariff options depending on how soon you wish to receive sick pay after beginning your incapacity to work. Speak to our service advisors for more details about sick pay tariffs for self-employed members, artists and publicists.

Yes. It’s very important to inform BARMER when you decide to leave Germany permanently so we can cancel your health insurance. You need to contact us early, so we can advise you on exactly what documentation you need to organize in order for us to legally cancel your insurance.

Families

Yes. Your spouse or registered civil partner and dependent children can be co-insured free of charge under certain preconditions. One precondition is that each co-insured family member does not earn over 470 euro a month. Age limits also apply to your children. You’ll also need to fill out an annual questionnaire to keep the family insurance active and inform us whenever the family’s situation changes. It’s best to contact Barmer directly for further information on family insurance so that we can advise you according to your family situation.

Yes, many. With Barmer, you have a strong and reliable partner at your side – especially when it comes to pregnancy and families. Soon-to-be families receive a wide range of benefits, such as:

  • 200 euro budget for additional healthcare services or medication with the Family Plus Package
  • Free midwife advisory service via telephone or chat
  • Midwife on-call service
  • Co-payment exemption for medication, medical aids and physical therapies
  • Free birth preparation course for pregnant women
  • Up to 10 reconstructive gymnastics sessions after the birth
  • The Pelivina app for pelvic floor muscle exercises at home

Yes. Whether you give birth in a hospital maternity ward, birth centre or at home, you are free to decide. Of course, your doctor will also advise you on the best place to ensure your and your child’s well-being. All hospital maternity wards and birth centres have open days where you can visit the location and meet the doctors and nurses who will support you during this most important time. To locate a hospital or clinic in your area, you can speak with your midwife or use the Barmer Kliniksuche tool by entering the search words “Frauenheilkunde und Geburtshilfe” and your postcode.

To find a qualified midwife in your area, you can use various search options. Your doctor (Frauenarzt) may also be able to advise you on finding a midwife. Our tip: Start looking for a midwife at the beginning of your pregnancy. The midwife search engine Ammely is available in English and has the option to select a midwife who speaks your preferred language. A detailed German-language database of qualified midwives is also available from the GKV-Spitzenverband midwife search tool. If you need help or have any questions, please feel free to ask Barmer for personal advice.
You can also speak or chat with qualified midwives via Barmer’s free midwife advisory service. Please contact us for more information on how to access this service. 

Yes. If your child is ill and needs to be cared for at home, Barmer supports you with child sick pay under certain preconditions, for example, that your child is under 12 years old and has public health insurance. This allows you to concentrate fully on caring for your child without any major financial burden as long as you are not receiving a salary from your employer. Contact Barmer for more information on what preconditions exist for child sick pay and how to apply.

Yes. Employed women and self-employed women with an entitlement to sick pay can receive maternity pay. The amount of maternity pay depends on your regular monthly income and the maximum amount is set by law. In 2022, this amounts to 13 euro per day. In most cases, your employer pays the difference between your maternity pay and your regular net salary. Maternity pay is provided during the last six weeks of pregnancy, for the day of childbirth and for the first eight weeks after childbirth. This period includes an extra 4 weeks if you have twins. You can apply for maternity payment via our website or the Barmer App. Of course, you are also welcome to visit us in person or call our English Service Hotline so we can fill out the application together.

Yes. The German government offers a range of financial benefits to families, for example parental allowance and the child allowance. Information in English on what financial benefits are offered to families in Germany is available from the Family Portal website of the Federal German Government.

Yes. Barmer covers the full costs of preventive medical checkups for children and youth. These statutory examinations include the U1 (1st child examination) through to the U9 (9th child examination) and the J1 (1st youth examination). Please speak with your pediatrician about when these examinations are required.

With the Barmer Child and Youth Program (Kinder- und Jugend-Programm), your family is in safe hands with additional services such as PädExpert® and Paed.Check®.

With PädExpert®, both you and your pediatrician can obtain direct specialist tele-medical advice on chronic or rare diseases, including treatment processes for diagnosis, therapies or progress assessment. 

Paed.Check® are regular preventive medical and psychosocial checkups tailored to the specific age and developmental stages of children. These specialist checkups help to identify a wide range of extraordinary health or developmental deficiencies in advance and ensure targeted countermeasures are taken. 

Participation in the Child and Youth Program is easy. Simply contact our English Service Hotline and request the contact details of a participating pediatrician in your area.

Ein Telefonhörer

Need more help?

For further information simply call our English Service Hotline on 0800 333 0060* (and +49 202 568 333 0060* from abroad).