Health insurance for international employees in Germany


Health insurance for international employees in Germany

In today’s competitive business landscape, startups are increasingly recognizing the value of sourcing international talents to drive innovation and fuel their growth. Hiring employees from different countries brings diverse perspectives, skills, and experiences to the table, fostering creativity, adaptability, and a global mindset. As moving to Germany is a big commitment, international employees do worry about the health coverage in their new home. Your responsibility as a company towards them holds clear communication about different options. To attract and retain top international talents, startups in Germany must consider various factors, including the health insurance options available to their employees.

Public Health Insurance:

Public health insurance offers several advantages for employees in German startups. Firstly, it is generally more affordable as contributions are income-based, making it a suitable option for employees with lower incomes. Additionally, public health insurance provides comprehensive coverage for medical treatments, medications, hospital stays, and preventive care, ensuring that employees have access to necessary healthcare services. Public health insurance is also accessible to all residents in Germany, regardless of pre-existing conditions or age. Furthermore, it often extends coverage to family members, providing comprehensive healthcare for the entire family. Approximately 90 percent of Germans have public health insurance.

However, public health insurance does have some limitations. It offers less flexibility for customization or additional coverage beyond the standard benefits. Employees may also experience longer waiting times for non-emergency procedures, depending on the region and specific treatment. Additionally, public health insurance might not cover all healthcare providers or include specialized treatments. Those need to be paid by your employee.

Public health insurance contributions are income-based, making it a more affordable option for both the startup and its employees. The lower cost can help startups manage their budget while still providing essential healthcare coverage to their employees.

Also, public health insurance typically offers comprehensive coverage for a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription medications, and preventive care. This ensures that employees have access to necessary healthcare services without incurring substantial out-of-pocket expenses.

A big plus is the fact that public health insurance is not only available for all German citizens, but also for expats working in Germany. It ensures that everyone has access to healthcare coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions, age, or nationality. This inclusivity promotes a sense of fairness and equality within the startup’s workforce.

The extended coverage of that system provides health care to family members, including spouses and children. This means that employees can ensure the health and well-being of their entire family, providing peace of mind and work-life balance.

Public health insurance is administered by various statutory health insurance funds in Germany. As an employer, startups can simplify the administrative process by partnering with use and benefit from our expertise in managing health insurance matters.

By offering public health insurance, startups can provide their employees with affordable, comprehensive, and accessible healthcare coverage. This contributes to employee satisfaction, promotes a positive work environment, and aligns with the values of fairness and inclusivity.

Private Health Insurance:

Private health insurance provides certain advantages that may be appealing to some international employees with particular needs for special care not covered by the public system. It offers greater flexibility and customization options, allowing employees to tailor coverage to their individual needs. Private health insurance also generally provides shorter waiting times for appointments and non-emergency procedures. Access to a wider network of doctors, hospitals, and healthcare providers is another advantage offered by private health insurance. Please note that if your employees earn more than 66.600 EUR / year (2023) they may also opt out of public health insurance and choose private health insurance instead.

On the other hand, private health insurance comes with its own drawbacks. It can be more expensive compared to public options, with premiums based on factors such as age, health status, and desired coverage. Private health insurance may also have exclusions or limitations on coverage, particularly for pre-existing conditions or certain treatments. Navigating private health insurance plans can be more complex due to varying coverage levels, deductibles, and co-payments.

With its greater flexibility compared to public health insurance, private options offer a much wider range for customization. Startups can choose from a variety of coverage options that suit the specific needs and preferences of their employees. This includes access to additional services, specialized treatments, and alternative medicine.

A big plus for any company is the potential reduction of downtime and improving productivity due to a much faster accessibility with less waiting times for non-emergency occurrences. This does not only save time, but also allows your employees to integrate their healthcare into their working schedule a lot easier.

Private health insurance typically grants access to an extensive network of doctors, hospitals, and healthcare providers. This gives employees more options and the ability to choose the healthcare professionals and facilities that best meet their needs and preferences.

The additional services and amenities not covered by public insurance might also be attractive to international employees being used to other healing modalities that might not be covered by the public system in Germany. These may include private hospital rooms, alternative therapies like Ayurveda or certain movement practices, dental care, and vision coverage. Such perks can contribute to satisfaction and well-being, which can lead to a more convenient and personalized healthcare experience for employees.

Private health insurance plans can offer international coverage, which is especially beneficial for startups with employees who frequently travel or work abroad. This ensures that employees have access to healthcare services, no matter where they are, and you as a company are able to keep them save and healthy at all times.

Last but not least, offering private health insurance as part of the compensation and benefits package can make a startup more competitive in attracting and retaining top talent. It demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being, helps your startup to attract and retain top talent, and provide a comprehensive healthcare solution tailored to individual needs.

When considering health insurance options for international talents in German startups, both public and private options have their advantages and disadvantages. Public health insurance offers affordability, comprehensive coverage, and accessibility, while private health insurance provides greater flexibility, shorter waiting times, and access to specialized care. Startups should carefully evaluate their employees’ needs, preferences, and budget constraints to determine the most suitable option that aligns with their overall compensation and benefits package.

Ultimately, a well-designed health insurance plan plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining international talents, promoting employee well-being, and contributing to the overall success of a relocation process. We usually recommend to providers, the TK (Techniker Krankenkasse) and the BKK VBU. They are also one of the few with an English-speaking service.

We support your HR team and your employees with the application and the general communication with the health insurance provider in German. We closely work together with your company to provide the best possible service as a seamless communication with transparent communication.

Our team of relocation experts is happy to provide you with more details about our recommended healthcare providers. Please contact us at for more information.

This information does not include legal advice or legally binding information. If questions remain or arise, please contact the responsible authority directly or consult a legal expert in this  field. Thank you for your understanding!

By Katharina Ender Blog Share: