3 reasons why private health insurance could be worth it

3 reasons why private health insurance could be worth it


Not everyone in Germany is eligible to take out private health insurance. But for high-earners and self-employed people who are free to choose, private insurance can be a good choice, as ottonova explains. 

Anyone who lives and works in Germany needs health insurance. The federal republic has a dual system, under which both public and private health insurance companies operate side-by-side. Not everyone is able to choose freely between public and private insurance - it depends on your income and employment status. 

Is private health insurance worth it in Germany?

If you’re self-employed or an employee with an income of more than 66.600 euros (gross) per year (from 2023), you are free to choose between public and private health insurance - primarily because your public health insurance premiums might actually be higher. On top of this, there are two other big reasons why opting for private health insurance in your circumstances might make sense. Let’s take a look. 

1. German private health insurance gives you better coverage - forever

Under the public health insurance system, the coverage and benefits can be adjusted by the legislator at any time. Some services, treatments and medications are then only available if you pay for them partially or even entirely yourself. 

Public insurance policyholders therefore often pay, in addition to their premiums, not only for medication, but also for osteopathy and other alternative treatments, vision and hearing aids, vaccinations and psychotherapy. Preventative care is also not comprehensively covered by public health insurance. 

Private health insurance companies let you tailor your policy to include the services you require - including private hospital rooms, access to specialists, alternative medicine, travel vaccinations, and much more - meaning you have access to the very best in healthcare from the beginning, and are covered in the best possible way in case of illness. And the best part is, this coverage is guaranteed for the duration of your contract and will never get cut. 

2. High earners in Germany will likely save money with private health insurance

Expats stand to save up to 300 euros per month with ottonova’s stable private health insurance premiums 

With public health insurance, your premium is determined by your income, with contributions currently set at 14,6 percent of your gross income (up to a maximum of 928 euros per month). If you are employed, your employer will cover 50 percent of your premium.

With private health insurance, on the other hand, your premium is calculated independently of your income, which offers a big savings potential on your health insurance. 

This is especially the case if you are a high-income earner who would be have to pay the maximum premium for public health insurance, or a self-employed worker who would be required to cover both the employee and the employer’s share of the public health insurance contribution. In these situations, switching to a private health insurer could definitely pay off. 

3. Taking out private health insurance at a young age helps keep your premiums low

Premiums for private health insurance in Germany are calculated depending on your age and health status when you enter the system, and your desired deductible. Although private health insurance premiums generally go up as you age, you have the option to start building up ageing reserves to keep your premiums steady and help prevent high premiums in the future - so the younger you start, the better. 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that your health status can change suddenly, even at a young age, and - depending on the severity of the situation - it may make it impossible to take out private health insurance, or (high) risk surcharges may apply, meaning you'd have to pay a higher premium to compensate for the extra risk. 

But if you take out private health insurance at a young age, you can benefit from a lower premium that will not be affected by later changes to your health status, like a sudden illness or new, long-term health problem. 

Why you should consider private health insurance with ottonova

ottonova is Germany’s first fully digital private health insurance provider, offering excellent benefits and digital services to make your life easier. With tariffs specially designed for expats, you stand to save up to 300 euros per month on your premiums, and can count on them remaining stable in the long-term, thanks to ottonova’s market-oriented and future-proof interest rate calculations. You also benefit from:

  • Modern treatment methods: ottonova is enthusiastic about innovation and supports groundbreaking therapies and treatments.
  • Excellent personalised coverage: Get more than you would with public health insurance, zero waiting time for specialists, private hospital accommodation and up to 100 percent coverage for your dental bills. 
  • Real-time support in English: Contact ottonova via phone or on the app to get fast answers to any questions about your tariff or your health. 
  • Zero paperwork: Scan your documents with your phone camera and have them all neatly organised in the ottonova app. 
  • Digital appointment booking: Book medical appointments with English-speaking doctors in just a couple of clicks. 
  • 48-hour reimbursement of bills: Monday to Friday for bills of up to 500 euros.

Find out why ottonova makes health insurance better for you by booking a free, no-obligation personal consultation.



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