Healthcare in Frankfurt




For a cosmopolitan city such as Frankfurt, health care is something that both locals and expatriates regard with high importance.

Fortunately, for the hundreds of expats that live in Frankfurt, Germany has the reputation of having one of the best healthcare systems in the world. 

Healthcare Basics

Frankfurt, a premiere German city, benefits from the country's decades-old yet excellent universal health care system. 

Said to be dating back from Otto von Bismarck's Social legislation, the original healthcare legislation was said to cover only low-income workers and government employees. It has now expanded to provide coverage for almost the entire population. 

At this time, 85% of the German population is covered under this mandatory state health insurance, the rest are under private health coverage. 

For those with a gross salary below 49,950 Euros annually or 4,163 Euros per month then membership in the GKV (government health system) is mandatory. The public health insurance scheme is managed by health insurance companies and is required to have a standard charge.

The rate of charges for public health coverage is about 15.5% of an employee's salary up to a maximum salary of 3,750 Euros. This translates to about a maximum of 570 Euros deducted from an employee's pay. The employer pays almost half of this cost. 

The benefits are basic and include in-patient (hospital) care as a ward patient with the doctor on duty, out-patient care with registered doctors and basic dental care. 

The general minimum period of membership with a Krankenkasse is 18 months. 

As far as health care quality is concerned, it definitely justifies the cost. Healthcare in Germany based on a recent survey by the World Health Organization, ranks 25th out of 191 countries when it comes to cost-effectiveness ratio. 

Making appointments ahead of time is advisable for outpatient consultations, as waiting times are quite long. For state-insured individuals, your bill would be sent directly to your insurance company. 

An additional fee of 10 Euros may also be charged for your first visit every quarter, payable in cash. 

Most expats also sign up for either international health care coverage or locally available insurance as supplement to the state-mandated health insurance. One of the advantages of private healthcare is wider medical and dental coverage. Another plus is that you are more likely to get services of a doctor who speaks your native language or English at the very least. 

Keep in mind as well that the law on prescriptions in Germany, including Frankfurt, is very strict. There are certain antibiotics that you can normally get over-the-counter in your country that may require a prescription. 

Costs for medicines under the state health insurance system are, to a large extent, included in the coverage. If there are any charges, they are often minimal. However, for non-prescription medicine, you would normally have to pay for 100% of the cost. 

Medicine in Germany can be more expensive than the rest of Europe, so make sure that if there are certain painkillers or remedies you can't do without, have a ready stock available. 

Health Facts and Figures 

Germany's healthcare expenditure amounts to about 10.8% of their GDP. The country has a life expectancy of 77 years for males and 82 years for females, and a crude death rate of 9.97 per 1000 inhabitants. Based on reports by the World Health Organization, 4 out 10 deaths are due to cardiovascular diseases, with ischemic heart disease leading as the major cause of death. The city of Frankfurt has 19 hospitals and has a ratio of 9.3 doctors for 1000 inhabitants. There are 1,638 doctors in this city and 564 dentists. The city also has 192 pharmacies. 

Employment, visas, permits, and even international insurance are just part of the entire expat healthcare picture. Basic knowledge of the country and the city's health and health care situation are also essential. 

Now once you have all of the above, then you're all set and ready to face the Frankfurt as a healthy expat! 


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