Healthcare in Germany



Germany’s healthcare system has had a reputation for over 130 years of excellence. Its universal health care system is the perfect mix of public and private funding, with employers providing most of the funding for health care.

So not only it is the world's oldest healthcare system, but also one of the world's finest. Germany boasts short waiting times and modern hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices, pharmacies and dentists. Even in outlying regions, a patient always has access to medical care in Germany.

Citizens and expats working in Germany are usually able to pay for health insurance through their employer. Expats can apply for national healthcare and visitors can purchase international travel insurance to cover medical emergencies.

Universal healthcare

Many consider that the US health system pales in comparison with Germany's universal healthcare system, both regarding cost and performance. Germany has the shortest wait times for elective procedures and the ER wait times are only matched by those of the Netherlands. A doctor's appointment can be made with one day's notice.

Germany's universal health system works almost solely via funding from "sickness funds" through employers. There's only a small portion of private funding from those who are self-employed or for those who make enough money to use a private healthcare system. It is reported that 90 percent are covered by social security, and about 10 percent have private health insurance.

All Germans have access to the same healthcare in public hospitals, and public and private clinics and are required to have insurance (from the age of 18 to 65).

Furthermore, Germany has a universal multi-payer system with two main types of health insurance. Three mandatory health benefits, which are co-financed by employer and employee: 

  • Health insurance
  • Accident insurance
  • Long-term care insurance

Accident insurance (Unfallversicherung) is paid by the employer to cover the risks of commuting to and from work. Long term care (Pflegeversicherung) is shared by employer and employee and covers cases in which a person is not able to fully handle the daily routine. It amounts to 2 percent of a yearly salaried income or pension, with employers matching the employee's contribution.

All workers are obliged to have public health insurance. Public officers, self-employed people and employees with a gross income of 50,000 Euros (an annually adjusted figure) and above may join the private system.


Are you covered? Free Health Insurance Quotes in Germany

Get FREE quotes from leading global Insurers to compare and find a plan suits you best.

Get Free Quote