Freelancing in Germany: Have you got your Health Insurance?

freelancer insurance

Since 2009 all workers in Germany, whether temporary or permanent, including freelance workers, are required by law to have a private or state health insurance policy in place in order to work in Germany: this includes foreign workers, whether they are EU citizens or otherwise. There are numerous national and international insurance companies offering healthcare insurance, but it is really important if you do choose a health insurance policy provided by an international company that you make sure your policy is valid in Germany and meets all the necessary German legislation for health insurance policies. This feature highlights the specific legal requirements of all policies for health insurance for freelancer working in Germany.

I will be working freelance in Germany: what kind of health insurance will I need?

German law stipulates that foreign nationals who do not have German state health insurance must provide evidence of health insurance cover from a non-state health insurance provider. This insurance policy must include the following provisions:

a) Your health insurance coverage should be similar to the statutory health insurance scheme in the following ways:

It must:
run indefinitely or automatically be extended as a type of life insurance.

It must not:
contain large-scale exclusions of benefits
require the insured person to make high excess payments
when illness occurs, put a limitation on reimbursed costs of any description

contain expiration or indemnity clauses associated with the insured person’s lifestyle, age or change in reason for residency

b) The health insurance agreement must be one approved by the German Federal Supervisory Authority for Financial Services (Bundesanstalt fur Finanzdienstleistungsaufsich) who are based in Bonn, Germany. Their approval confirms that the health insurance policy has fulfilled the requirements of Section 257(2)(a)of Book V of the German Social Security Statute(SGBV).

So how do I find out if my health insurance policy will be valid in Germany?

International insurance companies offering health insurance for freelancer or anyone else working in Germany should have been issued a license number by the German Federal Supervisory Authority for Financial Services. Tell your insurance company that you plan to work freelance in Germany, and ask the insurance company for this license number. If they are unable to provide such a license number, you can alternatively ask the insurance company to verify that their policy meets all the requirements listed in (a) and (b) above. If the insurance company are unable to comply with your request for information, avoid buying their health insurance policy, and take up your health insurance cover with another company who are able to comply with the German legal requirements above. Without an acceptable health insurance policy, you will be unable to work in Germany, freelance or otherwise.