In Germany, the healthcare system is very well developed and every resident is mandated to have health insurance, including children. Immigrant children who are living in Germany are not excluded, regardless of their citizenship status and they have access to high quality medical care.
Also, children who are seeking asylum or are refugees may be eligible for health insurance through the government. This is usually provided through the country’s public health insurance system, and may be coordinated through a local social welfare office.
There are two types of health insurance in Germany
Statutory health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung or GKV)
It is also known as Public Health Insurance. It is a mandatory health insurance system in Germany that covers the medical needs of the population. Children are covered by this health insurance system through their parents or legal guardians who are already signed up under the system. It is a social insurance program, meaning that it is funded by contributions from employees and employers, as well as by the government. GKV is provided by various insurance companies and is mandatory for those who earn less than a certain income level.
In the statutory health insurance system, all insured persons have access to a range of medical services, including doctor’s visits, hospital care, prescription medications, and medical equipment. However, there may be some out-of-pocket costs for certain medical services, such as co-payments for prescription drugs or dental care.
The benefits are standardized and set by law, so all insured persons have equal access to the same level of healthcare
Eligibility for statutory health insurance
sEmployment: Most companies would automatically enroll its employees in the statutory health insurance. If you are employed, your employer is responsible for enrolling you in the national health insurance scheme. Self-employed people or unemployed people, students, and other groups may also be eligible for statutory health insurance, but may have to enroll separately.
Income level: In Germany, only people who earn below a certain income threshold may be eligible for free or subsidized health insurance. If you earn above this threshold, you may be required to take out private health insurance instead.
Residence status: permanent residents and citizens, (this means that you must have a permanent address in the country and be registered with the local authorities) are eligible for statutory health insurance, while temporary residents will likely need to purchase private health insurance.
Age: Children under a certain age may be covered by their parents’ statutory health insurance, while seniors may be eligible for special programs or subsidies.
It’s important to note that the specific eligibility requirements for statutory health insurance vary depending on the parents status and the specific insurance scheme. If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible for statutory health insurance, it’s best to check with your local health insurance authority or a qualified insurance broker.
Private health insurance (Private Krankenversicherung or PKV)
This is not as common as the statutory health insurance. Private health insurance for children is usually purchased by individuals who are self-employed or parents who earn more than the income threshold required for statutory health insurance, which is currently set at €64,350 gross income per year.it offers different benefits and coverage than the statutory health insurance system. Children can also be covered under private health insurance if their parents choose this option.
Private health insurance plans for children can offer more comprehensive coverage than public health insurance plans, including access to private hospitals and specialists, and may also provide coverage for certain alternative treatments. Premiums would typically vary depending on the age, health status, and coverage options selected. Majority of the private health insurance providers would also require medical underwriting, which means that pre-existing conditions or health risks may affect eligibility or premium rates
The Children’s Health Insurance Fund (Krankenkasse für Kinder)
If a child is not covered by the statutory health insurance system through their parents or legal guardians, they may be eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Fund which provides them with comprehensive health coverage while they are under the age of 18, including medical treatment, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and preventive care. The fund is funded by the government and contributions from parents.
To be qualifying for the Children’s Health Insurance Fund, the child’s family must meet certain income requirements. Families who are receiving social welfare benefits or have a low income may be eligible for the fund. The fund also covers children with pre-existing conditions.
Age limit for children’s health insurance in Germany
Children are typically covered by their parents’ health insurance until they reach the age of 18 in Germany. After that, they are eligible to either continue to be covered as a dependent if they are enrolled in a recognized educational or vocational training program or any higher education program, or they can obtain their own health insurance if they become employed. They can continue to be insured through their parents’ health insurance until they complete their education or turn 25, whichever comes first
For other types of insurance such as liability, accident, car insurance or life insurance, there is no specific age limit for children. However, the terms and conditions of the insurance policies may vary depending on the age of the insured person and the insurance provider. It’s always best to check with the specific insurance provider for their policy regarding children’s insurance coverage.