It is mandatory to be medical insured if working and receives salary less then certain threshold (Approx Euro 50,000)
Salient features of Govt. Insurance
Salaried people with salary less than Approx Euro 50000 are required to be have medical insurance from Govt.
German public insurance computes the monthly premium based on income only. The public system disregards age, gender as well as pre-existing conditions.
Public insurance in Germany is a family insurance. Which means all members of the family without their own source of income (and therefore own health insurance) are covered under the umbrella of one public insurance.
With public insurance you have good coverage for all major treatment and medical emergencies. In comparison with lots of other countries, the German public health system is still quite good. It is therefore impossible to describe all the treatments etc. that are covered with pubic insurance.
Choosing between Govt and Private Insurance
For a family public insurance is cheaper, as in private each individual is insured separately.
Facts about private insurance:
It enables to get better services and better medicines.
One doesn't have to pay quarterly fee.
Mostly medicines are also 100% covered.
Company also contributes upto certain amount. It is not exactly 50% but max something around Euro 300
Once switched to private one can not go back to public one.
If both partners are working, one can go for public and other for private.
Private insurances usually offer good premiums for not using it the whole year.
One is not forced for generally required regular procedures, e.g. visiting to dentist regularly is mandatory under public but not under private.
There is more work under private as one receives the invoices from doctors and the person has to send them to the insurance company for the claims. There is usually enough time, to claim and then pay the invoices.
You may opt to get different treatment for each individual. Usually people sign for best conditions for kids as they need more visits to doctor and medicines.
At most practices, waiting time for private patients is also shorter.
One also gets more tax benefits. So one gets some money back from finanzamt when declaring tax.
So take your decision carefully.
Things to remember
If you are under compulsorily insurance then get it at the earliest within first month of your entering to Germany. The premium payment starts from the day you enter into Germany, even if you get yourself insured afterwards. So even if you have insurance from India, it is wise to get your health insurance at the earliest, so that you can get its benefit, in case of need.
Buying Health Insurance:
Follwoing is an easy, English sign up form for TK (Techniker Krankenkasse) . No more hassle with signing up with TK in German. No paperwork
1) Refer to following link for more detailed information about health insurance in Germany
2) More information about Health Insurance: http://www.germanyhis.com/
3) Insurance premium for students by AOK, BARMER GEK, DAK, HEK, KKH, IKK, and various health insurance funds: http://www.hiffs.de/