Anyone is eligible for Statutory health insurance (GKV) and up to a certain income limit, it is compulsory. If you earn a higher income, you can also apply for a private health insurance. Your statutory health insurance covers visits to the doctor, many types of medicine and therapeutic measures.
Your monthly contribution rate is dependent on your gross income. When you are employed, the contributions are automatically deducted from your salary. If you are self-employed, you must pay the contributions yourself. If you are registered with the employment agency, the Jobcenter will pay the monthly contributions. With the statutory health insurance, children and life partners can be additionally insured without extra charges ("Familienversicherung").
You are free to choose your insurance provider. The existing companies differ slightly in their fees and service. Some certain basic services, however, are required by law and should be provided by all of them. After you submit your application to an Insurance company, you will receive an electronic health insurance card. You should always take it with you during visits to the doctor or hospital. Your personal data is recorded on a microchip inside the card.
It may sometimes happen that your doctor recommends a treatment that is not covered by your insurance. You should decide for yourself whether you want and can afford the treatment or not. Your doctor should always inform you when there would be any additional expenses.