At today's date almost 8 million people in Germany either decided or were forced to seek cover with a German Private Health Insurance plan, the official term: "Private Krankenversicherung (PKV)". With just 45 in 2019, the list of providers is managable, however the vast and nontransparent range of different plans, benefits and additional services like online doctors or Cash-Back schemes is comparable to taking a walk though the jungle - without the right tools you will get lost or guided into a pitfall that will come costly!
“Medical” together with “Mandatory Long-Term Care” make up the main construct of German private health insurance, in German is referred to as: “Krankheitskostenvollversicherung”. There is no one-to-one translation for latter terminology, thus just needs to be understood as comprehensive health insurance.
In addition to the above, the policy can be extended with the following optional benefits, which are considered as separate contracts, hence can be added or removed without affecting the main insurance construct.
The insurer pays a fixed amount for every day the insured person is required to go on cure (e.g. asthma patients)
- Hospital "per diem" Allowance
The insurer pays a pre-arranged amount for every night the insured person is admitted to hospital
- Precautionary medical examinations
The insurer pays a fix agreed amount for medical check-ups that correlate with the German statutory ("public") health system
- Premium Stability Scheme
A tariff that can be added allowing the insured-person to save up necessary funds - a buffer- that will help assure affordable premiums at old-age. Not only are these additional payments tax-deductible but are also not subject to German Settlement Tax (Abgeltungssteuer).
The 2 most common credit forms - constant and dynamic
The insured-person determines a fixed amount by which the premium increases month for month
The insured-person determines the intervals in which the premium should be increased
- Sickness "per diem" Allowance
The insured person can set up a payment scheme in which the insurer will pay a pre-arranged amount for each day of sickness.
Different insurers have different plans but generally the insured person can define an amount to be paid as from the second week and/ or any of the other weeks that follow.
In the following example the insurer would pay 200€ per day should the insured person still be written-off sick after 6 months.
- As of week 6 => 50€ per day
- As of week 13 => 50€ per day
- As of week 26 => 100€ per day
- As of week 6 => 50€ per day
- Worldwide medical insurance
Not all providers offer worldwide coverage as a standard, therefore it is advisable to include such a benefit as the costs are very little.
Tip: Even if a policy includes worldwide cover, adding this tariff is a way to bypass the annual excess.
One other benefit, which German health insurers call "Optionstarif", allows a switch on renewal to a different plan without having to undergo a new medical examination. This is highly recommendable to a person who has been accepted with a more serious pre-existing condition and needs the possibility to switch to better coverage, should future medical enhancements make curing treatment possible.
ActiveMe is a very new and innovative product, offering 24/7/365 online support that includes medical consultations and reimbursements for costs to maintain/ improve the client’s health and fitness level.
Consulting Axa’s medical team per video conference for all kinds of matters, examinations included, clients will not only receive immediate attention, online sick-notes, prescriptions or referrals to visit specialised doctors, but will also not have to worry about having to consider the common annual excess, which with ActiveMe is set at 20% per claim, max. 500€ per insurance year. Latter is namely due when consulting external physicians of one’s free choice and an instrument all insurances implement to make the premiums more attractive to the customer and to save costs at their end.
ActiveMe is not the common German “sickness insurance” (Krankenversicherung) companies advertise with, but the first serious concept a German insurer has introduced, that focuses on peoples health status and rewards those who take care of their body and soul.
Like with all, premiums can be declared in the annual tax-return to reduce the taxable income, so clients will partially receive their invested money back this way and making use of the health & fitness related benefits, neither of which are subject to the before-mentioned excess, hence fully refundable, further monies are returned to the client though yet another channel. And if all of this wasn’t enough, for all those who do not file a sickness related invoice from an external doctor or dentist, the ActiveMe Cash Back Scheme pays 700€ per full insurance for the intial 4 years, which is increased to 1,000€ for each subsequent year thereupon.
The most inexpensive version, meaning with the most basic dental plan and without additional benefits such as "Premium Stability for Old Age", Hosptial per diem Allowance, "Sickess per diem Allowance", "Curs" and "Additional Long-Term care", Axa's ActiveMe health insurance can be purchased by e.g. a self-employed artist for the following premiums.