Here we'll gladly answer your most frequent questions about public health insurance and DAK-Gesundheit

Address change: How do I notify you of my new address?

If you move and your address changes, then please notify us by telephone or in writing. If you are registered at “My DAK”, then you can enter the new information into the online form and send it to us via the Internet.

Employer change: What happens with a new job?

Please notify us when you change employers – that is required by law in Germany. You can either change your information at “Meine DAK” if you are registered there or give us a call. Please have the name, address and other contact information for your new employer at hand as well as the date your employment will begin there.

Inability to work: What happens if I fall ill?

If you are unable to work due to illness, then you must inform your employer immediately. Please inquire at your company for the procedure and the documents required by your employer.

If you are absent for more than three days, then you will usually need a so-called sick note (Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung). Normally, your employer continues to pay your wages for the duration of your illness for up to six weeks. This period is stipulated by law. Some employment contracts regulate even longer periods in which employees are financially insured. Once your employer stops payment, then DAK-Gesundheit steps in and continues to pay a portion of your wages. This is so-called sick pay (Krankengeld).

The sick note (Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung) consists of three pages. The first page, the original, goes to your health insurer and must be submitted within a week. Send the second page to your employer. The third page is a copy that your doctor retains for his or her records together with your diagnosis.

Medications and pharmaceuticals: Where can I buy them and how do I pay

Your doctor may prescribe medication in the event of illness. The cost of prescription medicine is usually covered by your health insurance, but the insured must pay their co-pay. This co-pay is ten percent of the price of the medication – at least five, but maximum ten euros per prescription. You can obtain your medicine solely in pharmacies: simply show them your prescription and pay your co-pay. Insured must usually pay for non-prescription medications on their own.

Selection of doctors: Do I have to stick to certain doctors?

Compulsorily insured people in Germany may choose which doctor they would like to have treat them. The requirement is that the doctor has authorization to treat patients who are publicly insured. Most doctors in Germany have this authorization.

You must show your insurance card at a doctor's visit. The doctor needs your card for direct payment with DAK-Gesundheit. Don't forget to schedule an appointment with your doctor in advance.

Premium rates: How much do I have to pay each month?

Employers and employees pay a monthly, percentage-based premium that is the same for everyone. The current premium rates are 7.3 % of gross income for the employer and 8.2% for the employee. Self-employed individuals must pay 14.9 percent of their income. Students who are no longer covered by their parents' insurance pay around 80 euros per month for their health insurance.

EHIC (European Health Insurance Card): What do I do when I fall ill abroad?

There are international treaties between the nations of the European Union, so that you can enjoy insurance coverage as a member even outside of Germany. Should you fall ill in Europe during your holiday, you have access to all health services on site that cannot wait until your return. In order to be treated, simply show your DAK-Gesundheit card with the integrated European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The card is blue on the back side. Alternatively, you can also show form E111. Contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Sick note: Why do I need it and where do I get it?

If you are ill and remain home from work, then you must send a sick note (Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung) to your employer. This sick note is confirmation from your doctor that you are unable to work due to illness. You must send this sick note as soon as possible to your employer and to DAK-Gesundheit.

Hospital choice: Who decides to which hospital I am taken?

In some cases, a hospital visit is unavoidable. Your doctor will send you to the hospital if necessary. As with the free selection of doctors, you can also decide for yourself in which hospital you'd like to be treated. In case of emergency, you can also choose a hospital without a doctor's referral, of course. Those over the age of 18 pay a daily co-pay of ten euros for a maximum of 28 days and pay the amount directly to the hospital.

Maternity leave payment: When do I receive it and how much?

There is maternity leave in Germany. This is the period of pregnancy in which women are no longer required to work. Maternity leave begins six weeks prior to the expected due date and ends eight weeks after birth. For multiple or premature births, this period extends to up to twelve weeks.

During this time, DAK-Gesundheit pays its insured maternity payments in addition to the employer's portion. Even women who are self-employed or work as artists also receive this maternity allowance. Students and unemployed women receive financial support either from the health insurer or from the state.
Send your doctor's certificate with the expected due date to DAK-Gesundheit in order to receive this allowance.

Injury at the workplace: What happens then?

Worker's compensation kicks in for injuries that happen at work on or the way to work. Please notify your doctor if the injury happened at work or on your way to or from work, so that they can record it properly in their documents. In this case, it is not necessary to show your health insurance card.

In addition, you are required to inform your employer immediately about the injury, as a case of worker's injury insurance must be reported. There are fixed amounts for several services – should the costs exceed these fixed amounts, then the patient must pay the resulting costs themselves.

Students: What must I consider for my studies in Germany?

In order to study in Germany, you will need a health insurance card. Without proof of health insurance, it is not possible to enrol at a German university. The law differentiates between the following groups:

Students from other EU countries who already have health insurance in their home country do not require additional health insurance in Germany. You can go directly to the doctor and have access to all necessary services with your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Students from all other countries require health insurance, even if they already have health insurance in their home countries. Insurance coverage usually extends through the end of a semester. Premiums must also be paid for the entire semester, even if you leave Germany sooner.

Students from non-European countries who are younger than 30 or have not yet finished their 14th semester can decided between private or public health insurance coverage. Students over 30 or those who have already completed their 14th semester can only be insured through private health insurance.

Health insurance card: Why do I need it?

As soon as you become a member of a public health insurer, you will receive a personal insurance card. Doctor's treatments are paid directly via this card between the doctor and the health insurer. That means that you do not receive an invoice when you visit the doctor. Soon there will only be the new electronic health card with a photo of the insured. Until the transition process to the new card is complete, then the old card without a photo will be accepted.

Whenever you are treated by a doctor, you must present your card. This allows for payment of the treatment.

The most important points on the electronic health card

Dental prosthesis: What must I do to receive dental prosthesis?

Prior to treatment, your dentist will compile a treatment and cost plan. You submit this together with your bonus book to your DAK service centre. This bonus book proves your regular preventive check-ups by your dentist in past years.
The treatment and cost plan is necessary to determine the DAK benefits prior to treatment. The amount of the benefit depends on how often the patient utilised preventive check-ups. The patient then gives the authorized treatment and cost plan back to the dentist. The insured must then pay the remainder of the amount themselves.
DAK-Gesundheit pays a portion of the costs for crowns, bridges, etc. with a fixed benefit amount. The fixed amount covers around 50 percent of the average dental costs for regular care. By the way, DAK-Gesundheit offers several dental add-on insurance options in collaboration with HanseMerkur Versicherung, with which you can obtain supplemental insurance.

Zuletzt aktualisiert:
Jul 31, 2015

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