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Canadian to Germany: Med. Insurance Q.

 
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Duke81



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 3
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:22 pm    Post subject: Canadian to Germany: Med. Insurance Q. Reply with quote

Hi, new to this board and beginning ESL work soon in Germany.

So I am Canadian moving to Leipzig and was wondering if anyone had any advice for either German or International medical insurance plans. I am in great health and rarely see doctors but realize that in Germany it is still a requirement if one wants a visa. So my biggest factor is keeping the cost as inexpensive as possible.

Also, should this be taken care of before I leave or can I work it out there (I know Canadian medicare will partially cover me for 3 months)?

Cheers, and if anyone is in Leipzig now, drop me a line!
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Psst-Rolex?



Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi - In April 2007 the German government passed a new law that if you are resident in Germany you MUST have health insurance by a German provider. You are correct that your Canadian insurance will likely cover you for 3 months BUT, check the policy very carefully to understand the details. You won't have any control over how much your health care costs you in Germany. It is based on your income and will be about 12-13% of your gross pay for a basic ''State'' plan. A couple of more common companies (state) are TKK and IKK. It can be a challenge to get info in English, regardless of what they tell you. You can take care of it on arrival, BUT get it in the first 3 months or you will experience (as I did) a health insurance hell. By the way, your going to love (OK not really), all the little ways you get taxed. Do you plan on owning a radio or TV? Well, you will pay tax just for the possibility of listening to them. It is called the GEZ and is about 17.50 Euros per month. Anyway, best advice is, get the health insurance ASAP after arrival, and be VERY VERY careful about who you give access to your bank account for bill payments. After several years in Germany I am leaving with a very disappointing view of the people in any matter that involves money. Otherwise it's not to bad a life in Germany, just expensive compared to Canada for certain.
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Duke81



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 3
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply.

So, in other words, is getting an internationally known medical insurance plan like BLUE CROSS NOT valid in Germany???

They (Blue Cross) said that there coverage works anywhere and is recognized everywhere.

Please further advise.
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Psst-Rolex?



Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blue Cross, Green Cross, Norwich Union, etc. can all cover you in another country, and yes world-wide. In my experience these companies were used for short term durations. I was informed directly by my (German) Employer that due to the new law in Germany, only a local German insurance company policy would be valid for a resident person in Germany. This really sucks, as policies outside Germany are much cheaper. As you will have 3 months ''Buffer'' once you get to Germany, it might be wise not to take additional cover yet from say-Blue Cross- and then get direct information from the local office where you plan to live. However, your Employer and the local office will not specifically recommend a company as it is illegal for them to do so. Germany is a bit funny in that different parts of it have different rules, however, the Health insurance issue was a decision made at the Federal level, so I was told. Where you will run into a challenge is something like this - You move to Germany, You have Blue Cross, you don't register for residency in Germany, then there is no problem as long as you don't stay in the country for more than 3 months (90 Days). If you go over the 90 days, then you have numerous problems with remaining in the country beyond the Federally approved limit AND being back-billed by a German insurance company to cover the period beyond the 90 days limit AND being forced to immediately begin payment to a German Insurance Company AND facing a potential fine And Facing deportation. If you have an Employer lined up already, ask them directly about the new law implemented in April 2007 and ask if it applies to you. I'm betting it does. REMEMBER - If you plan to stay more than 90 days you MUST register for residency within the first 90 days. When you leave Germany you must give 2 weeks prior notice to the same office. If you don't your world-wide income is eligible for German taxes (third most expensive country to live in.), even if you move to a tax free country at some point.
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Psst-Rolex?



Joined: 24 May 2007
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me just add - when I referred to Germany as the third most expensive country to live in, I was referring to it making the list of highest healthcare expenditures - some one has to pay for it - and I just found out they are down to #5 now
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Duke81



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 3
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again, much obliged for the heads-up. I hope once I get passed all the red tape and tax issues, that my work and stay within the country will be most unforgettable.
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Insubordination



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 389
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't realise this. I thought Non-German insurance would be fine. It almost makes it not worth it. Maybe I should just get a 90 day job and move on.

I have a medical implant which would preclude any standard insurance policy. D'oh!
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