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Before you go reading these top 5 suggestions, it’s important to note that many health insurance providers in Germany offer relatively the same services for the same price (in terms of public health insurance). If there is any difference at all, they will be very minor add-ons (like perhaps one offers a free eye screening and the other doesn’t). Regardless of which health insurance you choose, healthcare in Germany is excellent.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with details. If you are unhappy with your insurance provider, you can always switch.

However, it is important to note that while it can be an easy switch from one public health insurance provider to another, it is not as easy of a switch to go from private to back to public, so you will need to make this decision before you choose which health insurance provider you’d like to sign up with. Of course, for some, private insurance may be the cheaper option, but for others, it could be much more expensive –  it is all circumstantial.

The one big difference between health insurance providers in Germany is their level and quality of English support. Thankfully, some of the best health insurance providers for Germans also happen to be the best options for expats. Here are 5 of the best health insurance providers for expats who offer excellent English support:

 

For Freelancers, Temporary Expats & Visa-Seekers: Ottonova

Ottonova is a private health insurance provider that can be much more affordable than your classic private health insurance providers in Germany. Ottonova targets expats specifically, offering them 24/7 English support (via phone and online chat) and easy paperless registration. One of the biggest advantages of choosing Ottonova is that their services can be all managed via their app and they offer special insurance rates just for expats. They suggest that if you plan on only staying in Germany for 5 years or less, then you can actually save a lot of money by choosing to go private with Ottonova than going public.

NOTE: Ottonova is often one of the first insurance providers that expats consider when applying for their visa, along with Mawista and Cigna. The major difference is that Mawista and Cigna are travel insurance providers who aren’t always accepted as a form of health insurance by the German government. Ottonova fulfills all German legal requirements.

 

TK – Techniker Krankenkasse

TK is a public health insurance provider and offers 24/7 phone support in 7 different languages including English, Polish, Turkish, and Spanish. They also offer online chat support during working hours. Their web applications are entirely online and their consultants can set you up with a face-to-face meeting in English. Many freelancers and entrepreneurs who choose not to have private health insurance choose TK.

 

Barmer

Barmer is a public health insurance provider and offers support in three different languages, English being one of them, of course. You can also fill out the web application entirely in English and when it’s time to meet with a Barmer representative, they’ll also be able to consult you in English and help you get started.

They even have a video dedicated to internationals getting started!

 

AOK

AOK is a popular public health insurance provider for immigrants in Germany. They offer their web application entirely in English and have 24/7 phone support. I personally find their website a little bit harder to navigate than TK and Barmer, but it is up to you to get used to their systems and see which one you like best.

 

DAK

DAK is a public health insurance provider which offers support in 8 different languages including English, Polish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Romanian and Croatian. They promote their health insurance scheme as a family-friendly option for people living in Germany (note: all public health insurance providers offer family plans). You can fill out their web application in English online and if you have any questions, you can also head to their chat support system.

Regardless of what health insurance provider you choose to go with, you will receive an electronic health card that will contain all of your previous health records and allow public health insurance providers to pick up the costs right away. 

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