What is the minimum percentage (of full-time) employment required to be eligible for the mandatory German public health insurance? Is there any wage rate requirement for that employment? That is, if i need to work at least x% if full-time at y% rate, what are x and y? I realize y is dependent on my job and experience, but is there some kind of a minimum base limit?

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    This question is not about travel
    – Giacomo Catenazzi
    Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


The Geringfügigkeitsgrenze is 15 hours of work per week and about 400 € of income per month. That latter amount is different for former West and East German states and slightly increased each year. (To be exact: It's 1/7 of the Bezugsgröße, or 1/6 of it for some cases).

If you are below that border, you are not required to have a public health care and geriatric care insurance. However, you are still eligible. It costs about 200 € per month for these cases. It's common for house wives to opt-in for public health insurance if their husband has private health insurance – their partner plan costs much more, usually.

If your partner has public health insurance, spouse and children are automatically covered.

  • this is very helpful. Do you know what is the minimum number of months one is required to have the mandatory GKV before one becomes permanently eligible for it? (That is, move to voluntary GKV). Additionally, is there a requirement for a minimum hourly rate depending on the kind of job? (Does anyone check?) Or, is working 15 hrs/week at ~€400/month enough?
    – punkish
    Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 9:13
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    You are always eligible. There is no minimum wage or working hours. The only reason you may not qualify for public health insurance is you have had a contract with a German private health insurance. In that case, there are special rules for switching. This is done to avoid private insurance companies cherry-pick young, healthy clients, take their money and push them out as soon they are old and sick.
    – Janka
    Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 9:47
  • thanks. By the way, if I am working 15h/wk on the contract, am I free to work the remaining hours as a freelancer for other clients? and if I do, does that additional income as a freelancer get factored into calculating my health insurance premium?
    – punkish
    Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 12:54
  • All your income is subject to public health insurance calculations. If you work as a freelancer (solely or in combination with an employment) you had to send in your tax bill each year so they can calculate your monthly fee for the next year accordingly.
    – Janka
    Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 13:28
  • This is wrong on several accounts. For an employee, the limit is € 450 exactly (up to € 450,00 not versicherungspflichtig, from € 450,01 and upward versicherungspflichtig); the number of hours is immaterial. For someone who is versicherungspflichtig, other income is not considered when calculating the contribution amount. The statement that “spouse and children are automatically covered” needs to be qualified, because there are limits on how much they may have in income. Cc @punkish
    – chirlu
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 22:08

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