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I'm moving to Germany this summer and may not have a job solidified beforehand. In that case I'd need to take out a private insurance policy to hold me over until I'm working and on a statutory plan. I've read that it's difficult to switch from private to public and would like to know if I might face any difficulties.

I also have some old injuries. Would anyone be able to confirm that the state system accepts non-citizens with pre-existing conditions?

Thank you, Aaron W

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    Which country you are from? Which kind of medical insurance do you have at the moment? If you are on public insurance currently, you may qualify for German public insurance. – Janka Jun 6 '18 at 22:47
  • Depends on a lot of things. Are you older than 55? Will you be self-employed? Will your salary be larger than 50K a year or smaller than 400€ a month? Will you be eligible for any benefits while unemployed here? – nvoigt Jun 9 '18 at 6:36
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    You don't have to go private. Public health insurance companies do have plans to cover "freiwillig versicherte" (people who chose public health insurance although not required by law) and most of the time, being on such a plan makes you eligible for the normal plan with no questions asked when you get a job. – nvoigt Jun 9 '18 at 6:40
  • @nvoigt. He HAS TO go to private. If he arrives from abroad, he does not have the right to be "freiwillig versicherte", because he was not insured by public German insurace before. See tk.de/techniker/service/leistungen-und-mitgliedschaft/… – Andrey Sapegin Sep 1 '18 at 22:31
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    @AndreySapegin If he is from an EEA country, he can use EHIC for up to 3 months for basic/emergency treatment. – gerrit Nov 7 '18 at 18:59
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Seems to me that on arrival, your only options for health insurance coverage are travel health insurance, private German health insurance or (if you are from a EU country and until 3 months in Germany) the EHIC health insurance card. Travel health insurance seems the simplest and cheapest for a few months or even a year, but they often exclude people with pre-existing conditions.

I've read that it's difficult to switch from private to public and would like to know if I might face any difficulties.

It is not at all difficult if your eventual job in Germany is as an employee. Because then, there are only two options and both allow you to be part of the public German health insurance without issues:

  1. You earn ≤4950 EUR/month (so-called "Versicherungspflichtgrenze", value for 2018). In that case, you are obliged to be in the public German health insurance, with no option to choose otherwise. So they have to take you.

  2. You earn >4950 EUR/month. In that case, you have the right to voluntarily join the public German health insurance even without having been in there before (source).

I also have some old injuries. Would anyone be able to confirm that the state system accepts non-citizens with pre-existing conditions?

If you're obliged to be in the public system as an employee, they have to accept you (and I've yet to hear of a case where they did not). If you can only voluntarily join the system (for the case of earning >4950 EUR/month), I am not sure.

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