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I am researching moving to Germany. When I move, I would not have a job and would live on my savings and look for a job locally.

Based on what I have read, it seems that when I arrive and have no income I would have no choice except to immediately get the extremely expensive private insurance. Also it seems that private is very hard or impossible to switch to the affordable public.

So if I get a 750€/month private insurance for five months and then find a 1100€/month job I would have to pay 68% of my salary as just health insurance. This seems completely insane especially as the rents seem to be around 300€/month for really nice apartments where I want to move to.

Is this really the case? Have I missed anything?

  • What's your citizenship and current insurance status? If you are an EU citizen or you are currently covered by the mandatory health insurance system of an EU country, there are probably better solutions available (EHIC/S1 document or joining a German “statutory insurer”). But it is indeed possible that the only solution available is private insurance (particularly if you come from outside the EU). – Relaxed Aug 12 at 21:26
  • If you are an EU citizen, you also have some leeway regarding the date you are taking up residence. If you are staying at some temporary accommodation while looking for work for a short time, you would fall under the rules for visits and I don't think the German authorities have a strong legal basis or would try to hold you to the Meldepflicht or insurance mandate. – Relaxed Aug 12 at 21:30
  • If you do get a long-term lease it becomes a little more delicate but it might still be possible to delay registration a bit without incurring a fine. The point would be to time your move and registration around the time you get a job. You could then easily get statutory insurance and would not risk having to pay backdated insurance premiums. – Relaxed Aug 12 at 21:32
  • Finally, privately insured people can move back to the statutory system if their income is under some yearly minimum. If you really do take a €1100/month job, I believe you would fall under this rule. See also expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/721/… – Relaxed Aug 12 at 21:37
  • @Relaxed Excellent points. I do come from an EU country, which helps. Maybe collect all of these as an actual answer? I was hoping for a relaxing job hunt and waiting for a good job because1 rent and living costs are so low in Germany I could have afforded it for quite a long time and I could even have continued remote working. I guess it's not that easy to move to Germany even within EU :( In my country there is no such thing as health insurance so this is very confusing to me – Joel Peltonen Aug 13 at 15:26

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