was based in germany and with german HUK COBURG private health care since 2004. Just back to the UK (april 2016) - having NEVER had cause to use it (lucky) BUT what are my options? I will have the benefit of Private Health with my new company in the UK. Is there any way to get anything from them after all the years of paying in?

  • Are you an EU national, or a non-EU national? If the latter, what kind of visa are you on?
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 12:14
  • Hi there - I'm a UK Citizen
    – user9372
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 12:56
  • 2
    AFAIK the EU only regulates pensions across member states, but not health insurance. The best thing you can do is check the T&Cs of your insurance. If they have some affiliates or branches in the UK you might get to keep some of your benefits, but I don't think you could get much out of them.
    – SztupY
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 17:07
  • thanks so much for the feedback - it was a long shot to be honest !
    – user9372
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 8:29

2 Answers 2


From my experience in the UK and US, private healthcare never really works this way regardless. Private healthcare is how it sounds, your money goes to a company that acts as a middleman between private hospitals/doctors and yourself, the idea is the more people who use that private healthcare provider without needing to use the services, the cheaper that healthcare copays or deductibles will be for you as someone who pays into the pool and needs the service. So the amounts you paid into German private healthcare will have given benefit to other people signed up to that company's health scheme, but will only be relevant within the contexts of that service.

You are in the UK now anyway, private healthcare is a luxury rather than necessity - I have had it one year of the five I have lived here and cancelled it for it never having relevance, but if you have a chronic health condition like my partner that requires frequent consultations and surgeries, you would certainly do well to have it just to speed things up. Otherwise 99% of your needs are covered fully by NHS anyway.

  • 2
    German private health insurances are required to invest some of the money you pay to reduce your personal premiums when old (Altersrückstellung). I'm no expert in private health insurance but as you don't get this back even when switching companies within Germany I doubt the poster can claim any of that money.
    – neo
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 18:10

It's not clear what you are asking. Are you hoping to get some kind of refund from your German health insurance because you never visited a doctor here?

If so, no, it's actually insurance. Insurance is something you pay for regardless of whether you use the coverage or not.

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