Obligatory insurance in Germany

If you work in Germany, you are obligated to pay social security contributions (Sozialversicherungsbeiträge). This contribution is part of a social security system for employees. For students in Germany, it is mandatory to have health insurance (§ 5 Abs. 1 Nr. 9 SGB V).

Update: June 2018

Obligatory insurance for employees

This is divided into 5 sectors

1. Government Health Insurance or Private Health insurance (Gesetzliche oder Private Krankenversicherung)

(§ 5 Abs. 1 Nr. 1 SGB V)

There is a government and a private health insurance system in Germany, and each system has certain conditions (if your gross salary is less than 59,400 € per year or 4,950 € per month in 2018, your membership in the Government Health Insurance System is mandatory). You can choose to register with one of the 113 different Gesetzlichen Krankenkassen.

Both systems have advantages and disadvantages that you should review in advance.

2. Statutory nursing care insurance (Gesetzliche Pflegeversicherung)

(§ 20 f. SGB XI)

The statutory nursing care insurance is provided by the same company as your health insurance. This means you do not have to search for insurance by yourself.

3. German Statutory Pension Insurance (Deutsche Rentenversicherung)

(§§ 1 f. SGB VI)

In Germany, you must be a member of in the Deutsche Rentenversicherung for at least 5 years to be entitled to a pension.

Click here to find more information.

It is also possible that the insured periods in another EU Member State may count towards the insured periods of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung. Click here to find further information.

4. Unemployment insurance (Arbeitslosenversicherung)

(§ 118 SGB III)

In order to receive unemployment benefits, there are different conditions: you need to be unemployed and register yourself as unemployed at the « Arbeitsagentur », and you must also have had at least one year of employment.

Click here to find more information about unemployment in Germany in English

Click here to find more general information

5. Statutory accident insurance (Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung)



The calculation is based on gross income. In general, you can say that 50 % of the costs are paid by the employer and the other 50 % by the employee, which is automatically deducted from your salary. Only the statutory accident insurance is completely paid by the employer. If you are unemployed and you receive unemployment benefits, the Arbeitsagentur pays your Sozialversicherungsbeiträge, and you have the same services. It is absolutely important that you register as unemployed on time, otherwise you will have to pay the charges completely on your own.

Click here to find more information about the Social Security System in Germany

Obligatory insurance as a student

Do not forget to ask your Health insurance in your home country about the procedure when you move to Germany. If you move to Germany from another member state of the EU or the European Economic Area, you may have the ability to recognize your prior health insurance as German health insurance. As proof of your insurance cover, you would receive the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card).

If you have a student job where you earn 450 € or more, you have to pay the social security contributions as an employee (see above).


If you plan on leaving Germany, it is important that you terminate your insurance on time, otherwise there is a risk of high costs

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