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I moved to Germany as a university professor two months ago. This month, I discovered that I am partially issured through the so called 'Beihilfe,' and that I have the option of choosing between statutory and private health insurance. I got one offer from a private health insurance provider and tried to figure out how it would affect my taxes. This net salary calculator shows that when I choose private health insurance, my income tax is decreased as well; while, in the other calculator, my income tax remains the same regardless of the amount of private health insurance I choose. I have the following questions with respect to health insurance in Germany:

  1. Is the private health insurance fully tax deductible? If yes, is this done automatically by the employer or do I need to file my tax declaration at the end of the year/next year?
  2. Is the private health insurance regulated by the German government?
  3. Can the private health insurance go above the statutory health insurance cap over time?
  4. How the private health insurance would change if I would be diagnosed with some chronical condition?
  5. Is it possible to switch back from private health insurance to statutory health insurance in the future?
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  • That depends partially on whether you are a government or private employee
    – Hilmar
    Apr 2, 2022 at 12:24
  • According to the faculty (and confirmed by the internet :)) in Germany as a professor I have the status of a civil servant ("Beamter"), hence, receiving the so-called "Beihilfe" as a plus.
    – RobUn
    Apr 2, 2022 at 12:30
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    Not a full answer, so just a comment: Note that usually the cost for public health insurance is split between employer and employee. This will not happpen if you are a "Beamter", so you would have to pay the fulll amount yourself. When going for private health insurance you will just have to be insured for the amount not covered by the "Beihilfe" (in the most case 50%). So usually public health insurance is not financially feasible for a Beamter. Going back to public insurance willl only be possible if your income falls below the Versicherungspflichtgrenze.
    – piet.t
    Apr 4, 2022 at 5:09
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    I do not know enough to proprerly answer the actual question, but my advice is to only go for private health insurance if and when you (yourself) are fully aware of the consequences. Take your time and research yourself (anyone trying to sell you insurance is a biased source). You can allways go from public to private, but the reverse is, depending on age, income, profession, usually rather hard, i.e. it can be a decision with lifelong implications. Possible financial implications are: Children, affordability on retirement, change of profession, cost increase with age.
    – calofr
    Apr 4, 2022 at 7:47

1 Answer 1

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(I don't know about the specialties of Beamte, "only" about the private/statutory health insurance choices as they apply to freelancers/self-employed.

Is the private health insurance fully tax deductible?

The part that has the same coverage as the statutory, yes. For everything above that "service-level", a cap on insurances applies: it is put together e.g. with your 3rd party liability insurances etc., and then all those are deductible up to a certain amount.

You can use the "tax prediction" of income tax preparation software (including the free elster-online by the tax offices), but the net salary calculators you linked work only for employees.

If yes, is this done automatically by the employer or do I need to file my tax declaration at the end of the year/next year?

You need to file, your employer doesn't get to know about your private health insurance. You also pay them directly.

Is the private health insurance regulated by the German government?

There is some regulation, in particular they have to provide a "Basistarif" which is comparable to the statutory health insurance and which also has regulated maximum fee. AFAIK, there is also a variety for Beamte which works with the Beihilfe.

 Can the private health insurance go above the statutory health insurance cap over time?

Yes, but you can get a downgrade to Basistarif.

How the private health insurance would change if I would be diagnosed with some chronical condition?

Private health insurances can (and do) apply risk premiums according to the outcome of a health check:

  • when entering a new contract (includes change of insurer), or
  • when upgrading coverage with the same insurer.
  • They are not allowed to raise the risk premium when you downgrade coverage.

Is it possible to switch back from private health insurance to statutory health insurance in the future?

Yes, though it's sometimes difficult.

You always (have to, automatically) get into statutory health insurance if you take up a (main) employment with wages below the Beitragsbemessungsgrenze.


Note that within the statutory health insurance you are in a "special scheme" called Freiwillige Pflichtversicherung (volountary obligatory insurance) which has some differences to the obligatory insurance of employees. When researching the statutory health insurance options, you need to mention that (although it should be clear from your salary).

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