Overview of Social Security: Health Insurance - But How?

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For employees, it is usually not a question of how to insure your health. This is different for those who are not automatically covered by their job: self-employed, unemployed minijobbers or students, for example, have different options for health insurance. An overview.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Social insurance job

Anyone who has a permanent job subject to social insurance must, apart from the choice of the cash register, have little concern about his health insurance: it runs completely automatically over the job. Problems usually only appear when you change your professional status:

In return for all other insurance policies, almost everyone has been obliged to have health insurance since April 2007. At the same time, you have to deal with bureaucratic hurdles if you drop out of the “normal” status of a worker.


Whoever wants to become self-employed, for example, has to deal with the question of whether he is legally or privately insured and whether he is self-employed or self-employed. And he has to accept that there are minimum contributions in the statutory health insurance fund. Who is in a family insurance can not exceed certain income limits. And if you have a minijob, you are not assured about it, but you have to take care of yourself.

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But who must assure themselves? What are the minimum amounts of statutory health insurance? How does it actually look with minijobs and self-employed independence? And what does the new basic tariff of the private health insurance company bring? stern.de shows the most important points at a glance.

Health insurance for self-employment

Anyone who is self-employed can remain in the statutory health insurance if he has previously been legally compulsorily insured for at least twelve months, or for at least 24 months for the last five years. He can also switch to private health insurance. The decision must be taken no later than three months after the end of the insurance period. The hook when switching to the private health insurance: A return to the legal health insurance is only possible if one before the 55. To become a social security worker.

Whoever then decides on the statutory health insurance has to pay a minimum contribution: in its calculation the health insurance company goes first from a monthly income of 3600 Euro, whereby with a contribution rate of 13,9 per cent a monthly contribution of approx. 532,80 euro per month would result , Anyone who can prove a lower income, such as a tax return, which can also be submitted later, is the minimum value of 1242 Euro per month. For a contribution rate of 13,9 percent, a monthly health insurance contribution of 183,98 Euro would result.

Exception: self-employed artists and journalists active in the general public have to insure themselves through the artist's social insurance and to assess their income there.

Self-employed in the Nebenberuf

If you have a job that is subject to social insurance and you just want to become self-employed, you do not have these problems: As long as the firm job is more money and costs more time, the social insurance can simply continue as before; the income from self-employment is not calculated. It becomes problematic if self-employment is time and financially gaining the upper hand: then you have to insure yourself as a self-employed self-employed, whereby the income from the fixed job are also included.

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Anyone who is undergoing training or further education, studying or raising children and is also self-employed can take out health insurance for a reduced contribution if they spend less than 18 hours a week on self-employment. The assessment value for the minimum contribution is then € 828,33, with a contribution rate of 13,9%, this is € 122,59 per month.

Health insurance during your studies

Students can remain family-insured in the statutory health insurance fund free of charge until the 2 birthday day, provided they do not earn more than a monthly 355 Euro (with a minijob 400 Euro). The health insurance costs 49,40 Euro, the nursing insurance for childless students via 23 9,09 Euro and the long-term care insurance for all other students costs 7,92 Euro. BAföG recipients receive a subsidy to health insurance.

In principle, the job has no effect on the health insurance during the study, if the student remains below certain hour numbers. There are also differences between the semester breaks and during the lecture period; Health insurance does not matter how much is earned as long as you have enough time to study.

Student health insurance - and then?

The cheap student health insurance can until the completion of the 14. Specialist semester - at the latest until the end of the semester in which the 30. Year of life is completed - be claimed. But: Under certain conditions, it can be extended beyond the aforementioned maximum duration, eg in the case of raising children, prolonged illness or participation in university committees.

If all conditions are fulfilled, some health insurance companies can also remain in student health insurance during a doctorate or a master's degree. Those who no longer meet the conditions for student health insurance, for example because they are working too much or have exceeded the semester or age limit, can voluntarily continue to insure themselves (the conditions are the same as those of self-employed self-employment).

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By the way: Students can also be exempt from the statutory obligation to insure themselves and can take out private insurance. But: Liberation can not be revoked. It applies throughout the course and beyond. Only through a job subject to social security can one return to the insurance obligation again. Those who are self-employed or unemployed after their studies, for example, are not allowed to return to the statutory health insurance.

family insurance

In the statutory health insurance family members are insured without their own income for free - both children up to the 25. Birthday as well as for spouses and registered partnerships.

However, the free family insurance ends when you work more than half-time full-time and achieve a total income of over 355 € per month. In the total income are also other income - for example, from capital or a mini-job - to include.


However, if it is only a self-employment mini-job, 400 Euro is allowed per month.

In private health insurance, however, there is no free family insurance, rather a separate contribution has to be paid for each family member. A youth or student contribution is paid for children, but there is no limit to the children's income. Have the parents as Officer Children are also entitled to benefits, as long as they are still entitled to child benefit.

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Health insurance at Minijob

Anyone who carries out a minijob with an income up to 400 Euro is either insured through his main job, through family insurance or voluntarily. Only through the minijob can not be insured as an employee.

It is possible to practice several minijobs simultaneously, but not with the same employer. The merits of all the occupations are aggregated. They may not be over 400 Euro. As soon as the limit is exceeded, social insurance contributions are due for the entire merit and are, for example, expelled from student health insurance.

In addition to an insurance job requiring 400-Euro, only one minijob is possible, which in this case can still be settled by the employer on a flat-rate basis. However, if a number of minijobs are employed in addition to a main occupation, all are aggregated with the main employment and the social insurance is calculated accordingly.

Health insurance in case of unemployment

During the receipt of unemployment benefit I or II and also entrance allowance or during a further training financed by the Agency for Employment, you are automatically compulsorily insured in the statutory health insurance fund. As a rule, insurance continues to run with the current statutory health insurance, but a change is also possible. The contributions are fully taken over by the Arbeitsagentur, or the Arge.

Anyone who was not covered by statutory health insurance in the last five years prior to commencement of benefits can be exempted from compulsory insurance in the statutory health insurance fund. In this case, the Federal Employment Agency or the Arge contributes to the private health and long-term care insurance - but only up to the amount of the statutory health insurance contributions.

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The insurance begins when the requested benefit has been granted - in principle with retroactive effect from the first day of benefit receipt. If the claim is suspended, for example due to a blocking period, the health insurance coverage will only be valid from the beginning of the second month. The same applies to privately insured persons for the acceptance of the contributions. In this case, the unemployed person himself must ensure that he is insured during this time.

Self-employed persons whose income would fall below the unemployment benefit threshold due to the health insurance contributions will receive an appropriate subsidy to the statutory health insurance scheme.

For whom does the health insurance obligation apply?

Since April 2007, most citizens are obliged to provide health insurance. This applies in particular to those who were uninsured in the meantime but who were once members of a statutory health insurance scheme:

Since April 2007 you have to insure yourself again by law in the statutory health insurance. Even those who have never been in a health insurance company have to take out health insurance. Whether legal or private is generally determined by the last job carried out.

Private health insurance

Whoever has never been in a health insurance company and is only eligible for private health insurance because of his most recent job can assure himself here in the standard tariff: Since July 2007 everyone has to be included in the standard tariff of a private health insurance without health checks and risk surcharges.

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Anyone who has already been privately insured (and can not go to the statutory health insurance due to the lack of pre-insurance) can again take out private insurance or stay with the 1.1.2009 without health insurance. Then he has to insure himself there.

Improvements from 2009

From 2009 the private coffers must then offer a basic tariff which corresponds to today's standard tariff and in which also people who were more often ill have to accept without risk surcharges. The range of benefits of the basic tariff should correspond to that of the statutory health insurance, the premiums may not exceed the maximum rate of statutory funds of around 500 Euro per month.

In case of need, the basic tariff should be halved. It is also easier to switch from one private health insurance to the other: the aging provisions of the insured are then transferred with a change of the insurance to the extent of the basic tariff.

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  1. Dennis

    Sure, the social security is totally nervous. I can only advise anyone to start their own business. Being your own boss is the best thing you can do. Unfortunately, many do not dare to.

  2. insurance for foreign students | My insurance

    […] Overview of social security: health insurance - but how? [...]

  3. harry

    my job is the tax already autom. deducted. if I go at the year end with my freiber, myself to the tax consultant, the income is taxed separately or combined with the employed job. or I pay the income tax extra from my freibr. even. ? earn free. less than in the job! Thanks for the answer !!!

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Harry,
      exactly for such questions, we have placed quite prominently a search function, over which one finds, for example, this contribution, which answers your question:

  4. detlef liebitz

    hello, am 59 years, not kv, unemployed, can I come through marriage in the family insurance of my wife? Thanks for an info

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Mr. Libitz,
      I can not tell you exactly. Here is also something about the family insurance of unemployed:
      In any case, you must be legally insured and if you get ALG I or II, it is also about the employment agency or the Arge!

  5. tax consultant

    In old age, a PKV can unfortunately be really expensive :-(

  6. Simone Janson

    Hello Mr. Paul, I can not give individual advice in legal questions.

    ME, however, you will find the answers to your questions in the following articles:

    Simone Janson

  7. Tino Paulus


    I would have the following situation:

    husband self-employed, wife only minijob with 400 euro so family insurance

    wife would now want to start a direct sales with cosmetics, which will initially not really achieve a great profit.

    1. question: is there any other possibility than the registration of a self-responsibility and the necessary voluntary insurance with the KV.

    2. question: husband can run the direct sales on his name and on minijob, which thus the KV fees can be reduced.

    Thank you

  8. Simone Janson

    Hi Jenna,
    here is a detailed article:

    Please from me to the readers: just use the search function from time to time!
    Thank you
    Simone Janson

  9. Jenna Paschke


    I am a student and earn over 400 € a month! Is it correct that I then have to assure myself of the student insurance?

  10. Tobias

    As a self-employed person (through the KSK) I am legally insured by a health insurance company. Which options must be fulfilled in order to be able to switch to a PKV (for a yearly income of 20.000 EUR indicated at the KSK)?

    • Simone Janson

      Hello Tobias,
      which is quite clear on the website of the KSK http://www.kuenstlersozialkasse.de/wDeutsch/kuenstler_und_publizisten/leistungen/privateodergesetzlichekrankenversicherung.php?navanchor=1010045 - in doubt simply ask there.

  11. Michaela

    What does it mean for the statutory health insurance if you work more time than an employee, but as a self-employed person deserves more?

    • Simone Janson

      Dear Michaela,
      thanks for your question. This is stated in the paragraph "Self-employed as a part-time job": If self-employment is no longer a part-time job, you unfortunately have to insure yourself differently. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to provide legal advice in individual cases. Therefore, I would recommend simply asking the health insurance company.

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