Although freelancers and self-employed persons are also subject to a general insurance obligation, freelancers and self-employed persons enjoy a freedom of choice and can choose between voluntary statutory and private health insurance.
Freelancers can therefore choose between all statutory health insurers and also switch if wanted. For those who are considering a statutory health insurance, the contribution assessment ceiling is relevant for the contribution amount. In general, the contribution for statutory health insurance is based on income. However, freelancers who are voluntarily insured in the statutory health insurance can choose between the general contribution rate and the reduced contribution rate. The general contribution rate is 14.6% of insurable income and also includes payment of sick pay from the seventh week of illness, which is generally recommended. Freelancers who forgo sick pay pay the reduced contribution rate of 14% plus additional contribution.
The actual income earned by the freelancer is used to determine the contribution to the statutory health insurance. However, there is a minimum contribution that must be paid even if one has earned little or even nothing. For the calculation of the contribution of full-time self-employed persons such as freelancers or other voluntarily statutorily insured persons, a uniform presumed minimum income applies. This minimum income is 1,061.67 euros per month. If the income of a freelancer is lower, the freelancer is still classified as earning the minimum income and must pay 148.63 or 155 euros per month (reduced or regular) plus the additional contribution. If the income is higher, the entire income is subject to contributions. Only at the contribution assessment limit of the statutory health insurance does the monthly burden remain the same regardless of income. This limit is currently set at an income of 56,200 euros per year or 4,687.50 euros per month.
Freelancers can also choose private health insurance as an alternative to voluntary statutory membership. In the German healthcare system, it is thus possible to take out benefits from a private health insurance company as a supplement to the statutory health insurance. Besides, it is also possible to choose a private health insurance instead of the statutory health insurance.
If a freelancer wants to join a private health insurance, the entry age, the state of health, the profession and the benefits to be insured as well as familymembers are important. Thus it can happen that with certain risks or illnesses a surcharge is agreed upon or a benefit exclusion takes place. Only in the basic tariff these criteria are not considered.
In general, German legislation has decided that the basic tariff must be comparable to the statutory health insurance in terms of type, scope and amount. In terms of costs, it is capped at the maximum rate of the statutory health insurance. This means that as soon as changes are made to the statutory health insurance, they also affect the basic rate of private health insurance. Freelancers who have chosen private health insurance enjoy a lifelong guarantee of insurance coverage. A lifetime guarantee in private health insurance means that contractually agreed benefits are actually guaranteed for life. In statutory health insurance, the legislature can reduce or cancel benefits. However, many people mistakenly believe that it is the other way around. Thus, the private health insurance of freelancers can be customized according to their personal needs and desired benefits including associated costs. This is a clear advantage of private health insurance, as freelancers can start with a lower rate and later switch to a more comprehensive rate.
Generally it can be said that the private health insurance offers better services but also comes at higher costs than the statutory one. As a self-employed person one has the privilege to choose between both options. Thus, we recommend to check out both and compare their respective advantages to see which makes most sense for your individual case.
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