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4.3 Erste Schritte in Deutschland

The German healthcare system

Germany has an excellent public healthcare system, whereby all residents can access comprehensive medical care. The public healthcare system is paid for by a combination of employer and employee insurance contributions, but it is also heavily subsidized by the German government to ensure that those out of work or on a low wage remain covered and are able to get necessary medical treatment as well. It is mandatory by law for every German resident to have public health insurance, unless they are part of the small percentage of the population with private coverage.

In Germany, all employed workers pay a statutory healthcare insurance contribution as part of their social security contribution. This is normally 7.3% of their gross paycheck, and this is typically matched by the employer who pays a further 7.3%. totaling 14.6%. This amount rises to just over 8% for higher earners but is capped at €683 a month. A new law in 2019 allows healthcare insurers to charge an additional contribution of up to 0.9%, which is again shared by both employer and employee. Employers and employees also share a 3.05% nursing care insurance contribution, intended to help fund care in later life. For all employed staff, enrollment in the public system is generally automatic, and contributions will be taken from wages at source, although employees have the option of choosing which provider they use. 

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