More Germans Switching to Private Health Insurance

In this iPMI Global Insights article, iPMI report author Ian Youngman, takes a look at news, that more Germans are making the move to private healthcare insurance.

More people living in Germany are opting for private health insurance coverage, according to the Association of Private Health Insurance.

  • Figures from the Association of Private Health Insurance (PKV-Verband) have revealed that the number of people in Germany choosing to be covered by private health insurance is growing.
  • In 2023, private health insurance companies in Germany gained more customers than they lost for the first time in 12 years.
  • However, the customer increase was only 2.600 people, 0,3 of their entire customer base.
  • 90% of people in Germany are covered by statutory health insurance by one of the 110 statutory health insurance sickness funds.
  • All pay the same basic premium, but they can compete on extra benefits.
  • Private health insurance customers must either earn a salary of more than 69.300 euros per year or be a freelancer, a civil servant or a foreign student.
  • According to 2022 Salary Atlas figures the average wage for full-time employees in Germany is 43.752 euros per year.


  • The move from state to private is small but significant.
  • Expats, even on short -term contracts, must join the state scheme.
  • There is potential for IPMI sellers to target HMW and student sectors.
  • It is compulsory for all overseas students to have health insurance.

What is next?

  • Critics of the existing healthcare system including both statutory and private health insurance have said that with a greater number of people moving to private coverage comes the risk of further cementing a two-tier health insurance system in the federal republic.
  • One alternative is a “Bürgerversicherung” or “citizens insurance”, a universal health and care system which would be available to everyone, regardless of income or employment status.
  • Adopting the Bürgerversicherung system was detailed in the SPD manifesto ahead of the 2021 federal elections, and is a policy supported by the Greens and the Left Party.
  • But the FDP is stringently opposed so the policy was left behind when the current SPD-Greens-FDP government signed off their coalition agreement in 2021.

About the Author

Ian Youngman is an independent writer and researcher specialising in insurance. He writes regularly for a variety of magazines, newsletters, and on-line services. He publishes a range of market reports, and undertakes research for companies. To read his latest report, International Health Insurance 2023, please click here, or visit the REPORTS section of iPMI Global.

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