Health and social insurance

Health and social insurance

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How do I benefit from health and social insurance?

In contrast to other countries, Germany has a statutory insurance system providing protection in case of poverty and existential needs as a result of illness, unemployment, long-term care, or retirement.  The aim is that every German citizen is provided with a stable standard of living and support. The contributions to the social insurance are paid by the working population and their employers. Your contribution is calculated in accordance with your gross salary or wage and is automatically deducted.

Contributions to social insurance

Contribution rate of gross salary or wage (in per cent)Payable by you as employee (in per cent of gross salary/wage)
Pensions insurance18,79,35
Health insurance14,67,3
Unemployment insurance3,01,5
Long-term care insurance2,351,175
Accident insuranceDepending on your industry/sectorFree

Source: see Spitzenverbände der Deutschen Sozialversicherung, Stand Jan. 2015

You are automatically a member of the pensions, long-term care, accident and unemployment insurances. Your statutory health insurance, on the other hand, you may choose from different insurances. The general contribution is the same for all the health insurance providers. But some insurance providers offer additional services and therefore have additional contributions.

Once you start to work, you will receive a social security card with your personal social security number. You will have to give this number to your employer. The social security card is for you to keep.