Winter is approaching and due to the cooler weather, we are also starting into the time when people start to get the sniffles around us. It’s important to keep yourself and your family healthy during this coldest of seasons.

Influenza vaccine (Grippeschutzimpfung) is generally recommended for all people. It is covered by health insurance for certain people. Those who are definitely advised to vaccinate are people over the age of 60, people with chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases or asthma, employees of medical institutions and people who regularly come into contact with many people at work.

The flu vaccine should be given every year, preferably in October or November. After vaccination, it takes about 10 to 14 days for the body to build up sufficient protection against infection. Even a later vaccination at the beginning of the year is usually still useful. Especially if the flu epidemic has not started or just started

Please check with your health insurance provider if this is covered for you and contact your GP for further details.

(Source: https://www.impfen-info.de/ )

About the author

Hi there! I’m Juli, German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‘Berliners’ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

The German health care system is one of the best in the world. Everyone is required to be insured and this insurance covers a large range of medical care across the board from General Practitioners, Specialists, preventative measures to dental. Depending on where you are coming from you may find the German System very extensive, it offers some excellent options for not just the treatment but also prevention of illness and general wellbeing for body, mind and spirit.

There are two types of insurance in Germany, Statutory Health Insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) and Private Health Insurance (Private Krankenversicherung). It is mandatory to have medical insurance, which insurance you are eligible for depends on your income.

The criteria is as follows, Statutory Health Insurance is compulsory if you are:

Spouses, civil partners and children (up to age 23, or 25 if studying) of someone covered by state healthcare insurance are eligible for family co-insurance in certain conditions, without having to pay contributions, provided their income does not exceed €415–450 each month, depending on the situation (casual or regular, respectively).

(Source: https://www.expatica.com/de/healthcare/healthcare-basics/a-guide-to-german-health-insurance-693463/ )

If you earn above the 57,600€ a year then you are open to choose Private Health Insurance. The benefits of private health insurance can definitely be Doctors/appointments being more readily available and access more senior staff at hospitals. Private health insurance is more expensive and it requires you to pay for spouses and children separately. Once you have been privately insured in Germany, it is difficult to almost impossible to change back into the Statutory Insurance – this is important to consider this when deciding whether to choose private insurance because if you have a change in financial circumstances you are bound to the higher premiums.

It is always advisable to look into various Insurance companies and see what they offer, make some comparisons and consider if they have specific offers which are compatible with your needs. Especially if you are looking to ensure a partner/spouse and/or children that you are being offered the best package. Under the Statutory Insurance families can often be insured with the employee.

The costs of Statutory health insurance are 14.6% of your income before tax (this is subject to change) – you pay around half of this and the employer pays the rest.

The costs of private health insurance are determined by various factors including your gender, age, current health and also your medical history. It is also important to note, if you are privately insured you will be billed by the doctor or medical institution and then subsequently reimbursed by your insurance, so there will be a time period in between where you are out of pocket until the reimbursement.

There are websites which offer comparisons of the different health insurance companies, you will need to enter in your data regarding your income, family situation, etc and they will give you an overview of the costs and what is offered.

For example: https://www.check24.de/gesetzliche-krankenversicherung/ or https://www.gesetzlichekrankenkassen.de/

About the author

Hi there! I’m Juli, I have German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‚Berliners‘ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.



We would like to inform you about a new app designed and offered by the TK Health Insurance regarding your medical records.

One of the main objectives of the “TK-Safe” digital medical record is to link health information for the benefit of patients. This way, previous treatments, diagnoses and examinations can be combined to form an overall picture which is useful for the patient. Experts agree, that in the future, this will enable better collaboration between doctors and clinics. Thus far, this crucial information is decentralized amongst different doctors and institutions. With TK-Safe was developed in collaboration with IBM Germany, using this APP patients will be able to share this information with the attending physician. Thus, important information about their medical history can be incorporated into the treatment.

The new electronic health record also makes an overview your of vaccinations possible. In addition, there will be the opportunity to upload important documents such as x-rays, medical reports or more detailed findings – for example from the hospital – into the electronic medical record. “I can also activate individual services, such as reminders of my vaccinations and preventive appointments,” adds Beke Reimers. Finally, there is a central place where you can safely store your digital medical records and retrieve them anytime. 

The use of TK-Safe is voluntary and free of charge for all TC-insured persons. The digital file is provided by IBM Deutschland GmbH, all data is stored encrypted on German servers.

By downloading the app and registering for TK-Safe, you can then immediately have the TK account data, such as the hospital stays from the past four years, transferred. So, you can start with an up to date file, all the important data on diagnosis, treatments and fees are clearly “stored” in one place.

To use the SAFE APP you will need to be registered for ‘Meine TK’ and then download the APP in your app store.

*Text translated/edited from German – source: https://www.tk.de/techniker/magazin/themen/spezial/das-magazin/tk-safe-2048362

About the author

Hi there! I’m Juli, German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‘Berliners’ and through my work  as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.