How to add dependents to your health insurance
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How to add dependents to your health insurance

Summary: While getting your non-working partner or child covered on public insurance is as easy as telling us their information, there are some steps to keep in mind when adding them to your private or public plan. In this article, we address how to add dependents to your insurance plan and what regulations to watch out for.  

Adding dependents to public health insurance

Your partner

In Germany, there are two words for your partner. One is considered a spouse, or Ehepartner, and the other is a life partner, Lebenspartner. In Germany, a life partner means that you are legally married, so if you are in a civil partnership abroad, you might have to get legally married in Germany even if this marriage will not be recognized in your home country. 

This is also unfortunately a legal distinction between heterosexual (Ehepartner) and homosexual (Lebenspartner) partnerships. For insurance, this is thankfully just a different term, but we understand that it can feel like a barrier to getting your spouse covered. 

While we can’t change the contract language, we can help add your spouse to your insurance plan. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact us:

Otherwise, all of the general rules for adding your partner apply. This means they will have to earn less than a certain amount per month (in 2021 this is €450 per month and €5,460 per year: See the website Krankenversicherung for more information). This also needs to be earned as a side job or mini-job and working less than 18 hours per week. 

They also cannot be freed from the insurance mandate, or in German, they cannot fall under the Befreiung der Versicherungspflicht. This includes situations where your spouse has previously been on private insurance for longer than the past five years and is over the age of 55 or is over the age of 55 and has signed the opt-out agreement for public insurance. 

The last requirement is that they have their primary residence in Germany. 

Adding children to your plan

Children are classified as people who are under the age of 18 that you have legal guardianship over or are either stepchildren or grandchildren who live in the same household. 

At the age of 18, you can keep still keep them on your insurance plan until they are 23 if they earn less than €450 per month (valid for 2021). See the website Krankenversicherung for current numbers.

There are three exceptions to this:

  • If they are continuing with their education, this goes until they are 25.
  • If the child has completed a year of social work or similar volunteering before beginning further education, you can add this time on to their 25th year.
  • If they have a disability that makes them unable to become dependent, they can stay on your insurance.

For more information on public insurance in Germany, check out our website:

Adding dependents to private insurance

Unlike public insurance which allows people to add dependents at no additional cost to the policyholder, private insurance requires each dependent to get their own plan. This is why we tend to recommend private health insurance to people who are young, single, and without children. 

Let’s take an example of a married couple. One partner is working full-time and meets the requirements for private health insurance. Their spouse isn’t working. In this case, you can add your spouse to your private insurance plan as a dependent but this will change if they begin to work or want to switch to public insurance. Just remember that you’ll first need to sign up and get a plan for yourself before you’re able to add any dependents though!

Worried about the switch back to public? It’s actually possible if you make less than €64,350 per year (the current amount for 2021), work full-time at a company, and are younger than 55 years old. There are some waiting times, but we can help you.

Otherwise, let’s add some dependents! All you have to do is fill out their information as policyholders and specify the plan you want them to have.