The gesetzliche Krankenversicherung (public heath insurance scheme) is part of the social welfare scheme in Germany and adheres to legal guidelines. It is mandatory for almost all employees. When you are a member of one of the Krankenkassen (health insurance providers), which you can select yourself, you pay monthly premiums for health and nursing care. Costs are split between employers and employees. You will receive a health insurance card and the health insurance company pays for your medical care, but you do have to pay for special treatments, particularly for dental work.
There is also a private health care scheme in addition to the the public one. People with a gross income of over 4,800 euros, civil servants, the self-employed and students can choose private health insurance. Their monthly premiums depend on the package they choose and are more expensive than the public scheme, but the service is better.
With asylum seekers, a so-called initial consultation is conducted to assess whether they have an infectious illness. Medical care is immediately given for acute illnesses and pain. Only after 15 months do asylum seekers have the same entitlement to medical care as people insured under the public health care scheme. They receive an eletronic health insurance card. However, they must pay between one and two percent of their monthy social welfare money for the health insurance benefits.