Health Care in Germany: Reader Experiences

by Christina Geyer on August 20, 2009 · 13 comments

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This is the third post in my series on universal health care.  I previously posted a description of the health care system in Germany, and my experiences with it compared to the US, but don’t just take my word for it, here are eleven reader experiences with health care in Germany that have been submitted to me and one that I found on the web.  I had such a great response to this, that I’m splitting it up into two days.  Today highlights experiences in Germany, tomorrow will be experiences in other countries.  Next week, I’ll take on some of the more pervasive myths about universal health care.

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Andrea Fink, Regensburg

Hi. I am on the public system. I have stage 4 incurable breast cancer. This means that my disease is controllable but I will always be a “cancer patient” and will always need medication and ongoing testing and some chemotherapy thrown in from time to time.

I am tested every three months with CT and MRI, during Chemo sometimes more. I do not need prior approval for any of the testings.

I wait on average two weeks for an appointment for an MRI and 1 week for a CT, if it is urgent, I will get in right away.

I am offered the top and best medications available to me without concern that the insurance will not pay. If there is a generic, I often take that, however, I am asked and it is discussed prior.

When I am hospitalized, I am released when the doctors feel it is the right time and not when the insurance says it has been long enough.

I choose to see the doctors that I want to see and if I want to see doctors all over the country it is not a big concern. I currently have doctors in Frankfurt and Regensburg and deal with all of them on a regular basis.
My course of treatment has always been up to par if not higher.

I know that the medical staff in the country have a job and that job is to help each and every patient to the best of their ability and I believe that is what they do.

Do I get a raspberry smoothie drink before my CT?  No, I drink a not so tasty drink. Do I need the smoothie? NO! Do I need to have a leather chair to have my blood drawn? No. Is it comfortable? Of course, but not needed.

I feel that Germany cuts back on things that are not essential to healing the patient. I don’t need made to order meals or DVD players in my room, the leather chairs or the smoothies.

My only concern was that there was no AC or ice chips, but that is just an American looking for something cool.

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Shana Moffett Heyder, Berlin

Here are some reasons why I like the health care system in Germany, as well as some interesting points about it:

1 ) My husband has changed jobs twice, and we never had to worry about portability.

2 ) You can get as many opinions from doctors for an issue that you want; nearly everyone takes your insurance, unless you’re seeing a plastic surgeon or something like that, then it’s payment out of pocket just like in the US.

3 ) 10 Euro co-pay paid only to your primary care physician, every fiscal quarter. The PCP then provides any referrals that you want. No arguments.

4 ) All children have free health and dental insurance and prescription coverage until they finish school. And if they go on to a university they have it until they are 26 years old. (I still can’t get used to not paying for my son’s prescriptions.) Our prescriptions are the same as in the U.S. They are cheaper because like most countries in Europe, the government has negotiated with the pharma industries for lower pricing.

5 ) I received bi-weekly ultra sounds in this and in my last pregnancy until the 4th month. Now I get them every month. My prenatal vitamins are covered, although I chose to pay out of pocket for a brand that I prefer. My haematology exams (every 2-3 weeks) are fully covered in order to insure that I don’t develop blood clots. I’ve also had every imaginable pre-screening blood test and ultra sound measurement this pregnancy because I am over 35. I have paid 90 Euros out of pocket for some of the blood tests.

6 ) Midwives are provided for home visits for up to 6 weeks after a child is born, at almost no cost. I saw my midwife twice a week.

7 ) Although I had to fight for my son’s physical therapy, and switch doctors, we ended up getting it at no cost. The 9 months of therapy were successful, and once I had the approval everything went smoothly.

8 ) I have had two surgeries in the last 6 years; a tonsillectomy and ovarian surgery. I paid 10 Euros per day of hospitalization. I did not have to wait for the surgeries, but I chose to postpone my tonsillectomy against the advice of my doctor….which was not clever of me.

9 ) We paid no money for the delivery of my son, and I will again have to pay nothing for my up coming c-section in December. For the delivery of my son I stayed in the hospital 7 or 8 days due to some complications. For the up coming c-section, I estimate that I will stay about 10 days. As long as baby and I are healthy I am free to go home…I chose to stay that long with my first son, and will likely do so again, as we have no family help. Also important to note: No infant and mother are sent home from the hospital if the child isn’t breastfeeding and gaining weight/thriving. Alternative birthing clinics are available to any who want them, and the infants and mothers are sent home within hours of giving birth, as long as mother and infant are healthy.

10 ) The longest I have had to wait for a diagnostic exam was two weeks. It was for an MRI on my back. All gynecology offices have internal and external ultra sound machines. All doctors are trained in using them. I have noticed a difference in terms of diagnostic quality based on the doctor’s experience. This is why I chose an ex-chief of ob-gyn from a local hospital. My doctor, like many gynecologists here is certified in fetal diagnostics both in Germany and in Europe.

11 ) We have had friends who have been diagnosed with tumors and cancer. They were on the operating table within a week; some had immediate surgery. No one that we know of has had to wait. One friend was sent from Berlin to Heidelberg for experimental brain surgery on a tumor. His family received discounts on temporary housing in Heidelberg for the duration of his stay. His treatment has thus far been successful. No one is treated less importantly for being old or impoverished.

12 ) If there is a test, or treatment that is not covered by our insurance we simply pay for it like a privately insured patient. The treatments, tests, procedures and medications are all priced much lower than in the US. For instance after the birth of my son I had some complications, which were best treated by the osteopathic physical therapist. These appointments were not covered, but I only needed about 5 treatments at 50 Euros per session. We still see an osteopathic physical therapist occasionally for treatment. We see her for adjustments, not for any diagnosed ailments. Because of this we pay privately, as well. We could purchase supplemental insurance to cover these treatments, but we have opted not to because we don’t use the treatments often enough to warrant it.

13 ) If you are insured in the social system you can purchase supplemental insurance for things like eyeglasses and tooth replacement, or as I mentioned earlier -osteopathic therapies for a ridiculously low amount of money. With dental coverage if you visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups then usually the social insurance will pay for the tooth replacement because you have actively taken preventative measures to care for your teeth.

14 ) We never have to worry about our insurance denying coverage or dropping us from their plan. I still can’t get used to this, and feel a little panicky when we get a letter from our provider.

15 ) I have never had to pay more than 10 Euros for a prescription. Germans find this an outrageous cost.

16 ) Our monthly premium is based on our income level. It is fair. Families living below certain income levels are exempted from the payments, as are people with chronic illnesses. Their insurance is paid for by the social welfare system, which is funded by taxes.

17 ) QUALITY: The quality of care here in Berlin is very high, as it is in all larger German cities. To be honest I wouldn’t want to trust doctors in small towns. The larger German cities and universities attract better doctors. But I think this is true globally. I also like knowing that if I can’t find some sort of advanced treatment in Berlin, I have the ability to seek treatment elsewhere in Germany. In extreme cases you can get treatment in other European countries and even in the U.S., all covered by your insurance of course. (If there is a case for malpractice, the money awarded the patient is generous, albeit much lower than in the U.S. A doctor is much more likely to lose his/her license afterwards than in the U.S.)

18 ) Doctor compensation is relatively high by German income standards. By U.S. standards it seems low. The doctors we know live extremely well. Perhaps they can’t afford multiple homes, but most have a second vacation house or apartment somewhere in Europe or in Germany. (I have only encountered one or two doctors in the U.S. who could afford multiple homes or vacation homes, and they worked so much that they went unused anyways.) Just like the U.S. system, specialists earn much more than primary care doctors. One must keep in mind that a university education in Germany is only a few hundred dollars a semester. So doctors don’t come out of school drowning in debt, and because malpractice awards are lower they are not drowning in malpractice insurance payments.

19 ) Social workers visit all newborn homes after their arrival. At first I was insulted and suspicious of this, but I can imagine that these visits do a lot to help people and infants in less than ideal situations. The social worker only stayed with me for 5 minutes, but there have been countless cases where their visits have saved lives.

20 ) Room for improvement: German doctors tend to have lousy bedside manners and tend to be poor communicators. This means that the patient really has to push for clear information, but I think that this is more cultural than anything else. I’ve noticed some doctors tend to feel disturbed if you question them, as most patients here don’t advocate for themselves like in the U.S. I have noticed that in bigger cities like Berlin, many of the doctors have worked in other countries like Canada, the U.S., Switzerland and the UK. These doctors tend to be more communicative.

21 ) I fall under the “self-employed” category. Some years I earn more than others. For this reason I am covered under my husband’s insurance. It would be no problem for me to get coverage on my own, or to get private coverage. When I was in the U.S. I was unable to afford insurance because of “pre-existing conditions”, and I earned too much to qualify for social insurance. It was a terrible anxiety inducing situation that I would never want to return to, and I know that I was one of millions in that situation.

22 ) Health insurance companies are public corporations. They operate within laws set up by the government. Any profit (the profits are low) go back into the company. There are no stockholders, and the insurers are not there to make bold profits.

23 ) When you have surgery there is no deductible to pay. The only people here in Germany who are paying deductibles are people who have opted out of the social system and are fully participating in a private plan.

24 ) This is a fact that I find impressive and shocking to think about: In 1989, when the communist East German government collapsed and the wall came down, East Germany and West Germany began their unification process. The West German socialized medical system absorbed 16.4 million East Germans into their health and benefits network. It was a long and expensive process to bring the East German health care facilities and networks to a level of parity with the West German system; but it was achieved.

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Maria of A Piece of My Mind, Tulsa, OK, previously in Frankfurt

I have written quite a bit about my pregnancy experience in Germany, and I have to admit, over all, I enjoyed the health care in Germany better than the US. We were covered by a public plan, and I was always able to get an appointment when I needed it (for the pregnancy, pediatrician, mid-wife, general doctor) and even though the wait was sometimes longer than I wanted to stare at art in a waiting room, it was no longer than the doctor’s offices in the U.S. Yes, we paid for it via taxes courtesy of Kevin’s position, but not having to wonder how much more it would cost at the office (beyond my 10 Euro of course), was great. I also believed that I received better care with a better outcome during labor and delivery. My follow-up care was better. The Boy’s care was outstanding. Kevin’s knee care was good. We had a great experience in Germany.

I also lived in France for a bit and became pregnant while there, and also received great care in a timely manner.

In both cases, I never worried about insurance covering procedures, though we did have to pay for my son’s circumcision (unnecessary surgery anyone?), I never had mounds of paperwork, no worrying about if my doctor was “in network” or out, and never huge additional bills to pay for procedures, visits or tests. We were not crippled by costs, and we received excellent care.

When I was pregnant in Germany, I was able to have my doctor and midwife deliver The Boy in a private hospital. It was covered by my public insurance except for the midwife, whom I paid 300 Euro to stay with me the entire labor. I was able to have her for pre and post natal care too. I’m not sure why or how the doctor was able to do that other than he was in a private practice with two partners and somehow could be there. The midwife had privileges there too. Probably not normal though…

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Cliff of Regensblog, Regensburg

I had been having bouts of internal pain (back? belly? it was hard for me to localize) lasting several hours occasionally for a couple years before I finally sought medical attention. When I did, it was after midnight on a weekend. Sarah and I walked the 30-second walk down to the nearest hospital and rang the buzzer to alert the night staff that we were outside. They admitted me immediately (pretty much all I had to do was flash my Krankenkasse [insurance] card) and made me stay overnight after examining me — even though by then, I could tell that I was through the worst of it (based on my experiences thus far). The night nurse couldn’t find anything wrong but suggested I stay overnight so that the internist could get a crack at me first thing in the morning (he was all booked up and I didn’t have an appointment).

It didn’t take him long with his ultrasound scanner thing to see that I had some pretty big (14mm!) gallstones wreaking havoc in my gallbladder. I scheduled an appointment for a consultation with the anaesthetist and the surgeon to have my gallbladder removed shortly thereafter. I had to sign off on the risks of surgery and anaesthesia, note all my known allergies and family histories and all of that. On the morning of the surgery, I got prepped (I.V. drip and all that) and vaguely remember being wheeled into the operating room as the drowsiness set in.

Then I woke up, sore and thirsty and more or less in good shape. I was relegated to a diet of weak tea, weak broth, and two zwieback crackers [melba toast] for a couple days. The first time they let me have some real bread, it arrived with an oversized pat of butter. I ate it all. I was so happy to have something with flavor. The chief surgeon was checking up on me at the time and scolded me, saying “Soviel Butter braucht man nicht…” [“one doesn’t need so much butter!”] but (a) it was the first non-zwieback [melba toast], non-broth food in several days, and (b) they put it on my tray!

I ended up staying in the hospital for shorter than the expected amount of time. They would have preferred to have me for longer, but the chief surgeon reluctantly agreed that I could go home, since we lived so close to the hospital and I was making good progress. I checked myself out after four days and paid my bill later via Überweisung [bank transfer]. €40 was all I owed, since I’d paid the rest in advance by being employed in Germany and belonging to a Krankenkasse [insurance fund] operated under state guidelines.

I think those are the important things to keep in mind: health care in Germany isn’t free, and it sure isn’t one-size-fits-all and medical professionals are not employees of the government. But it sure did work for me when I needed it.

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Sarah of Regensblog, Regensburg

My story isn’t very dramatic. It starts like this: I had a cold.

It was January or February of 2006 and, up to that point, I hadn’t been to a General Practitioner for anything (just annual Gyno visits). I don’t go to the doctor if I can possibly avoid it, but this cold wouldn’t go away. It lingered for about three weeks and had developed into a nasty cough. So bad, in fact, that I had to sleep sitting up in an armchair.

Because I was afraid that it might be turning into bronchitis, I called a friend and asked for a doctor recommendation. Her Hausarzt [GP] was within walking distance, so I called and (after apologizing for my German), told them what was going on. They were completely booked for the day, but the very nice receptionist told me to come when they opened and they would get me in as soon as possible.

When I got there in the morning (5 minutes after they had unlocked the door), the waiting room was already full. I expected the worst. I went to desk to give them my card and proceeded to wait for about 30-40 minutes. I saw the very nice doctor and he confirmed my suspicions – bad cold, could become bronchitis – and gave me a prescription. I was in and out within 10 minutes, paid my 10€ co-pay (only once per quarter, if I’m not mistaken) and went to the pharmacy.

My prescription was for a 5-day course of antibiotics and the pharmacist apologized for the cost (5€), then proceeded to tell me how to take the drug (with food, take it all) and after giving me a complimentary packet of tissues and well-wishes (Gute Besserung!), sent me on my way.

Not terribly dramatic, I know. However, I think this is a pretty typical situation for Americans: you come down with something, but don’t go to the doctor because it’s a hassle. Then the something gets worse and you HAVE to go. My experience, except for the being ill part, was as hassle-free as can be. Plus, it was inexpensive, and we’re on that allegedly frightening government plan. It’s worth noting, I think, that Germany has a ‘public option,’ but you can opt for private insurance as well. With higher costs come more benefits, but everyone here is entitled to care.

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Laura from Baroque Babies, Ludwigsburg

My primary health care in Germany experiences (we’ve lived here 5 years now, I’m American, husband German) have been with my two children. In summary, -very happy-.  Pre-natal care was great with frequent appointments, ultrasounds, any needed tests (although often a longer than I wished wait in the waiting room) at no extra costs. Both sons were born via C-section, I stayed 6 nights (1st son)and 4 nights (2nd son) in the hospital with excellent doctors and nurses, good food and the whole stay cost 10 euro and ~ 30 euro (I requested a semi-private room for baby #2) respectively. I cannot compare the hospital to those in the States but I have heard from friends that perhaps in Germany they -may- be a little less modern, we definitely had no privacy curtains and if I had wanted a single room, I would have had to pay around 150 euro a night. Prescriptions for children we don’t have to pay at all. We have just the ‘basic’ public  German health insurance. I’m quite happy with German health care!

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Harvey of Leben, Kochen, Bücher, Bier, u. Fußball, USA

My mom suffered a heart attack when was visiting her sister in Germany back in 2003. The ambulance, an operation to place 3 stents, several days stay in intensive care and then a couple days in the normal care cost a grand total of $ 5200, 3/4 of which got picked up by her US insurance (Tricare). I doubt she’d have gotten off so cheap here in the U.S.

I had a similar experience when I had a kidney stone removed in the Klinikum Rechts der Isar back in ‘87 during the one month I was no longer covered by my U.S. insurance and before I’d started my German job and signed up for their health insurance. The amount of money I ended up paying was amazingly low by U.S. standards.

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Amanda of A Chemist’s Laboratory Notebook

As a grad student in the US, I spent 6 hours in the hospital with a very bad case of the flu. Nothing drastic——but the grand total was $10,000. (Including an outrageous charge of $400 for a saline IV). My insurance left me to pay about $2,000 (and as a grad student that was my entire savings). In comparison, this year in Germany I spent 6 DAYS in the hospital for getting my tonsils out. Total that I was charged: 60 Euros.

I am grateful every single day for the German health care system.

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Scott of PapaScott, Jesteburg

I see noone has mentioned worker’s comp yet, so to make things complete I’ll mention it. :-)

I had one experience with worker’s comp back in 2004, which I briefly blogged. I tripped on the stairway at an S-Bahn station on my way to work, and it was uncomfortable enough that I went home from work early and say a doctor. It was officially a work accident, so instead of a Krankenkasse [public statutory fund], a Berufsgenossenschaft (literally “occupational guild” but officially “institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention for trade and industry”) or BG was responsible for paying for my care.

There are 35 BGs divided by industry and are fully financed by employers. They have their own rules and bureaucracy, so that meant I had to see a BG-sanctioned doctor. He found no serious injury and prescribed a week off of work for rest. I never had to file a claim or pay a bill. That was it.

As a employer, the BG is a bit of a pain. It’s a club we have no choice but to join (kind of like the Handelskammer or “chamber of commerce”), and we don’t have any say over our rates or how it’s run. And filing accident reports is what you would imagine for a German bureaucracy. But we know our people are well cared for when they get hurt, and that’s the most important thing.

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Further reading:

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Finally, here is a comment, reprinted in whole, from a woman named Sue that was made on the New York Times article Health Reform Without a Public Plan: The German Model:

I have also wondered why a German type system has not been seriously under discussion for the US. I think it is because Americans really do lack the concept of social solidarity. They would consider a requirement to be insured and an additional payroll tax as unacceptable infringements of their rights. Even though we are already mandated to pay a Medicare/Medicaid tax, that tax is very small compared to what the Germans pay. The Germans pay around 10-13% of income, depending on which sickness fund you chose. (High earners often opt for private insurance, which can be cheaper for them, but which has createda lot of problems with the system. That is a whole other discussion though!). I don’t know how much it would cost for a similar system in the US, but I can imagine that it would probably be similar percentage. That will be a very hard sell.

That said, as an American who lived in Germany for several years, I much prefer the German system. You don’t have to worry about losing your insurance if you lose your job. You don’t have to worry about confusing things like co-insurance and deductibles (although a few years ago, they introduced co-payments for doctor visits), whether your insurance will covere a particular procedure or whether or not a certain doctor will accept your insurance.

I know so many people who are suffering, not only health-wise, but also in other aspects of their lives due to the distorted US healthcare system. I know women who stay in miserable marriages because they need the health insurance for chronic health conditions, people deeply in debt after surgeries that were not fully covered by their insurance, people with insurance who don’t even use it because they don’t have enough cash to meet the $2000 deductible. How is that better than everyone pitching in for the health of the nation? In actually having some freedom to make a life for yourself without always worrying, “What if I get sick?”

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Read more of my health care series:

Do you have any questions?  Ask in the comments and I’ll try to answer them in next week Q&A.  Do you have an experience with health care in Germany that you’d like to share?

  • http://atouchofdutch.blogspot.com Isabella

    Again: Brilliant! I love the reader feedback-portion especially, and it’s great you shared this all here! I have fortunately nothing to offer [knock on wood] because I have yet to use. I had a minor surgery when I first arrived in the Netherlands, but I had health insurance which I was paying for myself. It was required of me to be insured in order to receive a residency permit to live in the Netherlands, but I do know the system works the same [if not identical] to the German system. Especially according to what you and others have shared here. Since I have been here, I’ve only had standard or minor-type appointments at the doctor/dentist, which I was always used to normally my health care in America taking care of, along with me paying a small co-payment when necessary.

  • http://50percentdna.blogspot.com/ Yelli

    I would like to point out some loopholes in the German system. The points made are all valid here but getting into the system is very difficult and I would encourage anyone looking to move here to make sure that health insurance is covered by the employer! A quick search on Toytown will reveal that many expats were hired and told to get insurance on their own. This is a major problem for many reasons. It can be very difficult if not impossible as a non-EU citizen to get into the public system. Private insurers do not want to insure temporary workers (which could mean anything under 5-10 years!), so the only plans left are these expat travel insurance where no preventative care is covered! For instance, vaccines and a yearly check-up for my son was nearly 300 euros that has to come out of pocket. Egads. Just because Germany has a public system and you live/work here does not give you rights to the public system and/or good insurance.
    .-= Yelli´s last blog ..The Idiot Tax =-.

  • http://251319.blogspot.com/ Rhona

    I will read these later……but I wanted to let you know Christine, that i sent off my Canadian experience to your email last night.
    .-= Rhona´s last blog ..Decision made concrete =-.

  • http://251319.blogspot.com/ Rhona

    Wow, very interesting points on the Germany health care system. Sounds very similar to Canadian system (which I am grateful for on a daily basis). I can now rest assure that if/when I move back to DE, getting sick will not be a big issue.
    No offense but….American HC sounds pretty bad. I dont want ot offend anyone but…..it makes me very sad to read about the lack of assistance the people receive.
    .-= Rhona´s last blog ..Things for sale and packing =-.

  • http://251319.blogspot.com/ Rhona

    Ok, now I just read Yelli’s comment. I think (am almost 100% certain) my employer will ensure I am covered but it is something for me to absolutely make sure of once I decide to move over.
    .-= Rhona´s last blog ..Things for sale and packing =-.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina Geyer

    @isabella: Thanks!

    @yelli: I think that if you have a German contract, it shouldn’t be a problem, that’s how I started out and I had no issues whatsoever getting German insurance. I think if you have a temporary or expat contract, you need to look carefully at what it says about healthcare. Try to get into the German system if you can.

    @rhona: Definitely check carefully on the health insurance.

  • http://50percentdna.blogspot.com/ Yelli

    @christina – We knew before we got here we were not eligible. I didn’t look @ the fine print! My fault. However, many people come into this situation unaware or with pre-existing conditions and can’t qualify.

    On another note, did you see this article about public insurance in SF?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/22/opinion/22dow.html?_r=1
    .-= Yelli´s last blog ..Funny Foto Freitag – special heat edition =-.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina Geyer

    @yelli: I hadn’t heard about that. I’ll have to look into it some and maybe update my article. That NYT article is really fascinating. I hadn’t seen it, I wonder if many in the US have.

  • http://gaoshancha.wordpress.com Bryan

    Thank you for publishing your opinins and making an effort to inform about the reality of healthcare outside the media world. I lived outside of the US for the past five years and it really opened my eyes to so much. I can now see both the great and the bad things about the USA, and no country is perfect.

    Health care is a growing concern for me after having lived in Japan for 5 years. I had private insurance the whole time, but the public option was available at all times for only slightly more than what I paid for private insurance. Even for uninsured procedures such as child bith, I was looking at US $15,000 in America vs. US $6,000 in Japan, and that is without the reimbursements the government of Japan is offering now due to the population nose-dive. Health care even without insurance in Japan is so much more affordable than anything in the USA.

    I’m in Charleston (SC) right now, and though my quality of life is better overall than what I and my family experienced in Japan (work and private life balance), health insurance is a major concern for me and my family. My wife is a Japanese national and my son has dual citizenship, and I sleep better knowing that as citizens of a country that has public health insurance, at least they will be OK at the end of the day. I worry though that if I “take a fall”, I won’t be able to support them any longer. Such is life in the USA though, at least for a new father like myself who is dependent on employer provided health care. If only I could become a public servant!!!
    .-= Bryan´s last blog ..Aerial views of North Korea =-.

  • Robin Morrison

    Dear Christina,

    I am confused. I am reading how amazing healthcare is in Germany, yet I recieved an email today from an old friend living in Kassel. She is German, most likely a citizen. She informed me in the email that I probably won’t be hearing from her in the future due to kidney failure and not being able to afford a transplant or even dialysis. She said she only has a few weeks that she is expected to live. How can this be? Could you please help me to understand how this is possible.
    I am unable to reach my friend to ask her myself, so I am hoping you can help me and most importantly, help my friend.
    Thank you for your time, Robin Morrison

  • Amy

    I had the scare of my life in Lower Bavaria a few weeks ago. I slipped on ice and fell unconscious. It was about 15 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and I wasn’t found for three hours. Needless to say I had hypothermia and some cuts and bruises. I had no insurance, and had to be airlifted to a hospital in Regensburg. I stayed a total of about six hours at the hospital, and the bill for that was only about $350. It was the airlifting that was a killer bill. About $1,500, and then more for the ambulance and the doctor. But all in all, WAY less than I would have to pay here in the U.S. And the treatment was fair and honest. It was sad to have to pay so much for a silly accident, but the German Health Care system is so great, and it would have been about $20,000 had it happened here.

  • http://koreandojang.blogspot.com/ Gabe Fife

    hello,

    i am working on getting funded for doctoral studies in konstanz. from what i understand i may be funded just like most graduate students in the US and Germany and get some reasonable monthly stipend for conducting research projects (my current stipend for my master’s is 15,500 USD per 10 months). It is also possible that i get more as i might be contracted through a private company…i wouldn’t think that would account to a considerable amount either. with that said my concern is monthly health premiums. my wife is 31 and i am 27…will be 28 in december. i understand that monthly premium are determined on income but i have NO IDEA what this might be in germany as an american graduate student. it is likely that my wife may not have a job for a while as she would have to find work (one source of income).

    any insight to this?

    thanks!

    gabe
    .-= Gabe Fife´s last blog .. =-.

  • http://mississaugacosmeticdentistry.com mississauga dentist

    If this case happen in a first world country, what else can you expect in a third world country who even can not afford the patient to pay the bill in the hospitals. I received a lot of emails from friends that they are crying for help asking someone to pay their bills.

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