How can I join a public insurance company?

Online health insurance guide

Children, spouses and registered life partners of members are family insured free of charge if they have their place of residence or habitual abode in Germany and have a total income that does not regularly exceed a certain income limit. A prerequisite for family insurance is that the relatives are not otherwise subject to compulsory insurance, are not subject to insurance or are exempt from compulsory insurance. After family insurance has ended, insurance cover can usually be continued with your own voluntary insurance.


  • During maternity protection and parental leave, those who were previously compulsorily insured remain members, but do not have to pay any contributions from the parental allowance during this period. The insurance status is retained, so that parents cannot be insured with a family during this period.

  • Voluntary members who were exempt from insurance before taking parental leave or receiving parental allowance because their regular wage exceeded the compulsory insurance limit are insured after receiving maternity allowance for the duration of parental leave or parental allowance, provided that the spouse is a member of the GKV and "basically" (without your own voluntary membership) there would be an entitlement to family insurance. Otherwise (minimum) contributions have to be paid.

  • Self-employed persons who receive parental allowance must continue to pay (minimum) contributions.

  • The family insurance of a child is excluded if the spouse or partner related to the child is not legally insured and his or her regular total income exceeds the monthly compulsory insurance limit and is regularly higher than that of the legally insured spouse or partner .

How long are children insured free of charge?

The non-contributory family insurance for children is limited in time. In principle, children can be insured in the statutory health insurance fund up to the age of 18, and in the case of non-employed children up to the age of 23, free of charge. If the child is in school or vocational training or if it is doing voluntary service (Federal Voluntary Service - BFD, voluntary social year - FSJ, voluntary ecological year - FÖJ), the family insurance ends at the age of 25.

If the school or vocational training was interrupted or delayed by a voluntary service (BFD or FSJ or FÖJ) or the voluntary military service of the child, the insurance extends beyond the age of 25 for a maximum of twelve months.

After the end of family insurance, students are required to take out insurance until they reach the age of 30 at the latest. They pay a particularly low contribution of currently 76.85 euros to health insurance plus the additional contribution that the health insurance companies can charge their members.

Technical school students can join the GKV as voluntary members after the end of the family insurance and pay the same contribution as students.

Without an age limit, children are only insured if they are unable to support themselves due to a physical, mental or emotional disability. The prerequisite, however, is that the disability already existed at a point in time when family insurance was in place.

Income limit for co-insured relatives

The income limit is 470 euros per month (as of 2021). According to the law, total income is the sum of income within the meaning of income tax law. Above all, this includes earned income. Maintenance payments are not taken into account when determining total income.