Nursing care (Pflegepflichtversicherung)

The "5th pillar" of the social security system

Nursing care insurance is obligatory for everybody who has health insurance.

Added in 1995 as the "5th pillar" to the social security system, this insurance covers the risk of becoming dependent on nursing care and attention, which may arise as from serious accidents, illness, disease or in old age.

Nursing care insurance is taken out with the same company providing your health insurance. If you are covered by state health insurance you automatically have long-term care insurance. If you have private health insurance and are entitled to general hospital care, you also have private long-term care insurance.

As for health insurance, state long-term care insurance is financed through contributions of 2.35% or 2.6% of your gross salary. The employer only contributes up to 48.47€ per month when it costs around 107€ for someone without children. Employers deduct contributions directly from wages and transfer them to the health insurance funds.

You are eligible for nursing care payments if you require frequent or substantial help with normal day-to-day activities on a long-term basis (i.e. an estimated six months or more). Four different areas - personal hygiene, eating, mobility and housekeeping - are taken into account when determining whether you need assistance.

Assistance consists of someone helping you to carry out routine activities of daily life, helping you to perform these tasks at least partly on your own, or supervising and guiding you when doing them. You can choose between non-cash benefits (care provided by an agency) and cash benefits (with which you can pay your family who takes care of you).

For regular health updates related to Germany, visit our website devoted to expatriate healthcare: http://www.expathealth.org  

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