Healthcare in Germany

Lately I have been on summer holiday from school, and as I am newly preggers, I have been filling way too much time reading blogs and forums about pregnancy. I read most of the websites in English, because I assume the physical differences are the same around the world. Most of my surfing involves googling some random questions, such as “Is it normal to sleep half the day and not want to get up while being 2 months pregnant?” or “10 weeks and pregnant blog” or “disposable vs cloth diapers” and so on and on and on . . .

Being pregnant in Germany, I am of course taking part in the healthcare here. I have never really had to deal with healthcare in my life. When I was young everything was taken care of, and in college I was never really sick. I was never really sick at all except for the normal doctor’s visits, wisdom teeth taken out, and dentist appointments.

This is my first healthcare situation and it is all in Germany. So I don’t have anything to compare it to, except the millions of blogs I read. It is crazy that American women have to pay for doctor’s visits, ultrasounds, delivery, and hospital stays. I read one blog saying that an American women called the hospital to ask for an estimate once she got pregnant. The hospital said that it could be anywhere between $4,000 and $44,000!!!!

I do admit that I pay a good portion of my salary to healthcare — or so I thought. I am required by the state to be insured by a state insurance. That means I don’t qualify to be privately insured. I looked at how much of my monthly salary went to health insurance. I then compared it to my income. It was about 7.5% of my pre-tax income. My employer pays an additional 7.5%. Markus say this percent is used until the income is 50,000€. If more is earned, then only 7.5% of 50K is used. Complicated enough?

So this includes everything. All doctors visits, all emergency room visits, the delivery, ultrasounds, everything! Even medicines are included. A friend of mine was having health trouble before the pregnancy, and this being her third child she was given a house cleaner everyday, four hours a day!!! All included in health insurance.

For full disclosure, I do have to say I paid 100€ extra for a fun photo pack from my doctor. He said I could get 3-D ultrasounds every 4 weeks (not just the 3 normal ultrasounds during the pregnancy). I don’t think he was recommending it, because it was not for medical purposes at all. But Markus and I said “yes” right away. Now thinking back, I think he would have done an ultrasound anyway every 4 weeks, I just may not have gotten to take the pictures home.

Well, that’s what you get for being excited!

So throughout my journey I will let you know of the costs. But I don’t really expect any. I have to find a midwife in the next few weeks. This is also included. She will come to my home once the baby is here to show me how to feed, wash, and change the baby. Crazy, right?

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