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Hello all,

I'm a UK citizen, moved to Berlin early last year (2015). I speak decent B2 level German, and have an Anmeldung and bank account. I have been making a living unofficially from music and tuition, subletting a room while half-heartedly looking for a job. I've recently decided to make the 'official' job search a serious one, and grapple with the hellish bureaucracy that goes with it.

My question is about health insurance - I have an EHIC card, and as an EU citizen I've just assumed this counts as legal health insurance. Not having had any health issues, I haven't needed to deal with it.

Can someone shed some light on what needs to be done, if anything? Do I need to get registered with the german healthcare system before I can become employed? What is the best option for a job seeker? What is the difference between private healthcare and social security, and what are the corresponding German terms?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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Hello all,

I'm a UK citizen, moved to Berlin early last year (2015). I speak decent B2 level German, and have an Anmeldung and bank account. I have been making a living unofficially from music and tuition, subletting a room while half-heartedly looking for a job. I've recently decided to make the 'official' job search a serious one, and grapple with the hellish bureaucracy that goes with it.

My question is about health insurance - I have an EHIC card, and as an EU citizen I've just assumed this counts as legal health insurance. Not having had any health issues, I haven't needed to deal with it.

Can someone shed some light on what needs to be done, if anything? Do I need to get registered with the german healthcare system before I can become employed? What is the best option for a job seeker? What is the difference between private healthcare and social security, and what are the corresponding German terms?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Early last year?

So you have been living in Berlin for more than a year? When exactly did you register your residence?

EHIC is meant for emergency treatment during visits; as far as I know, it's not an acceptable health insurance for residence purposes.

How is searching for a job bureaucratic?

You should have received your tax ID in the post shortly after registering your residence, so you are all set to go.

The bad news is, that when you start work and join a regular German health insurance, the insurance provider will backdate their charges to the date of your registration, as it is the law that everybody registered in Germany has to have health insurance - they got a lot stricter about that.

Social security has not much to do with health insurance (apart from paying the charges for people on it) and as you have not been employed in Germany you would not be eligible for it.

There are gesetzliche Krankenkassen / Ersatzkassen which is the regular German health insurance and then there is private insurance = private Krankenversicherung (looks cheap at first but it's not in the long run and not easy to get out of once you are caught up in it).
 
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