One of the benefits incorporated in the Social Security contributions is the Healthcare Insurance which provides reimbursement for your health expenses at a local or regional level within EU. All EU Member States have the right to organize their healthcare and social security systems as well as the right to organize and arrange healthcare insurance and reimbursement within the EU Member States.
As a legal EU Blue Card holder and worker in EU, you are entitled to social security contributions and health insurance. As you must provide proof of your health insurance when applying for the EU Blue Card permit, you must check at national contact points in your home country whether your health insurance is sufficient for the EU Member State you are planning to apply in. If there is any agreement between your country and the EU Member State or EU rules are applicable, it is possible to transfer your health insurance. Required to be covered are accidents, medical treatment and stays in hospital.
If your health insurance is not covered in the hosting EU Member State, you may take out additional health insurance for longer periods of stay. In this case, your health insurance should start immediately upon arrival in the hosting EU Member State.
Health insurance may either be statutory or private. Statutory health insurance has a standard contribution rate. The rate is shared between you and your employer by almost half the rate, while the other half of the rate is deducted directly from your income. The same method of payment applies for privately insured employees.
Income below 450€ per month is not susceptible to taxes. Employers with monthly income above this salary are prone to paying tax percentages monthly. Whereas, employers with income above 54,900€ per year are considered high-income employees who can choose coverage by private health insurance companies. Internship workers are not prone to tax deductions. Students at state universities are statutory health insured whereas students of private universities may be privately health insured. As a general rule, fellowship holders can only be part of private insurances. Rarely, may they belong to statutory health insurance schemes.
The self-employed, on the other hand, are privately insured and pay the entire contributions by themselves.
Family members of EU Blue Card holders are co-insured within the package of the worker. Co-insured by their families are also children up until 18 years of age or until graduated. If spouse belongs with the low-salary workers category or do not work at all – they are automatically co-insured by the working partner entitled to health insurance.
*Beware of the many health insurance providers available. Take your time to consider the programs/schemes offered because after the undertaken decision, to switch or change your health insurance provider is a time-consuming procedure.
The following are the most common health services reimbursed:
- Outpatient care
- Inpatient care
- Emergency room services
- Prescription medicine
- Before and after birth care
- Mental health, behavior, and substance abuse services
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Laboratory tests
- Preventive medicine
- Pediatric services
- Dental services
- Rehabilitative services and devices
The usual percentage for reimbursement of your healthcare expenses is 80% to 100%, depending on the service and agreement.
The EU Directive on cross-border healthcare rights regulates cross-border healthcare rights and insurance within EU Member States. You may choose to receive treatment in another Member State due to treatment time-limit or preference.
EU Member States have also assigned national contact points for reasons to help individuals make informed choices and decisions, treatment options, availability, quality and safety of healthcare provided in Member State of interest as well as information on prices and reimbursement. A priority authorization in the Member State of residence may be released, where a total of costs, services, and methods to attain such services in a Member State of treatment are explained.
The Member State of residence may decide to reimburse accommodation travel costs or other extra costs for persons with disabilities when receiving cross-border healthcare. These benefits may happen due to national legislations and agreements within health insurance providers in EU Member States.
Under this directive, Member States are not obliged to reimburse costs of healthcare if the healthcare provider is not registered or part of the social security system or public health system of the particular Member State.
- If you are a permanent worker in one Member State and reside in another, you will be insured in the Member State you work in.
- If you work permanently in two or more EU Member States, you are usually insured in the Member State of residence.
- If you temporarily work in another EU Member State from where the company is based, you will be insured by the Member State that your company is based in.
- As a temporary visitor, you must notify the competent authorities prior to entry in order to benefit from health insurance reimbursement in case of illness.
Every member state is free to decide who is to be insured under its legislation, the conditions and benefits granted, as well as methods of benefit calculations.
Social security contributions include:
- Health/sickness benefits
- Maternity and paternity (parental) benefits
- Invalidity benefits
- Old-age (pension) benefits
- Survivors’ benefits
- Benefits on work accidents and occupational diseases
- Death grants
- Unemployment benefits
- Pre-retirement benefits
- Family benefits
The social security package also includes the health insurance fund affordable at your annual income. You can choose the social security package suitable for you. The payment for the health insurance is deducted from your salary by your employer who pays directly to the appropriate companies.
When you no longer reside in the member state you have worked in, you are entitled to the same pension as the citizens of the member state in question.
All employees within the EU member states who possess work permits are prone to taxes. Tax rates vary based on annual income and between member states. Rate percentages in the European Union vary from 7% to almost 60% for higher annual income. The tax rate is shared by the employer and the employee.
Tax deductions encompass social security contributions which are further explained below.
There is coordination between Member States on Social Security by agreements between companies on how the rate is paid and implemented. This coordination has been established in order to not create better conditions for workers within the EU.
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