The level of contributions to statutory health insurance plans is standardized to 15.5% (as of 01/01/2011), of which the employer pays 7.3% and the employee 8.2%. Your health insurance contributions are deducted from your gross salary at source. You can also insure your spouse and your children with one of the statutory insurance companies as long as they are registered in Germany and live in the same household with you.
The benefits of a statutory health insurance plan are, for the most part, also standardized. There are differences in customer service, additional benefits and optional premiums. You are free to choose your statutory health insurance company. If you need more information, please ask the Welcome Center.
Unlike the statutory health insurance plans, private health insurance premiums are not income-driven, but rather depend on your health risk profile such as age, occupation, health, as well as type of coverage desired. The more comprehensive the package, the more expensive it becomes. Privately insured patients receive invoices, which they pay and submit the payment receipt to the insurance company for a refund. Each family member needs to be individually insured.
First Aid: an Illustrated Health Dictionary
Information brochure for foreign students in Germany by Deutsches Studentenwerk.