There are a number of reasons you might want to switch to a different Krankenkasse (public insurer). You might think that your insurer's Zusatzbeiträge (additional contributions) are too high. Or you might find that another insurer offers better coverage for certain services than your current one.

Whatever the case, switching insurers is quite simple. All you need to do is inform your new insurer of choice that you wish to join. Once they accept you, they will inform your old insurer that you're making the change. You won't need to do anything else—but there are a few things to keep in mind about eligibility and cancellation periods.

Cancellation periods

If you switch insurers, a "two months from the end of the month" cancellation period applies with your old insurer. So if you make the request to switch on January 13th, then you will still be insured with your old insurer until March 31st—two months from the end of the month in which you requested the switch.

Eligibility to switch

Any Krankenkasse has the right to deny you the right to join as a member. So even if you request to join a new public insurer, they may deny you based on factors like income or work status. In this case you would need to stay with your old insurer.

There is also a minimum contract period of 12 months with public insurers. This means that if you joined a Krankenkasse in July 2020, for example, you would not be able to switch to a new Krankenkasse until July 2021. However, if your Krankenkasse raises their additional contributions, this 12-month rule is voided. In this case, you have a "special cancellation right" until the end of the month in which the new contribution rate goes into effect. So if your insurer raised their rates starting January 1, 2021, then you can request to switch to a new insurer until January 31st.

Need help switching insurers? Get in touch with us.

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