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Generic Tax Name Social security contribution - Health insurance (Employees)
Tax name in the national language Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung
Tax name in English Statutory health insurance
Member State DE-Germany
Tax in force since 1883/06/21
If abolished, date on which the tax ceases to apply
Business version date 2011/01/01
Version date 2011/08/29
This file was last updated on

Type of tax
Direct taxes Personal income tax
Corporate income tax

Indirect taxes VAT
Excise duty (EU harmonised)
Alcoholic beverages
Energy products and electricity
Manufactured tobacco

Social security contribution Employers
Legal base

The legal foundations for statutory health insurance are to be found in Book V of the German Social Code (SGB V), in the Farmers Health Insurance Act and in the Reich Insurance Code.

Who sets
The tax rate is set by

The tax base is set by

The reliefs are set by


Geographical Scope

Federal Republic of Germany

The base or rate of social security contributions paid by Employees on the income of employees and of blue collar workers Rates are identical
Bases are identical


Domestic-source income of non-residents is Subject to SSCer
Not Subject to SSCer



In the Federal Republic of Germany around a 90 % of the population is covered under statutory health insurance.

In principle, all employees are compulsorily insured under statutory health insurance if their gross pay exceeds € 400 per month and does not exceed a defined upper limit (2011: € 44,550 per year respectively € 3,712.50 per month). Insured persons are free to choose the health insurance fund they wish to be insured with.

Compulsorily insured are in particular:

- employees, including those undertaking vocational training for value,

- recipients of unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance,

- farmers and certain people connected with the agricultural enterprise,

- artists and those in the publishing professions, in accordance with the Artists Social Welfare Act,

- disabled persons employed at sheltered workshops and at institutions, homes or similar establishments,

- university students,

- trainees, apprentices without remuneration and apprentices in second-chance education,

- old-age pensioners/pension applicants who have been insured for a specified length of time.

Beyond this coverage since April 2007 all persons who are not protected in case of disease and who have been insured under statutory health insurance before the loss of protection are compulsorily insured. In case of disease also persons without protection who have not been insured in Germany at all (under statutory or private health insurance) will be compulsorily insured if they are - systematically - assigned to the statutory health insurance.

In addition, many people carry voluntary health insurance (for example, the self-employed) or are insured as family members. The option to obtain voluntary insurance is in principle open only to those who were previously compulsorily insured or insured as a family member. Provided certain conditions are met, spouses or partners of the insured, as well as children, are covered as family members, with no need to pay contributions.

In general, employers and employees each pay half of the contribution rate. The employees have to pay a 0.9 % additional income linked contribution. Health insurance funds can demand additional contributions from the insured employees/pensioners.

Tax object and basis of assessment
Employees pay social security contributions for


In general, employees have to pay social contributions for pensions, health care, long-term care and unemployment.

An employee on maternity leave (in general six weeks before and eight weeks after confinement) receives maternity benefit. As payments by statutory health insurance funds are limited to € 13 net average salary per day respectively € 390 per month the employer has to pay the top-up amount. Maternity benefit is calculated on the basis of the average take-home pay in the last three calendar months, or thirteen weeks, before the statutory period of maternity leave before the birth. Maternity benefit is free of tax and social security deductions. The employee on maternity leave remains insured without paying statutory pension or health insurance contributions - as long as she paid compulsory contributions before, and has no other earnings that are subject to contributions.

Base for all contributions listed here above is the same Yes No

As general rule, the income subject to Social Security Contributions of Employees includes


Income considered Domestic income
Worldwide income

Benefits in kind

The following benefits in kind are usually (partially or fully) subject to social security contributions paid by Employees



Basis of assessment is the employee's assessable income up to a defined contribution assessment limit which is adjusted each year (2011: € 44,550 per year respectively € 3,712.50 per month).

Deductions, Allowances, Credits, Exemptions
Capped contributions No cap
Cap in monetary units:
Cap in % of the tax base:


The reduction is
No reduction
A lump-sum amount
In percentage of base:
Based on salary

The contribution is capped at an 8.2 % of the defined contribution assessment limit (2011: € 44,550 per year respectively € 3,712.50 per month) if the employee's salary exceeds the limits. 

The basic yearly allowance for an individual amounts to:
The basic yearly allowance for a couple amounts to:
Additional allowance for 1st child
Additional allowance for 2nd child
Additional allowance for 3rd child
Additional allowance for additional child
Additional allowance for old age dependents

The basic yearly credit for an individual amounts to:
The basic yearly credit for a couple amounts to:
Additional credit for 1st child
Additional credit for 2nd child
Additional credit for 3rd child
Additional credit for additional child
Additional credit for old age dependents

Social Security Contributions paid by Employees are tax deductible Yes No

Rate(s) Structure
The following rates apply to Social Security Contributions paid by Employees

Health care
8.20 %  From 4,800.01  EUR/Natcur  To 44,550.00  EUR/Natcur


Child care

Work-related illnesses and/or accidents

Education leave

Maternity leave



€ 4,800.01 per year respectively € 400.01 per month

€ 44,550 per year respectively € 3,712.50 per month

There are special regulations for employees in private households and industrial or commercial workforce in marginal employment with an income up to € 400.00 per month (€ 4,800.00 per year).

In general, the income is free of any deductions for the employee. But the employer has to deduct flat rate contributions.

Private households: a 14.34 % consisting of     

2 %                 flat wage tax

5 %                 for health insurance

5 %                 for pension insurance

1.6 %              for accident insurance

0.74 %            allocation to compensate employer expenses in case of illness or maternity

Other employers: a 30.74 % consisting of

2 %                 flat wage tax

13 %               for health insurance

15 %               for pension insurance

0.74 %            allocation to compensate employer expenses in case of illness or maternity

Furthermore, there is a framework for employees with an income between € 400.01 and € 800.00 per month (€ 4,800.01 and € 9,600.00 per year; so-called ‘earning within the sliding pay scale’). An employee with an income within this range has to pay standard SSC on a reduced basis so that part of the income is free of SSC deduction whereas the employer has to pay his share on the basis of the regular gross income.

The reduced basis for employee SSC is calculated according to the formula:

                                    F x 400 + (2 - F) x (income - 400).

‘F’ is the so-called ‘factor F’ (in 2011: 0.7435). Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs annually gazettes the ‘factor F’ to be applied.

Special surcharges

There are special surcharges in the form of:
Surcharge 1 : Name:
A lump-sum amount:
A percentage of income:
A tax surcharge:


There is a uniform contribution rate fixed by the federal government amonting to a 15.5 % in 2011. Employees have to pay a contribution rate of an 8.2 % whereas employers pay a share of a 7.3 %. Furthermore, the health insurance funds may be entitled to levy an additional supplement which the insured persons (employees/pensioners) have to pay on their own.

Tax due date

Contributions have to be paid by the end of each month.

Tax collector

The statutory health insurance funds are like all social insurance funds self-administered corporations under public law. This means that they on one hand carry out their legally mandated tasks under government supervision but on the other hand they are organisationally and financially independent.

All contributions are collected by the health insurance funds, forwarded to the national 'health fund' and redistributed from the 'health fund' to the individual insurance funds according to specific criteria set by the federal government.

Special features


Economic function

Environmental taxes

Tax revenue
ESA95 code d611

Annual tax revenue (millions)
Tax revenue as % of GDP
Tax revenue as % of total tax revenue
2009 55,210.00 EUR 2.24
2008 55,020.00 EUR 2.15
2007 52,580.00 EUR 2.09
2006 48,800.00 EUR 2.04
2005 46,590.00 EUR 2.02
2004 45,660.00 EUR 2.01
2003 46,190.00 EUR 2.08
2002 45,370.00 EUR 2.05
2001 44,780.00 EUR 2.05
2000 44,060.00 EUR 2.08


Employers' compulsory contributions to statutory health insurance are displayed in the update 'Social security contribution - Health insurance (Employers).