The health insurance always consists of the compulsory basic insurance. The government determines what medical care is covered by the basic insurance. In addition to the basic insurance, the excess is also a compulsory component.
You pay a monthly amount for the basic insurance, irrespective of whether you have received any healthcare. This amount is called the contribution. The price of the basic insurance and which costs are covered vary for each health insurer. This is because health insurers themselves may set conditions for the basic insurance. For example, a health insurer may allow you to decide for yourself which hospital you attend, but you will pay a higher contribution for this. Another health insurer may charge a lower contribution, but will stipulate which hospital you can be treated at.
Another compulsory part of the basic insurance is the excess. The excess is the amount you are charged if you incur healthcare costs. This amount is calculated and determined annually by the government. For 2019, the minimum amount of the excess is €385. This means that you first pay the first €385 yourself. The health insurer pays only the costs above this amount. If you have paid the excess in full and are still incurring healthcare costs, the health care insurer will in most cases pay for the additional costs you incur.
Since the basic insurance does not cover the costs of all healthcare, you can take out additional insurance policies, for dental treatment, various therapies and glasses or contact lenses, for example. You pay an additional monthly contribution for this. It is not compulsory to take out supplementary insurance.