Health insurance funds have been covering the cost of coronavirus testing since 28 February 2020. The prerequisite is that the attending physician decides whether the patient should be tested. Prior to 28 February, costs were only covered if patients had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case or was in a high-risk area during the past 14 days.
On May 14, the federal parliament passed the ‘Second Act for protecting the Population in the Event of an Epidemic Situation of National Importance’. The new law also provides regulation for tests by expanding the coverage for tests, intensive care for patients from EU countries and persons with private health insurance. With the new law, also asymptomatic individuals who suspect they have the virus or have come into contact with an infected person will be granted a test, covered by SHI funds.
To enhance solidarity across European countries, the federal government will cover the costs of intensive care of European patients being treated in Germany if they cannot be treated in their home countries due to insufficient capacities.
In regard to private health insurance (that covers about 11% of people) special regulations have been defined to protect their policy status. Person with private health insurance that are temporarily in need of help and switch to the ‘Basistarif’ (a policy that covers services equivalent to those offered by SHI and at a price not exceeding the maximum contribution within the SHI system) can return to their previous policy without a health check.