In the Federal Republic of Germany around 90 percent of the population is covered under statutory health insurance.
In principle, all workers are compulsorily insured under statutory health insurance if their gross pay does not exceed a defined upper limit. Insured persons are free to choose the health insurance fund they wish to be insured with.
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.