Jan. 2nd, 2017

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My experiences with German healthcare were positive, but there is one minor thing that still bothers me. (Nothing is perfect.)

Say we have a benign disease X that lasts 7 days (I didn't mean flue, but math could be similar there too), and in 10% of the cases it results in a complication Y that lasts 14 days. Not treating X costs 0, treating X case costs N, and treating Y case costs 3*N. Bingo, thinks an insurance company: 10%*3*N < N, and makes not treating X a default. That is all statistics, in reality it is much more complex but you get the idea.

For an individual, math is different: treating X means you recover in 5 days, not 7, and risk of Y goes down from 10% to 0.1%. So you gain ~3.4 days of productive life if you treat X.

What are the options in Germany? You can get private insurance, in that case they treat X. You can try treating X yourself, but you'll need to somehow get a prescription drug (thanks Aeroflot :). Also, there is another option, a strange one but it certainly works: you go to a doctor that does not know you, pretend that you are a tourist ready to pay cash, pay ~100 euros and get a treatment. This works if you have a non-German passport. I wonder how/if a German can use this loophole?

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