On March 26, in an interview on Public TV, Former Prime Minister, Hanrapetutyun Party leader Aram Sargsyan told the TV host Petros Ghazaryan that a person must pay 300 euros for a coronavirus test in Germany.
In particular, comparing the situation with coronavirus in Armenia and a number of European countries, Sargsyan noted that Armenia is better in many respects. “My daughter studies in a fairly elite and well-known educational system in Munich, Germany, where fees are paid for both health, life insurance, education and housing, but when a university student with relevant symptoms applies to the healthcare system to be tested, he/she is told to pay 300 euros” Sargsyan said.
According to him, young people with symptoms who do not have a fever above 38 degrees are urged to follow the rules and are sent home, and only those who pay 300 euros can be tested.
The coronavirus pandemic in Germany
The first case of coronavirus infection in Germany was registered on January 28, 2020. As of April 1, the number of infected people is 54,933. The number of deaths from coronavirus in the country is quite low compared to other countries – 775. For comparison, it should be noted that according to the WHO data as of March 29, the number of infected people in France is 37.450 and the death toll has reached 2311.
Many experts believe that Germany’s indicator is the result of early and extensive testing of citizens.
On March 27, the German Ministry of Health decided to increase the number of tests to 200,000 a day. Previously, 300,000 tests were performed per week.
How much does the new type of coronavirus test cost?
According to the German Ministry of Health, since February 20, 2020, health insurance funds have been paying for coronavirus testing. However, the attending physician shall decide whether the patient should be tested.
If the doctor concludes that testing is necessary, the money is provided by the medical insurance. People who are not permanent residents of Germany and do not have German medical insurance must find out whether their international insurance covers test costs or not.
However, it is important to understand how medical insurance works in Germany.
About 85 percent of the population in Germany has public health insurance, and the rest have private insurance.
The cost of the process may vary depending on the laboratory where the new type of coronavirus is tested. For example, in Hamburg, an insurance company pays 128-23 euros for one coronavirus test. And if a person prefers to pay from his own pocket, the price is 147-46 euros. However, there may be additional costs, such as costs related to sending the results by post. In Dusseldorf, the procedure is more expensive. In the laboratories there insurance companies pay 204 euros for one person’s testing, and for those who do not pay through insurance, the test costs 234 euros.
It should also be borne in mind that without a doctor’s prescription, the test is impossible. Thus, the total cost is generally € 300 including the consultation with a physician.
Thus, though Aram Sargsyan’s statement that in Germany one has to pay 300 euros for a coronavirus test is true, it is misleading as the money is paid by the health insurance company, not from the citizens’ own pockets.