The artists and publicists insurance is a pubic insurance, that allows its members to be insured over the public health care system in Germany and have a pension fund. This insurance is run by an institute which is named Künstlersozialkasse (KSK), which is responsible for managing your insurance, acceptance and processing applications, payment management and payment forwarding to the public insurance providers.
Why is it good for me? Since Germany is a welfare state, the payment for health care and pension insurance are very high: health care payments depend on your public health care provider. The average payment in Germany is 15.8& from your income. Public pension insurance will cost 18.9% from your income. Whereas half of this amount is paid by the employer in case you are employed, if you are self-employed, you will have to pay around 34% from your income for those insurances. As a result, many self-employed persons decide to not have those insurances. The artists' insurance allows artists and publicists to enjoy the same conditions that employed people get. Meaning, if you are a member of the KSK, the government will pay half of your health care and half of your pension insurance.
Moreover, due to the complexity of the German health care law, self-employed persons cannot get accepted for the public insurance. Which means: in many cases the artists' insurance will be your way of getting into the public health care system.
Who is it meant for? Artists and publicists who live and work in Germany, and who are defined as self-employed in Germany. Unfortunately, the acceptance for people who work "behind the stage", such as sound engineers and art consultants, might be very complicated up to impossible. The reason for that will be that the purpose of the KSK is to support artists, and that people who deal with the more technical parts of art will not be necessarily recognized as artists or as freelancers in Germany. Generally speaking, it is recommended to look at each case separately and to try and estimate your chances of getting accepted into the KSK and your expected monthly payment before applying.
How does one get accepted? In order to get in, you will need to apply and to provide the KSK with proofs for the fact that you are active artists, along with proofs of your work as freelancer artists in the past six months. Additionally, you will need to prove a certain income in order to get in. This has to do with the definition of your eligibility for public insurances in Germany. There are rumors that say that there is tons of paperwork and work in this application. From my experience, if you check your eligibility before applying and know which documents to include and how to fill out the forms properly, this will not be so much work, and you might have high chances of getting accepted easily. For further information and application, please feel free to book a consultation appointment with me.
I don't want this insurance anymore. Can I stop it? Since this insurance is meant for artists who live and work in Germany, it can get cancelled if you will stop working as artists in Germany, meaning: if your income situation changes or if you leave Germany. As long as you continue working as freelancer artists in Germany, leaving the KSK is almost impossible.
I am now employed. Now what? You have the option of freezing the artists' insurance for studies or for periods of time in which you are employed. In this case, you will have to bare a certain monthly payment in order to keep your eligibility for this insurance when you will get back to work as self-employed artists.