That changes in August

On August 1st, some changes will come into force again: family reunification for a certain group of refugees is possible again, the railway has new prices.

It's cheaper now: DB

GIt was suspended for two years, but in the meantime the coalition members of the Union and the SPD have agreed on new rules for the reunification of family members for refugees with limited protection status. These come into force this Wednesday.

In addition, the railway is offering new saver prices and Berliners can bring their toddlers to daycare free of charge. On the way to uniform citizens’ insurance, Hamburg is now offering its civil servants statutory health insurance. An overview.

Family reunification

The new regulation of family reunification for refugees with limited protection status provides that nationwide no more than 1000 people should come per month. Adults can bring their spouses and minor children into their home, unaccompanied minors their parents. Criteria include the duration of the separation, the best interests of the child and the question of whether the relatives are in danger. In addition, it should be taken into account whether someone is sick or in need of care. Bonus points are awarded to those who contribute to the maintenance of the family. It could take several years to process the number of expected applications. The selection criteria are criticized by the opposition and social associations.

The Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior, Stephan Mayer (CSU), told the broadcaster n-tv that a total of 5,000 people could come this year. But that does not mean that the 5001st no longer has a chance. Then there is the possibility of obtaining an entry visa in January.

Citizen Insurance

Hamburg is the first federal state to voluntarily pay civil servants with statutory health insurance a subsidy. The regulation stipulates that the city pays half of the contribution to the statutory health insurance (GKV) for civil servants, as it does for employees. So far, civil servants have generally taken out private insurance in combination with the so-called subsidy from the responsible public employer. This is cheaper for them than statutory insurance, because they had to finance GKV contributions entirely on their own.

The red-green governed Hamburg now intends to pave the way for uniform citizens’ insurance. Accordingly, red-green sees the new regulation as a “piece of social history”. There is nationwide interest in the Hamburg model, it said. Thuringia and Brandenburg have already announced the implementation. The FDP opposition criticized the regulation as ideologically motivated “citizen insurance light”.


Deutsche Bahn offers tickets from 19.90 euros per journey from August 1st onwards. The previous special offers will be added to the third price category as “super saver prices”. Up to now, you could buy tickets regularly at the normal “flex price” and at the “saver price”. The “Super Sparpreis” ticket is cheaper, but its number is limited and it cannot be canceled.

Also new: the so-called City-Ticket, which allows the use of local public transport at the start and destination stations in 126 cities, is now available to most long-distance customers who travel at least 100 kilometers. A Bahncard was previously required for this, but no longer. The city ticket is only not available for the new “super saver price”.

Toll-free daycare

Berlin is the first federal state to completely cancel daycare fees. Berlin parents no longer have to pay these income-related contributions for childcare in daycare centers or child minders, even for children under one year of age. The other five years before the start of school had been gradually exempted from contributions since 2007. In all age groups, however, parents will still have to finance daycare meals in the future. As a rule, 23 euros per month are due for this.