Health Insurance in Germany
In order to start your study career in Germany, you need a health insurance. Health insurance in Germany is an integral part of starting your studies in Germany. The German Health Care System is one of the leading health care systems in the world. Furthermore, university rules in Germany require that students provide proof of health insurance in order to get enrolled in your study program at the university.
The German system has two types of health insurances: the compulsory insurance, also known as public health insurance, and the private health insurance. As a student, it is always advisable to go for the public insurance, because even though it is slightly costlier than the private health insurance, it provides long-term benefits that may not be achievable if you are a holder of a private health insurance.
Students belonging to the European Union and the European Economic Area can register the statutory (public) health insurance acquired in their home country with a statutory health insurance company in Germany. This was made possible with the agreement between Germany and some countries, including the member states of the European Union and the European Economic Area. However, this generally requires possessing a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
In addition, some private health insurance companies from other countries are sometimes also recognized in Germany. More information in this regard can be obtained from your local health insurance provider. If this is the case, the student should obtain a confirmation certificate from his health insurance provider in order to enroll in the university. This allows the student to stay member of his health insurance provider and hence does not have to switch to another insurance provider in order to study in Germany.
Health Insurance for Language Course or Preparatory Course Students
As in the case of university students, students participating in language or preparatory courses in Germany are required to have a health insurance if they intend on studying in their respective courses.
However, in this case, the students of these courses are not allowed to be part of a statutory (public) health insurance. Rather, they must have a private health insurance in order to cover their health related expenses during their stay in Germany. Holders of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are advised to get in contact with their local health insurance providers to check whether they need an additional insurance in order to study in a language or preparatory course in Germany.
Finding insurance in Germany
As mentioned earlier, it is obligatory for all students in Germany to acquire a health insurance. The statutory health insurance companies in Germany provide discounted student rates as part of their insurance cover for students until they reach 30 years of age, or until the end of their 14th subject-related semester. Students over the age of 30 or those who have been studying for more than 14 semesters during their period of study in Germany are allowed to maintain their statutory insurance, but at a relatively higher rate. In addition, students over the age of 29 when starting their study course in Germany are only allowed to obtain private health insurance.
The students can contact any of the statutory health insurance companies in Germany. These companies generally charge a membership fee of about 80,11 Euro per month. After successful registration, the health insurance company provides the student with a certificate that he needs to submit for his enrollment at the university.
The services provided by the health insurance include:
- Medical and dental treatment, with free choice of doctors and dentists
- Hospital treatment
- Drugs, dressings, complementary treatment, and aids (hearing aids and wheelchairs)
- Sickness benefit (Krankengeld): generally, the employers are liable to pay the employee’s wage or salary for six weeks if he is unable to work. After that, the health insurance is liable to pay 70% of the employee’s regular wage or salary before deductions for a maximum of 78 weeks
- Measures for the prevention and early detection of certain diseases
- Preventive dentistry, individual and group prophylactic measures and medically necessary dentures and crowns
- Preventive inoculations, excluding inoculations for non-work-related foreign travel
- Orthodontic treatment (up to the age of 18)
- Glasses, vaccinations, X-rays