Health insurance

Health insurance

Health insurance is mandatory in Germany. Both guest researchers and all family members accompanying them to Germany must have proof of sufficient insurance protection. Health insurance must cover medical treatment for both illness and accidents. It does cover not, however, have to cover the treatment of pre-existing conditions. Patients must generally bear the costs of treating pre-existing conditions. For this reason, any medication for a pre-existing condition, for example, should be purchased in your home country. 

Please note: You must show proof of health insurance at the Foreign Office (Ausländerbehörde) in order to receive a residence permit.  

Recommended way to obtain health insurance

Contact your health insurance provider in your home country to clarify whether or not any doctor or hospital expenses are covered during your stay in Germany. This is generally the case if your stay will not exceed 3 months. Your insurance company must give you written confirmation of your insurance coverage in Germany. If your insurance does not provide coverage during your stay in Germany, you will be required to purchase additional coverage.

The following applies for longer stays that require you to register as a resident in Germany:

As of 01/01/2009, every person registered in Germany is required to purchase health insurance (HI) from a health insurance company that is certified in Germany unless covered by statutory insurance or entitled to assistance according to the German Civil Servant Law.

If this is the case, you should purchase health insurance in Germany.

We recommend that you contact a health insurance company prior to your arrival in Germany.

Statutory and private health insurance

There are two types of health insurance in Germany, namely statutory and private. There is also a wide range of insurance companies you can choose from. In Germany, all employed persons are required to have statutory health insurance up to a set level of income. The general annual income level for this requirement is currently €57,600 in gross income (2014 statutory insurance limit).

If your income is above this amount, you may choose between statutory and private insurance, provided you meet additional requirements. Please note that the premiums you will be required to pay are regulated for statutory insurance. The current rate for everyone is 14.6%. Private insurance plans, on the other hand, vary both in terms of the premium and in the services that are covered. We recommend that you carefully research and compare options in advance.

Residing with an employment contract

If you have an employment contract, you are generally subject to the compulsory health insurance law in Germany.

Residing with a scholarship

If you are here on a scholarship, you will be required to purchase private health insurance. You should ask the scholarship provider for recommendations.

EU citizens

For longer stays (such as research for one semester or one year) within the EU as well as in Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, the following applies in place of the European health insurance card:

If you have statutory health insurance in your home country, your health insurance company is to issue the E 106 or S1 form upon request. You can use the E 016 or S1 form to sign up for health insurance for you and your family members in Germany. You will receive the same benefits from the German health insurance company as a German policyholder. The German health insurance company will then forward the costs of your care to the health insurance company in your home country.

If you have statutory health insurance in Germany and members of your family have remained in your home country, your German health insurance company is to issue the E 109 or S1 form upon request. You can use the E 109 or S1 form to give your family members in your home country coverage under the German health insurance policy at no added cost. The health insurance company in your home country will then forward the costs of care to the German health insurance company.

(Source: Euraxess Deutschland)

The Welcome Service at the International Office (Akademisches Auslandsamt) is not permitted to recommend specific health insurance companies for reasons of competitive fairness. We have, however, compiled a list of helpful links for you.

You can also find more information at Euraxess Deutschland.
A list of all statutory insurance companies in Germany can be found here
A list of all private insurance companies in Germany can be found here.