Health insurance is a crucial part of planning your studies in Germany. Students cannot enroll in German universities without health insurance. International students must present proof of health insurance when they enroll. Moreover, health insurance is legally mandatory in Germany, even for students studying for just one semester. Therefore, it is wise to plan your student health insurance in Germany in advance.
Health insurance covers the costs of medical care in the event of an accident or illness. It provides the certainty that costs do not have to be paid privately. This article will guide you on everything you need to know about student health insurance in Germany. We cover essential aspects, such as:
- Determining the right student health insurance
- Popular health insurance providers in Germany
- Cost of public health insurance in Germany
How can I choose the right health insurance for me?
International students have two options for a health insurance plan: public or private.
Depending on the student’s home country, a student’s health insurance may also be recognized in Germany. Private (domestic or foreign) health insurance policies from other nations may be valid in Germany. So, if you already hold health insurance in your home country, the first thing to do is to check its validity in Germany.
In case you have a public health insurance policy in your home country, it may be recognized in Germany if you are from the following countries:
- European Union Member States
This is because Germany has signed social insurance agreements with these countries. So international students from the above-listed countries can receive emergency care in Germany. With a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), medical treatment in Germany can be received.
Once it is determined that your pre-existing health insurance is valid in Germany, you must confirm that you do not need public health insurance in Germany. Before enrolling at a German university, students must have a certificate declaring that students are not required to take German statutory health insurance. It is recommended that students contact their university’s international office. The university’s international office can help students contact a German health insurance provider. The German insurance provider in your locality can issue a letter confirming that you are insured.
Once the confirmation is issued, international students cannot register for German public health insurance for the entire study duration.
International students with pre-existing insurance should remember that to work alongside studies (internship/part-time), they must have German health insurance.
In case health insurance in the home country is not recognized in Germany, students will have to apply for one in Germany.
Statutory health insurance premium in Germany depends on the student’s age. Germany offers student tariffs up to the age of 29 years. The student tariff of health insurance is lower than a normal tariff. The student tariff is approximately 110 EUR/month and is available until 30 years of age.
If a student turns 30 years old during their study in Germany, they can switch to statutory health insurance for students, only if they have been insured for at least 12 months in student tariff.
In case a student is already 30 years of age by the time they begin studying in Germany, private health insurance may be a better option.
Health Insurance for Preparatory Courses
Preparatory courses in Germany have a duration of one year or two semesters. Some preparatory courses last less than a year. The purpose of preparatory programs is to help students bridge academic gaps and become eligible for a bachelor’s degree program in Germany. Some popular preparatory courses institutes include Studienkolleg Dusseldorf, Studienkolleg Paderborn, FH Aachen Freshman Institute, and more .
International students need to have health insurance to study preparatory courses in Germany. Students without a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) should opt for private health insurance.
Health Insurance for Language Courses
Language courses are chosen by students and working professionals alike to improve their German language skills. Similar to preparatory courses, most language courses have a maximum duration of one year. These courses are usually not eligible for public health insurance. Therefore, students must go for private insurance policies. Once students have joined a full-time program in a German university, they can register for public healthcare.
To summarize, international students must remember that the following categories of students cannot have public health insurance in Germany.
- Those with health insurance from their home country which is recognized in Germany
- Students above 30 years of age.
- Those who are working as freelancers or are self-employed.
- Students enrolled in preparatory and language courses (i.e, students not enrolled in degree programs).
- Researchers and guest scientists
What should be included in student health insurance in Germany?
International students in Germany must go for health insurance policies that cover at least the following.
- In-patient hospital care
- Out-patient care
- Medical check-ups
- Cost of medications
- Dental care.
- Emergency/Ambulance services
Health insurance providers in Germany
Below is a list of some popular public and private health insurance providers in Germany.
Statutory health insurance providers
- DAK health
- HEK – Hanseatic Health Insurance
- HKK health insurance
- KKH commercial health insurance company
- Techniker Krankenkasse (TK)
Private health insurance providers
The official site for insurance in Germany, “Krankenkasse.de” lists close to 40 private health insurance companies.
- Allianz private health insurance
- ARAG health insurance
- AXA health insurance
- General health insurance
- DKV – German Health Insurance
- ERGO health insurance
- LVM health insurance
- Munich Health Insurance Association
- Vigo health insurance
The DAAD insurance
The DAAD offers insurance that combines health, accident, and personal liability. This insurance is available for trainees, students, and academics coming to Germany. DAAD scholarship awardees automatically receive this insurance.
Information regarding the insurance is mentioned in the “Letter of Award” given to scholarship holders. The insurance can only be received for the duration of the grant or scholarship.
How much does public health insurance cost in Germany?
The following table features the monthly cost of insurance in well-known statutory heal insurance providers.
|Health Insurance Company||Cost per month (EUR)||Cost per month (USD)*|
|hkk||€ 102.72||$ 101.88|
|IKK healthy plus||€ 104.30||$ 103.45|
|BKK firmus||€ 103.10||$ 102.26|
|BKK Verkehrsbau Union (VBU)||€ 109.57||$ 108.67|
|Salus BKK||€ 110.69||$ 109.78|
|Technicians’ Health Insurance||€ 105.05||$ 104.19|
|BIG directly healthy||€ 107.31||$ 106.43|
|R+V BKK||€ 106.56||$ 105.69|
|BARMER||€ 108.06||$ 107.17|
|DAK health||€ 111.07||$ 110.16|
*Costs in the table have been converted to USD at 1 EUR = 0.99 USD. Exchange rates vary periodically.
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