A Guide to German Health Insurance for International Students

Updated on
April 12, 2024
international students sitting in a class room

Studying in Germany is both exciting and rewarding, but there are also lots of practical matters to be worried about such as health insurance. Health insurance is one of the most important things you must have when living abroad for a long time. Although it may not be the first item that comes to mind (other things take precedence like visa applications, university registration/application,etc) neglecting this detail can prove costly in the end. There are some things you ought to know about students health insurance Germany.

Types of Health Insurance in Germany

Health insurance in Germany comprises two parts: public health insurance and private insurance. National insurance (which is mandatory insurance) is publicly funded insurance that covers all eligible persons. Working persons contribute to the scheme according to their income levels: the more you earn the more you contribute, the less you earn the less you contribute. Students have even more affordable options for coverage. That being said, it is often compulsory for students wishing to enrol in a German university to have health insurance-both local and international.Private insurance offers health coverage for individual persons and is usually sort after by high-earning individuals, clerks and self-employed people. The monthly premium is calculated according to the age and health status of the insured.

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International health Insurance

Many foreign students would have health coverage from their own countries. Depending on what country it is and whether there has been any agreement, their health coverage might be valid in Germany. Check to see if there has been any social insurance convention signed between your country and Germany. If there is none then you will have to obtain German health insurance. Even if your country’s healthcare insurance is accepted, you still need to check for exactly what type of coverage exists and what will be covered while you are in Germany.

Travel health Insurance

This represents a third alternative for students who do not qualify for national insurance or private insurance. This is special insurance sold by German health insurance providers. Although this type of insurance may also be offered by companies in your home country, there is an advantage in purchasing insurance from a German company. They have a better understanding of the rules and regulations in Germany and hence this can be better reflected in the coverage amount. Documentation from a German insurance provider will also allow you a smoother and faster transition process when landing in Germany. It might be best to compare prices of German insurance providers and your own country’s providers.

If you are planning to spend a long time studying in Germany (more than one semester) or plan to do so, it might be better to leave your current provider once you have a new provider in Germany. It can be quite burdensome to be paying to providers simultaneously.

Whatever health coverage plan you eventually go with, it is important to ensure that the plan is as comprehensive as possible. You don’t want to end up with a hospital bill you cannot afford.

Here are some key benefits you should look for when considering any healthcare plan:

• Ambulance services and residential care

• Coverage for any medication and pharmaceutical products

• Eye care• Post-accident adjuvant therapy

• Complementary medicine: massage, physiotherapy, etc.

• Transportation to the closest hospital

• Pregnancy care and treatment for newborn babies

For international students it is also important to have the following additional benefits:

• Coverage for the visitation of a relative if hospitalised

• Repatriation of your body in the event of a fatal injury/accident

It is important that you do some research online to see which companies offer the best coverage. It is best to go with a company that does everything online, that way you get things done faster and cheaper.

There is also one final thing to consider: does the coverage in Germany offer coverage in other countries as well? Most health plans do cover you while abroad so it is important to read the contract carefully.

When researching students health insurance Germany, it is really important you be as thorough as possible in you research. In addition to looking online, you should also call insurance companies, the international student department of the university, the German embassy or your own country’s diplomatic mission.

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