Health care in Germany is excellent, to be able to use this you will need to have appropriate insurance. International students will be required to provide proof of sufficient health insurance coverage for both enrollment at university and when applying for a residence permit.
However, it highly depends on a student’s country of origin, you might also just keep your home coverage. There are many insurances to take in Germany, generally they all divided into private and public.
In this article, I explain who needs health insurance in Germany and which insurance is best for which reason.
Who needs German health insurance?
Keep in mind that health insurance is an official requirement to get a German student visa, as well as to enroll at a German university.
All students are required to have an insurance plan in Germany, but some nationalities can keep one from their home country. The reason for this is the Social security agreement which Germany has with particular countries.
Therefore students from the members of the EU as well as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Tunisia, and Turkey don’t need a separate insurance in Germany.
Their home insurance can be recognized by any public insurance provider in Germany. In the end, it will equal the benefits of German statutory health insurance.
Students from EU countries usually receive an international insurance card (EHIC ‐ EuropeanHealth Insurance Card) in their home country, which is already recognized in Germany (also by the doctor).
Note: As soon as EU- or EEA-students take up a part-time job or a paid internship, they have to apply for German health insurance too.
Consequently, students from countries that don’t have a Social security agreement with Germany need to apply for German health insurance which fulfills requirements.
You can compare the best health insurance in Germany by using free database Tarifcheck, it will show you all costs involved which benefits and cover each of insurances provides.
Health insurance for your visa
In order to apply for a student visa, you will need to have health insurance for Germany which has required coverage.
There are two types of health insurance in Germany:
- The compulsory health insurance (public)
- Private health insurance.
However, for your visa, you can only sign up for private health insurance as you will have to do it online from your home country.
To come to Germany you will need to show the government that your insurance will cover your cost in case something happens. Usually, they require a minimum coverage of outpatient care and inpatient care:
- a minimum coverage of 30,000 EUR
- prescribed medications
- analgesic dental treatment
- inpatient treatment
- repatriation to the home country (in case of death)
- rehabilitation measures as a follow-up treatment
- treatment costs in case of failed suicide
After you have arrived you can sign up for more comprehensive and longterm insurance. The reason for this, most of the companies will require a student residence permit for application, which obviously you don’t have yet.
Consequently, you can’t pretend on classic public insurance and some other private providers before arrival.
I would recommend first to apply for one of the easiest and inexpensive insurance, they instantly will send you all documents and confirmations online. So you can use it just for visa application but also can keep for later on since they will cover your medical expenses on the same level as others will do.
Below you can see the best/fast/inexpensive health insurances in Germany.
Best health insurances in Germany FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
These companies will issue health insurance completely painless, online and even before you arrive in Germany. You can submit the application online and receive your insurance immediately.
With that said, you don’t need to call them, visit the office and bring/send your documents as in the case with other insurance companies.
It’s an easy, inexpensive and fast way to receive health insurance for your German visa as well as for future life in Germany.
This insurance I had while doing my Au Pair program, my host family issued this for my visa as well. Dr. Walter has insurances for any occasion, insurance for international students in Germany is the most popular one.
It’s a very budget-friendly option for a student to come to Germany with an insurance guarantee and secure their entire stay in the country. Moreover, they offer travel insurance, liability insurance and also insurance for an exchange semester, you will need to have all of them during your stay in Germany and studying abroad in terms of your program.
The student insurance by the DR.WALTER is a customized insurance plan for international students in Germany. It is basically an affordable, combined insurance offering both public and private health insurance services. It will cover all your medical costs during studies in Germany.
Apart from offering both statutory and private insurance services, there are also other advantages to the German Student Insurance. Since proof of German health insurance is required for your student visa application, you can 100% use Dr. Walter’s insurance for this purpose.
This insurance solution is recognized by all official bodies, such as German embassies and immigration offices in Germany. This means you will receive your visa without a problem if all other documents fulfill the requirements as well.
Advantages of student insurance from DR. WALTER:
- Fulfills all visa requirements
- Can be applied online from abroad
- Immediate confirmation and insurance contact will be received online
- Comprehensive cover consisting of statutory and private health insurance
- Direct billing with doctors and hospitals
Costs are very appropriate too:
Already starting from 33 EUR per month you can purchase EDUCARE24, which is also suitable for your visa and stay in Germany, however, it was first made for students coming for a shorter stay, such as language or exchange students.
Therefore, it doesn’t promise 100% reimbursement of all your medical costs. But you can still sign in for this and just keep an eye on your health so you don’t visit doctors that often. From the 19th month on cost will increase to 50 EUR per month.
The full German student insurance from Dr.Walter costs 105 EUR per month and covers you for 100%.
German student insurance will cover all your basic needs for the first months after coming to Germany:
- Outpatient and inpatient medical treatment
- Medicine, dressing material, medical appliances
- Provision with remedies
- Ambulant transport of patients
- Return transport of an ill insured person to home country
- Burial costs in case of death
- 24-hour emergency service
- Basic dental treatment
The second best and well known simple private insurance company is Care Concept. I also used for my student visa application for Austria and also for some months later on.
The process is super easy, you just apply online and receive all documents immediately. Moreover, they offer travel insurance, which includes all counties in the world only for 10 EUR per year.
Care Student health insurance coverage is private, comprehensive health insurance coverage which was specially developed for the needs of undergraduate students, doctoral students and language school participants in Germany.
It is particularly suitable for health insurance for students in Germany. Starting at the age of 12 up to 34, foreign students, school students and interns (while participating in a continuing education course/study program in Germany) may take out Care Student coverage.
Coverage costs are 69,62 per month.
Some benefits are:
- Complies with all the requirements for a German visa
- Outpatient, inpatient, and dental treatment
- Medically prescribed medications and dressings
- Daily hospital allowance
Also, if you need a good and reliable banking account for Germany which is absolutely free, check out DKB – it has great deals for students including free European debit card and Visa card.
Insurance from company Mawista is a good option for your visa application. It was made especially for exchange students but you can also use it for your full degree visa.
The health insurance covers the treatment by a physician and in hospital as well as the medications prescribed by the physician. It can be obtained before or during the educational stay in Germany.
Cost from 1st to 12th month is 33 EUR per month, and later on, you will need to pay 60 EUR. In terms of the costs, it is comparable with DR.WALTER EDUCARE24.
Other health insurances in Germany
As I already mentioned students from some countries don’t need special insurance for Germany, they can study with their current one. Students from other counties (non-EU) need to apply for longterm and comprehensive health insurance after arrival to Germany.
!They also can keep their insurances for visa applications if they are satisfied with coverage and costs. Usually, they will cover most when not all treatment by the doctor.
However, if you want better insurance and you are ready to pay more there are plenty of packages to choose from. The basic tariff must be enough to pay for all your needs while studying in Germany.
After you receive the admission letter, the university is supposed to give you the necessary information about relevant issues relating to your stay in Germany as an international student this includes health insurance recommendations. Most of the time they will recommend a public one.
Apart from the health insurance you also need a banking account. Our recommendation is DKB, they have special deals for students and it doesn’t take long to set up an account, they work fully online. For more information read this post about the best banking accounts for students in Germany.
Public health insurance
Public health insurance is a classical way for students to be covered in Germany. First, let’s disclaim who can receive public health insurance, because there are some restrictions.
Who can receive public health insurance
- All full-time students under the age of 30
Who can’t receive public health insurance
- Guest researchers/scientists, postdoctoral researcher, scholarship holders – (without an employment contract)
- Participants in German language courses and Studienkollegs
- Students older than the age of 30
Monthly contributions in some common public insurance companies 2019/20:
- AOK – 103,19 €
- Barmer – 108,77 €
- DAK – Gesundheit 111,75 €
- KKH – Kaufmännische Krankenkasse 111,75 €
- TK – Techniker Krankenkasse 105,80 €
For this kind of insurance, you will need to prove your admission to the university and provide your student residence permit. Hence, you can only apply after getting admitted to university and landing in Germany.
Public insurance companies overview
There are currently 110 official public health insurance companies in Germany, known as Krankenkassen.
All students under the age of 30 enrolled in a degree program at a German university, you can choose to register with a public health insurance provider so you can benefit from the statutory health insurance scheme.
Since you have the freedom to choose between providers and their services here are the best public insurance companies.
You can do your own research on the biggest platform of insurances in Germany check24. They provide an extensive list of companies with package descriptions and costs.
The AOK is a big public insurance provider in Germany, usually, you can find their office almost in each big or middle-sized city. For application, I will recommend visiting them personally, this way they can advise you through coverage and also check your documents since you need to have a student residence permit and confirmation from the university.
Here are some benefits of the public health insurance by AOK:
- The AOK offers excellent advice: personally, by phone and e-Mail
- Stable, fair contributions and comprehensive services
- Free choice of doctor with your insurance card
- Attractive optional rates and additional offers
Overall AOK insurance will cover all your needs with some exception for dentist services. There they cover only necessary treatments and most inexpensive materials.
However, as will all public insurances you will only have a claim on public doctors. There are some distinctions between doctors in Germany, some are working only with clients of public insurance companies, some only with private and some do both.
The student insurance by the AOK will cost you 103,19 EUR. I personally was a customer of them for over a year and never had any problems. Everything was paid automatically, I even had never received a bill, because doctors and hospitals send it on their address.
Although, I wasn’t a student and that time, so my insurance was paid by the employer. Public health insurance will cost you more than private if you are a student.
The Techniker Krankenkasse is a nationwide and largest public health insurance in Germany. It was founded in 1884 as a “registered auxiliary fund for architects, engineers and technicians” and for a long time was only available for members of technical professions. That’s where the name comes from. Nowadays it’s available for people of all professions and of course students.
The Techniker Krankenkasse serves 10 million customers in Germany. Insured persons receive competent and personal advice at around 250 offices throughout Germany.
Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) is quite popular by the students, whether they are German or international. One of the services company provides is also an online 24/7 service in English for all those who do not speak the German language.
Moreover, students can apply for insurance online. Thanks to TK cooperation with DR.WALTER you can go through the consulting tool on the DR.WALTER website and apply there for the Techniker Krankenkasse insurance.
Therefore if you need insurance for your visa and public insurance for later, you can apply on the DR.WALTER website for the optimal solution.
This health insurance provider pays for your health-related issues such as costs for visits to doctors, treatment, medication, screening examinations, rehabilitation, and basic dentist treatments with the TK dental partners.
For example, if you need dentures, TK only pays a part of the whole sum (after you have submitted it to TK).
However, this insurance is less suitable for those who would like to receive tests and screening for example during pregnancy or extensive cancer early detection as well as professional tooth cleaning. Here, the Techniker Krankenkasse reimburse less money or not at all in comparison to other companies.
The costs for Techniker Krankenkasse are between 103,94 and 105 EUR per month.
Barmer is another big player in the German public insurance market, currently, it’s the second-biggest provider in Germany after Techniker Krankenkasse. With offices all over the country, it has around 9 million clients in Germany.
Although its a second-biggest health insurance in the country it has mostly 2 stars out of 5 in the customer’s review.
As typical public insurance, it covers all treatments, inpatient and outpatient care with exceptions in dental care. With Barmer, unfortunately, you can’t even have a cleaning by the dentist, I mean you can have it of course but for your own costs.
Barmer health insurance for students costs 108,77 EUR per month.
Conclusion: there is a countless amount of different options for public health insurance, however, benefits and price don’t have a significant difference.
Private health insurance
International students in Germany enrolled in a degree program in most cases are eligible to obtain low-cost public insurance. As well as all other categories of people who excluded from public insurance will need to apply for private coverage.
Private health insurance in Germany costs starts at around 33 EUR per month, and increase depending on what extra services you opt for and whether your stay is going to be 12 months or longer.
Again you can do your research by simply using helpful insurance database check24.
Private insurance companies overview
Allianz is a very established and trustworthy insurance company that operates worldwide. Originally it was found in Germany and therefore it has a lot of German customers. Especially service of Allianz is on the top level.
From health, life and disability insurance to health and protection services, Allianz Care is a global health provider.
They particularly focus on foreign customers such as expats and international students, so they have a great experience abroad without worrying to much about bills. The company offers coverage of all medical needs and flexibility.
The student package covers all expensive medical care such as hospital accommodation, surgery, and other in-patient treatments.
It also includes benefits like rehabilitation treatment, out-patient surgery, and medical evacuation. Additionally, it provides a dental plan, so you can visit a dentist without paying from your own pocket. This is quite an exclusive service and most insurance companies don’t cover it.
Moreover, they offer counseling, legal and financial support, through their English Expat Assistance Programme. Allianz says “No need to worry about finding or affording medical care in an unfamiliar country – simply call 24/7 helpline, or use their MyHealth app to access support and information anytime, anywhere”.
It total Allianz can cover a maximum of 500,000 EUR for your treatments, which is more than enough.
Monthly contribution ranges depending on which package you choose, the cheapest will be around 100 EUR per month. Price is higher than for mentioned above private insurances, but Allianz has way more extensive coverage.
Additionally, Allianz provides special packages for expats and international students with personal assistance and support. It’s a great solution for someone who is limited time in Germany and doesn’t speak the local language.
HanseMerkur is another well known private health insurance in Germany. Coverages for German and international students are among their various packages.
For only 73,39 EUR monthly contribution you will get:
- 100% reimbursement of treatment costs and costs for medicaments and materials for initial treatment by the primary physician
- 100% reimbursement for AIDS and 90% for medical remedies
- 100% reimbursement for dental treatment
- Acquisition of dentures and orthodontics up to 80 % up to the maximum rate of the fee schedule
- 100% refund for inpatient treatment and transportation
As you can see HanseMerkur also reimburse your dental treatments where most public insurances have many restrictions.
For the international students, the company provides a special offer called Young Travel which will give foreign students a substantial coverage for the first 5 years, which must be enough. However, you can choose a standard student insurance.
The price is lower than for normal student insurances and comes from 1,19 EUR per day or 35 EUR per month – way cheaper than the public one. However, from the second year, you will need to pay 1,65 EUR per day or 50 EUR per month, which is still more affordable than the public plan.
The HanseMerkur insurance not only offers comprehensive health coverage but can also be combined with accident and travel liability insurance. All usual medical services are included in the price, such as inpatient and outpatient care, medicaments, operations, etc.
Student health insurance – private or statutory?
Private student health insurance offers numerous benefits for students, including::
- Cheaper student tariff up to 39 years of age
- Better benefits
- No additional payments for medicines
- Reimbursement of contributions if benefits were not claimed in a calendar year
Foreign students in Germany should opt for a private insurance tariff during their studies, so they benefit from treatment as a private patient throughout the entire duration of the studies and secure an excellent level of performance.
I personally also have private insurance and I am a student, not only I pay less than for public one I also get all my treatments 100% reimbursed.
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