Health care in Germany is excellent, but to use it you need to have health insurance. Moreover, international students are required to provide proof of health insurance coverage already when applying for their visas. You will also need it for a residence permit application.
Best health insurances for international students in Germany are Feather, DR.Walter, AOK, TK, and Barmer. They all provide comprehensive public health insurance policies at affordable prices. Moreover, as an international student, you will receive English customer support.
Germany has a wide range of health insurance options for foreign students. In some cases, you can also keep your home coverage. For example, students from the EU coming to Germany for Erasmus don’t need an extra coverage. In this article, we compare the best health insurance providers for students in Germany.
Best Health Insurance for International Students in Germany
Germany has a wide range of insurance providers, which are divided into private and public companies. As a student, you have a choice whether you want to opt for a public or private one.
Both of them have advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we list only the best of the best, where you can get a health insurance policy completely painless, online, and even before you arrive in Germany.
For most of them, the application can be submitted online and you receive the insurance almost immediately.
Hence, you don’t need to call them, visit the office and bring/send your documents as in the case with some old school German insurance companies.
Feather is an English-speaking health insurance provider based in Berlin. They offer all types of health insurance, including Public, Private, Dental, Liability, Household insurance and more. For students looking for the cheapest health insurance, their Public coverage is the best.
You can sign up completely online and get full English support anytime, which is why they are our number one recommendation.
Student coverage with Feather
Public German student insurance will cover all your health care needs during the stay in Germany, including:
- Outpatient and inpatient medical care
- Medical advice by phone or video call from English speaking doctors based in Germany
- Medicine, medical appliances, etc.
- Provision with remedies
- Ambulant transport
- Return transport to the home country
- Burial costs in case of death
- 24-hour emergency service
- Dental treatments
Dental care is usually quite limited in Germany in terms of coverage of health insurance. The patient must pay for all additional and cosmetical procedures.
The price of comprehensive public insurance for students is 105 EUR per month. You can sign for additional dental insurance for better dental care, which will cover ALL your needs&wants at the dentist’s office for just 9 EUR per month.
The second cheap option with Feather is incoming or expat insurance.
Expat health insurance is open to many people including students, unemployed, or if you need health insurance for a visa application. The price for this coverage starts at 72 EUR per month. You can sign up easily online, and you will be issued your coverage in just 2 minutes.
- New arrivals to Germany
- University students
- Students of language courses
- Interns and trainees
- Expats and unemployed persons
- Self-employed persons who are not earning a high income (less than 50,000€ annually)
- Perfect for your first visa application
Hence, if you need simple insurance for visa application and the first days in Germany, incoming insurance is your best choice.
On the other hand, long term public health insurance from Feather is suitable for:
- University students under 30 years old
- Employees with a German contract
- Self-employed persons who have moved to DE from somewhere else in the EU
They also have coverages for almost any situation, for example, this insurance I had while doing my Au Pair program in Germany.
It’s a 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, and 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’s affordable, comprehensive insurance offering both public and private health insurance services.
It will cover all your medical costs during your studies in Germany.
Thus, this insurance solution is recognized by all official institutions, such as German embassies and immigration offices in Germany.
Advantages of student insurance from DR. WALTER:
- Fulfills all visa requirements
- Can be applied online from abroad
- Immediate confirmation and insurance contract sent online
- Comprehensive coverage of statutory and private health insurance
- Direct billing with doctors and hospitals
However, it’s more appropriate for exchange students, if you are aiming for a full program in Germany, sign for better coverage. The costs are similar to the Feather insurance, around 105 EUR per month.
Also, if you need a good and reliable banking account for Germany which is absolutely free, check out DKB – a great deals for students including free European debit and Visa card.
Don’t forget to open a bank account in Germany! You will need it to make all transactions within Germany and the EU, including paying for the health insurance.
To find the best bank for you read this article about the best banking accounts for international students in Germany.
AOK is a large public insurance provider in Germany, usually, you can find their office almost in each big or middle-sized city.
For application, I will recommend using Feather, they are providing insurance from AOK at zero additional costs but many other perks, such as 24/7 English-speaking support.
Moreover, for the application at the AOK offices, you need to present a student residence permit and confirmation from the university. These documents will be in your hands only in some weeks after arrival.
Here are some benefits of public health insurance from AOK:
- Fair monthly price
- Comprehensive coverage
- Big choice of doctor with your insurance card
Overall, AOK health insurance will cover all your needs with some exceptions for dentist services. Only necessary dental treatments and inexpensive materials are included in the policy. To get better coverage sign here.
However, as will all public insurances you will only have access to 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 public student insurance at 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 directly to the insurance company.
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 DR.Walter is private insurance company, you can see their packages here.
The Techniker Krankenkasse is also known as TK, a nationwide and largest public health insurance in Germany. It was founded in 1884 and for a long time was only available for members of technical professions.
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 also popular among the students, whether they are German or international. Moreover, thanks to companies like Feather or DR.Walter you can now apply for insurance online.
Therefore, if you need insurance for your visa application you can receive one already from your home country. And after coming to Germany change it to comprehensive public health insurance from TK.
TK pays for your health-related issues such as costs for doctor visits, treatments, medication, screening examinations, rehabilitation, and basic dentist treatments with the TK dental partners.
The cost for TK health insurance is the same as mentioned before policies, which comes to between 103,94 and 105 EUR per month (depending on some factors).
Need a banking account to pay for your insurance in Germany? Check out this article about the best bank accounts for international students.
And don’t forget to sign for the best liability insurance for international students to protect yourself in Germany.
Barmer is another big player in the German public insurance market, currently, it’s the second-biggest provider in Germany after Techniker Krankenkasse (TK). With offices all over the country, it has around 9 million clients in Germany.
Luckily, Feather is the official partner of Barmer as well, so you don’t need to speak German to get insurance with them!
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 cost.
Barmer’s public health insurance for students costs 108,77 EUR per month.
Conclusion: there is a countless amount of different options for public and private health insurance, however, benefits and price don’t have a significant difference.
Our top pick is TK provider by Feather. By applying through Feather you will get the best service at no additional costs.
You can also use a price estimator for your German insurance on Feather’s website.
If you are looking for the cheapest student health insurance in Germany, read this article, we have compared all options!
Health insurance for Erasmus exchange in Germany
If you are coming only for a short time to Germany, for example:
- Exchange program
- Language courses
- Au Pair
You don’t need comprehensive health care coverage, a cheap policy will be enough for German embassies and your stay in Germany.
Incoming insurance from Feather was made for such occasions. It’s significantly cheaper than normal student insurance and easier to get. In fact, you will get it online in 2 minutes.
Another option will be insurance from HanseMerkur. It’s a well-known private health insurance company in Germany. They have a special deal for international students and anyone from the list above.
Insurance for foreign visitors will give you substantial coverage for up to 5 years in Germany.
The price is much lower than normal student insurances and comes to 1,70 EUR per day or 51 EUR per month – way cheaper than the public one.
All common medical services are covered by insurance, such as inpatient and outpatient care, medicaments, operations, etc. Additionally, you will get travel- liability, accident, emergency, and luggage insurances all included in the price!
Who needs a health insurance in Germany?
Not everyone must sign for German health insurance when coming to study to Germany. For example, rules are different for EU/EEA citizens and nationals of some other few counties.
Nonetheless, health insurance is an official requirement to get a German student visa, as well as to enroll at a German university. Thus, international students who need a visa for Germany must also get German health insurance.
Moreover, legally everyone visiting and residing in Germany must have valid health insurance coverage. It doesn’t have to be a German one.
Also, some nationalities can keep the coverage from their home country, without the need to sign for a German one. For example, many Erasmus exchange students have a right to do so as well as EU/EEA citizens.
Therefore, students from the members of the EU counties as well as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Tunisia, and Turkey don’t need separate insurance in Germany.
Germany has the social security agreement with these countries. Thus, their home insurance can be recognized by any public insurance provider in Germany. In the end, it will equal the German public health insurance.
Also, students from EU countries usually receive an international insurance card (EHIC ‐ EuropeanHealth Insurance Card) in their home country, which is already recognized in Germany (and by doctors).
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 that fulfills all requirements.
Do you want a cheapest health insurance? Read this article about the most affordable policies and sign for one.
Health insurance for your visa application
In order to apply for a student visa, you need to prove valid health insurance in Germany. For this embassies and immigration offices don’t require comprehensive coverage and a simple expat/visitor insurance from Feather is enough.
Besides that, you can get EDUCARE24 from DR.Walter, or classic student insurance from the same provider.
In all cases, the policy will be sent to you via email, so you can simply print it out and show it in the embassy or already in Germany when applying for a residence permit in the local immigration office.
Usually, embassies and immigration offices want to see at least minimum coverage which includes:
- 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 to Germany you will need to exchange visa insurance to comprehensive and long-term health insurance. Feather and DR.Walter will be your best bet.
Besides health insurance, you should have liability insurance and a bank account when coming to Germany as a student.
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