Cheapest Health Insurance in Germany

Sep 3, 2021Health Care, Insurances, Living in Germany

In some counties, health insurance can cost lots of money, but in Germany, this is not the case. The rates for health insurance depend on your life situation, so students and unemployed pay the least and employees with self-employed – the most. However, the price is still very manageable and won’t break your budget.

Feather is the cheapest health insurance provider in Germany, with the following prices:

  • 72 EUR for expats
  • 110 EUR for students
  • 130 EUR for employees
  • 261 EUR for self-employed
  • 72 EUR for unemployed
  • 72 EUR for language and exchange students
  • 72 EUR for visa application

Health care in Germany is excellent, but to use it you need to have health insurance. Moreover, most foreign nationals are required to provide proof of health insurance coverage already when applying for the visa. You will also need it for a residence permit application.

Top Cheapest Health Insurance Providers in Germany

Below we have presented our top picks for your health insurance in Germany with the most affordable rates. This includes public and private insurance companies.

Besides that I have reviewed the cheapest and best overall insurances for all groups of people living or coming to Germany e.g:

  • Students
  • Employees
  • Self-employed
  • Unemployed
  • Expats
  • Language and exchange students
  • Au-Pairs
  • And cheapest health insurance for your visa application

Feather

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. 

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.

Feather offers a wide range of insurance coverage for all types of people, no matter their situation. You can calculate their rates online, where they provide 100% transparency.

Expat health insurance is open to many people who are not employed and need health insurance for their 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.

expat/incoming insurance is good for:

  • 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

Private health insurance – This coverage is great for those earning a high income (more than 65,000€ per year) as it’s generally much less expensive than public health insurance. Here’s who might consider signing up for private health insurance:

  • Young and healthy individuals earning more than 65,000€ per year
  • Young and healthy self-employed individuals earning more than 45,000€ per year

Private health insurance is recommended to healthy individuals only because any pre-existing health conditions might raise your monthly premium or simply not be covered altogether. For anyone with serious pre-existing conditions, Feather recommends public insurance.

On a Feather website, you can use a tool to estimate the exact monthly rate of the insurance, depending on your situation and income.

For better dental care you can sign for additional dental insurance, which will cover ALL your needs&wants at the dentist’s office for just 9 EUR per month.

Ottonova

Ottonova is another popular private health insurance provider in Germany. They offer coverages for expats, employees, self-employed, civil servants, and also additional packages for dental procedures and stay in a hospital.

They operate only digitally and offer additional services, such as:

  • Concierge Service
  • Digital doctor visit
  • Online registration process
  • Digital support
  • Smartphone app
  • International health insurance
  • health X – bonus program

On their website you can see an estimation of the monthly price depending on the following factors:

  • age
  • yearly income
  • benefits
  • range of treatments
  • if the coverage is worldwide or not
  • stay in a hospital
  • and many others

The estimated cost of expat coverage is 165 EUR per month, however, you can choose a “Premium economy” coverage for 229 EUR, or get an upgrade to the “Business Class” for 257 EUR or “First class” for 278 EUR per month.

DR. WALTER

DR.Walter is another affordable insurance provider for foreigners in Germany.

They have coverages for almost any situation, but particularly for international students, researchers, trainees, exchange students, and Au-Pairs.

All policies will cover most of your medical costs during the stay in Germany.

You can also use this insurance as proof insurance coverage is required for the student visa application. Dr.Walter guarantees a 100% approval rate.

Advantages of health insurances 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

Costs are very affordable, this policy is applicable for many people in Germany and starts from 33 EUR per month. The EDUCARE24 is the cheapest package.

Also, if you need a good and reliable banking account for Germany which is absolutely free, check out DKB – a great deal 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.

AOK

AOK is a large public insurance provider in Germany, usually, you can find their office almost in each big or middle-sized city. They are one of the cheapest big insurance companies in the country.

I have had several policies with them and it was never disappointing. Keep in mind they speak only German.

Hence, for application, I recommend using Feather, they are providing insurance from AOK at zero additional costs but many other perks, such as online signup and 24/7 English-speaking support.

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.

The public student insurance at AOK will cost you 103,19 EUR.

Techniker Krankenkasse – TK

The Techniker Krankenkasse is also known as TK, a nationwide and largest public health insurance in Germany that serves around 10 million people just in DE. It was founded in 1884 and for a long time was only available for members of technical professions.

Nowadays TK is available for people of all professions.

You can sign for TK insurance by opting for Feather or DR.Walter because they are official providers of TK for international students, expats, and all other foreigners in 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.

The cost of TK is standard, the same as with most public insurance companies. For example, students pay 110,69 EUR.

Barmer

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!

Barmer’s public health insurance for students costs 112,95 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. As you can see price depends on your life situation and it applies to all insurance providers.

Cheapest health insurance for students

As a student, you can sign for both private or public health insurance in Germany. Some private companies can give you a better price since almost all public providers charge the same price for students.

Here are the cheapest insurances you can get as a student but they provide fewer benefits than the normal comprehensive coverage.

Cheapest simple insurances

  1. Incoming insurance72 EUR

The incoming insurance is perfect for new arrivals to Germany and students. The cost starts from 72 EUR per month (when normal student insurance starts with 103 EUR).

Hence, if you need simple insurance in Germany, incoming insurance is your best choice.

2. EDUCARE2433 EUR

Another cheapest package is EDUCARE24, from DR.Walter that starts from 33 EUR per month. Depending on the benefits of the coverage the maximum price can be up to 59 EUR per month.

You can use incoming insurance and EDUCARE24 for your visa application too.

Comprehensive student insurances

3. Feather105 EUR

On another hand, long-term, comprehensive public health insurance from Feather will be your best bet for a long and safe stay in Germany.

On a Feather website, you can use a tool to estimate the exact monthly rate of the insurance. The average price of comprehensive public insurance for students is 105 EUR per month.

4. DR. Walter110,69 EUR

DR.Walter is another great insurance provider for international students 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.

It’s affordable, comprehensive insurance. The policy will cost you between 108,81 EUR and 110,69 EUR depending on your age.

5. TK110,69 EUR

TK, a nationwide and largest public health insurance in Germany. Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) is very popular among the students, whether they are German or international.

Moreover, thanks to companies like Feather or DR.Walter you can now apply for this insurance online.

In 2021, the monthly contribution for public insurance with TK is 110,69 EUR.

6. AOK110,69 EUR

In 2021 public student insurance at AOK will cost you 110,69 EUR. I personally was a customer of them for over a year and never had any problems.

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.

7. Barmer112,95 EUR

Barmer’s public health insurance for students costs 112,95 EUR per month.

As typical public insurance, it covers all treatments, inpatient and outpatient care with exceptions in dental care.

Conclusion for students

For students, our top pick is the TK provider by Feather. Statistics have proven that most local and international students choose this company. Moreover, 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.

Note: While the price of student insurance doesn’t differ much across the providers, students older than 30 years old will pay around 180 EUR per month for public insurance.

Are you an international student in Germany and need the cheapest health insurance? Read this article and sign for one.

Cheapest health insurance for visa application

In order to apply for any German visa, you need proof of valid health insurance in Germany. Embassies and immigration offices don’t require comprehensive coverage and a simple expat/incoming insurance from Feather is enough.

  1. Incoming insurance 72 EUR

Besides that, you can get EDUCARE24 from DR.Walter. This insurance solution is recognized by all official institutions, such as German embassies and immigration offices in Germany.

2. EDUCARE 33 EUR

With both insurances, 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.

Cheapest health insurance for employees

Most employees in Germany have public health insurance, which will cost you 15,8% of the gross salary (on average). The rate is the same in all insurance companies (the difference is laughable to even discuss).

For example, a single employee with a monthly income of 5,500 EUR will pay around 439 EUR for public coverage (in 2021). 

We recommend the largest providers of public health insurance in Germany: TK, AOK, Barmer, and DAK. They have over 100 offices across the country where you can apply for insurance coverage. (a complete list – in German – is available here).

You can sign for any of those companies with Feather – an official English-speaking representative.

One of the best public insurances for employees is TK, you can sign for the standard coverage that includes English-speaking support. With a salary of 3,000 EUR, you pay just 237 EUR per month.

  • Private health insurances for employees – rate doesn’t depend on the income

When you earn more than 64,350 EUR annually as an employee you can take out private insurance.

  1. Featherfrom 130 EUR to 203 EUR

The exact price of private insurance is hard to estimate. It depends on several factors, including:

  • Coverage and benefits
  • Your occupation
  • Age
  • Current health state
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Previous illnesses and diseases
  • The deductible

Private insurance with English-speaking company Feather will come to 130 EUR to 203 EUR for basic and 209 EUR to 312 EUR for premium one. That is the cheapest private insurance in Germany for employees.

2. Ottonova 165 EUR229 EUR

The estimated cost of “Premium economy” coverage for normal employees is 229 EUR per month, however, you can choose“Business Class” coverage for 257 EUR or “First class” for 278 EUR per month.

These estimates are applicable for employees and expats in Germany, for self-employed people rates would be different.

Expats can benefit from the special offer ‘First Class Expats’ for 165 EUR per month.

Moreover, you can calculate your policy here.

*If you are wondering what are differences between public and private health insurance and which one is actually is suitable for you, read these articles:

What is public insurance in Germany?

Health care in Germany

Switch between insurances

Health insurance for unemployed

Cheapest health insurance for freelancers and self-employed

Self-employed people can either pay a lot of money with public insurance or benefit from private coverage. With public insurance, a business owner/freelancer will have to pay on average 18,5% of the monthly income, which is a lot! 

For self-employed and freelancers we recommend the largest providers of public health insurance in Germany: TK, AOK, Barmer, and DAK. You pay the same price everywhere – between 17,9% and 20,6%of the gross income (18,5% on average).

TK is the best overall. Sign for the standard coverage that includes English-speaking support here.

TK insurance for self-employed

For example, a self-employed person without children with a monthly gross income of 5,000 EUR pays:

  • 677,25 EUR (14,1%) for health insurance
  • 58,05 EUR (1,2%) for additional coverage (must be included)
  • 159,64 EUR (3,3%) for people with no children
  • Total: 18,6% of the gross income or 894,94 EUR

However, 14,1% for health insurance is the maximum rate. You will pay less when earning less than 4.837,50 EUR per month. In that case rate of 14% applies. Which will bring you to a total of 18,5% of the monthly income.

  • Private health insurances for self-employed – rate doesn’t depend on the income

As a self-employed you can always opt for private insurance in Germany, the income doesn’t play a role.

  1. Featherfrom 261 EUR to 405 EUR

The exact price of private insurance is hard to estimate. It depends on several factors, including:

  • Coverage and benefits
  • Your occupation
  • Age
  • Current health state
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Previous illnesses and diseases
  • The deductible

Private insurance with English-speaking company Feather will come to 261 EUR to 405 EUR for basic and 418 EUR to 623 EUR for premium one. That is the cheapest private insurance in Germany for self-employed and freelancers.

2. Ottonova 480 EUR

The estimated cost of “Premium economy” coverage for self-employed and freelancers is 480 EUR per month, however, you can choose“Business Class” coverage for 535 EUR or “First class” for 579 EUR per month.

Ottonova had been performing very well on the German market, you can see their ranking here.

Calculate your policy here.

Cheapest health insurance for expats

Expat, or international health insurance is a good option if you aren’t planning to stay in Germany for a very long time. In most cases, it will cover you for up to 5 years.

It’s cheaper and also easier to obtain. Expat insurance is good for:

  • People intended to stay temporary in Germany (up to 5 years)
  • International employees, freelancers, digital nomads, business owners, self-employed

Expat health insurance plans cover major medical expenses, medical emergencies that require hospitalization but also the costs related to preventative and out-patient care such as regular doctor visits.

In Germany, OttonovaFeather and Allianz offer this type of insurance. 

  1. Expat insurance from Feather72 EUR

2. Expat insurance from Ottonova165 EUR 

Cheapest health insurance for unemployed

An unemployed person staying or living in Germany must have valid health insurance. They can also choose between public and private coverage depending on the situation and preferences.

The following insurance options are available for the unemployed: private insurance, expat insurance, public insurance, and voluntary public insurance.

  1. Feather72 EUR

Expat insurance from Feather is perfect for the unemployed or people without income in Germany. It costs just 72 EUR per month.

2. Ottonova165 EUR

Expat insurance from Ottonova is your second cheapest option as an unemployed or someone with no income in Germany. You can take out coverage easily and completely online.

3. Volunteer insurance with the public provideraround 180 EUR

People with no income can sign for voluntary public insurance in Germany. It’s more expensive than private coverage but can give you wider access to health care in Germany.

I have had a voluntary policy with AOK and it was a good experience. As a voluntarily insured member of the AOK, you receive the same benefits as with normal public insurance.

Read separate post about health insurance for unemployed people in Germany.

Cheapest health insurance for language and exchange students

Also, language and exchange students will need a health insurance policy for Germany (excluding EU students).

Public insurance companies don’t accept short-term visitors, thus, such students will have to choose among private insurances.

  1. Incoming insurance from Feather72 EUR

The expat insurance/incoming insurance is good for:

  • A new arrival to Germany
  • Students of language courses
  • Interns and trainees

Apply and receive policy online.

2. DR.Walter – from 33 EUR

DR.Walter is another great insurance provider for exchange students in Germany.

Costs are very affordable too, tariff EDUCARE24 is the cheapest one and particularly designed for short-term visitors. Nevertheless, you will get comprehensive coverage for your stay in Germany.

You can also use this insurance as proof of insurance coverage which is required for the student visa application. Dr.Walter guarantees a 100% approval rate.

Cheapest health insurance for Au-Pairs

Au-Pairs will need German health insurance already when applying for the German visa abroad. However, they can continue to use the same coverage throughout the entire program.

  1. AU-PAIR24 from DR.Walter39 EUR

This insurance is by far the cheapest one I can across. Moreover, I also have had this coverage during my Au-Pair program in Germany and everything worked very well!

DR.Walter is Germany’s most popular Au-pair insurance provider.

2. AU-PAIR Plus from DR.Walter38 EUR

AU-PAIR Plus will give you better coverage and benefits for zero increase in price.

Cost of public health insurance in Germany

When clients are signing for public health insurance they already know how much to expect per month. For instance, employees in Germany pay between 14,8 % and 17,3% of their gross monthly income.

Your employer pays half of your health insurance, hence you own between 7,4% and 8,65% of your net salary.

If you are self-employed, you pay the full rate yourself. Hence, public health insurance is quite expensive for freelancers.

We recommend signing for private coverage in that case.

Students have more fixed rates between 102,05 EUR and 116,33 EUR depending on the company.

These groups of people can claim public health insurance in Germany:

  • Employees whose annual income is less than 63,350 EUR gross
  • Pensioners
  • German Students
  • Trainees
  • Unemployed who receive unemployment benefit
  • Civil servant
  • Family members of an employee without income ( e.g. spouse and children)

People who are only for a short period of time in Germany, such as tourists, regular language course participants, exchange students from non-EU countries, non-EU scientists even for longer stay can’t apply for statutory insurance. They will need to get private health insurance before arrival.

Cost of private health insurance in Germany

Private coverage doesn’t have to be expensive – in fact, in some cases, it can be even cheaper than German public insurance.

The cost of private health insurance in Germany can range from 33 EUR to 1,500 EUR per month, depending on your situation and insurance premium.

The price for students starts at 33 EUR per month, and a good policy for employees will cost around 220 EUR per month.

A healthy 35-year-old employee is available already from about 220 EUR per month. But depending on the benefits you choose, you can also spend more, so a 35-year-old might pay 326 EUR for very good coverage with special priories and preferences.

Premiums aren’t calculated according to the income of the individual like in the public system, but on the level of benefits, age, and health conditions.

The price depends on your age, your health, and insurance coverage. If you are healthy, and you make a lot of money, private insurance can be much cheaper than public insurance, because it’s not a percentage of your income.

If you choose a higher deductible or worse coverage, it gets even cheaper.

In fact, age plays quite an important role. Statistics have shown, monthly rate increases with increasing age. Hence, old people pay the highest contributions for private health insurance.

Who can sign for private insurance?

  • Job Seekers
  • Students
  • Au-Pairs
  • Expats
  • Language students
  • Adult education students
  • Trainees
  • Guest scientists
  • People with income under 450 EUR per month
  • Freelances, self-employed, business owners
  • Employees in German companies with income over 64,350 EUR
  • Civil servants

Ottonova offers great personalized packages & English-speaking support for: 

  • Employees
  • Freelancers
  • Self-employed
  • Business owners 
  • Expats
  • Civil servants

For freelancers, it’s worth knowing that up to 80% of the cost of private healthcare insurance is tax-deductible. Meaning you can claim expenses back. 

Moreover, you can pay less for private insurance when opting for a higher deductible.

Recommended products and services in Germany:

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