Health insurance system
As a foreign student, you can’t be insured in your home country while studying in Germany. Health insurance in Germany is mandatory by law for every international resident.
You have to be insured in Germany if you are:
- enrolled in preparatory courses before studies.
- enrolled in a German language course.
- exchange student.
- Ph.D. student.
- a future student in a higher educational institution.
You have to get an official health insurance contract within 30 days from the day you register at a residential address in one of the German cities. Moreover, without an official German health insurance, you can’t get your German visa and open your blocked bank account in Germany.
This federal law helps insurance companies to cover their costs for providing sufficient health services. It also prevents students from covering medical expenses in case of unexpected emergency situations alone.
Important: The rules are strict – up to withdrawal from your study programme if you are not officially insured in Germany.
However, having a health insurance in Germany is for your benefit.
The German healthcare system is known as one of the best and efficient in Europe. Apart from a good quality of the services provided, you can address most of the insurance companies in English, and have 24/7 hotlines.
As a student in Germany, you have two options when applying for health insurance:
- Public insurance
- Private health insurance
Public health insurance is available for everyone. Private health insurance depends more on several conditions, such as your health conditions, your nationality, the reason you are in Germany, etc.
It is your choice to decide which one you prefer.
Keep reading to learn more about the features of each type of insurance and track differences between them.
Public health insurance
Statutory (Public) health insurance providers in Germany must offer a health insurance for international students under 30 years or until the end of their 14th semester of studies for a minimal price.
After your 14th semester or if you turned 30 while studying, the payment for the government health insurance will increase.
By German law, the price is the same for all insurance companies and monthly student tariff amounts to 80 Euros on average (if under 30 years). The price can vary also based on your health condition or special needs. Unfortunately, the price for the students older 30 and for those, who already completed 14th semesters is significantly higher (around 130-170 euros monthly).
If you are already in Germany for a German course or you came well in advance to get to know the city and you want to save some money, we advise opting for a private health insurance at first.
Private health insurance
Private health insurance is also popular in Germany, especially among self-employed, freelancers or language learners. They don’t have to switch for a public health insurance after the studies begin, as the students prefer to do. However, it lasts only for 5 years.
The amount you pay for private insurance monthly depends on your health condition, your age, and social benefits you get. When you apply for private insurance, you provide a detailed information about your health conditions and for how long you plan to stay in Germany. Based on this information, the insurance company offers people matching tariffs and suitable prices.
Private health insurance is also considered by many people who come to Germany to live and study because it’s cheaper and cover all the basic medical procedures and treatments. The insurance costs 29 Euro’s per month on average and lasts for 18 months or until you need to switch for a governmental insurance.
In case of a private health insurance, you will have first to cover your expenses by yourself after a consultation, medical procedure or in case you got a prescription. After that, you will receive back the money form your insurance company. Another option is to get an invoice from the doctor and send it to your insurance company yourself. After submission, an insurance company will pay all the costs.