Health insurance coverage for international students
In Germany, health insurance is mandatory for all students. Enrolment is not possible without valid proof of insurance. It is therefore important to be properly informed about health insurance in Germany at an early stage.
Basic information on insurance in Germany
There are two health insurance systems in Germany: statutory health insurance (also known as public health insurance or GKV) and private health insurance (PKV).
Both insurance systems offer insurance coverage in the event of illness and/or accident and at least partially cover the costs of pre- and post-operative examinations, rehabilitation and medication. However, the type and scope of the insurance coverage may vary considerably.
With statutory health insurance, the contractual conditions, the monthly contributions and the scope of benefits are regulated by law. The GKV offers a comprehensive and a more than sufficient service package for most situations, which is usually superior to private health insurance in terms of price and service. This option is strongly recommended for students who are eligible for statutory health insurance. Only if this option does not exist for you (eg, because of your age or income) should you consider private health insurance.
The terms and conditions of private health insurance vary from provider to provider. Low-priced insurance packages usually only cover the most basic and necessary services. In the event of serious illnesses or accidents, it is possible that the costs incurred in Germany, which can quickly add up, are not fully covered.Exemption from statutory health insurance
In order to enrol with private health insurance, you will need additionally a certificate indicating that you are exempt or not subject to compulsory statutory health insurance („versicherungsfrei“, „von der Versicherungspflicht befreit“, oder „nicht versicherungspflichtig“). You will receive this certificate only after your policy has been reviewed by a statutory health insurance company to determine that your health insurance is officially recognised and considered sufficient in coverage. Only a proof of private health insurance is not sufficient for matriculation. Therefore, please contact a statutory health insurance company of your choice directly (e.g.: TK).
Important note: Once you have selected private health insurance, it is not possible to switch to statutory insurance until the end of your studies! Therefore, your choice of insurance should be carefully considered.
The following information is provided to help you identify the best option for you personally: