Best Guide on Germany Student Health Insurance

Best Guide on Germany Student Health Insurance

Best Guide on Germany Student Health Insurance

Prior to enrolling in school and obtaining a residence permit, international students in Germany must purchase health insurance. In Germany, health insurance for students is intended to be less expensive than it is for other groups of individuals.

In Germany, the majority of citizens are often required to pay health insurance based on their income. But regardless of their financial situation, students in Germany pay at a regular discounted rate (unless they are employed).

In this guide, we will show you exactly what you need to know about student health insurance in Germany, your eligibility, requirements for your student visa, costs, and how to pick a health insurance plan that is both affordable and covers everything you need as an international student.

Health Insurance for Foreign Students in Germany

If you are a student under the age of 30 enrolled in a degree programme 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.

Students over 30 years old, language and preparatory course students, PhD students, and guest scientists, however, only have the possibility of getting private health insurance.

International students who come from countries in the EU, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Tunisia and Turkey, are not required to get additional health insurance because their public insurance plans from their home countries are valid in Germany.

Additionally, they should make sure to check with their health insurance provider in order to find the services they will be entitled to once they arrive in Germany since there is a possibility that the health insurance company from their home country will not cover all costs in Germany.

However, if an EU/EEA student is doing a student job or paid internship in Germany, they have to be insured with a German public health insurance provider.

Eligibility for Public German health Insurance Scheme

The following categories are not eligible for the public German health insurance scheme:

  • Students who have health insurance in their home country and it is recognized in Germany.
  • Students who are 30+ years of age.
  • Students who are working as freelancers or are self-employed.
  • Students who are not enrolled in degree programmes in Germany (e.g: preparatory or language courses).
  • Post-graduate students and scholarship holders (without a contract of employment).
  • Guest Scientists and Researchers.

What should you do if you belong to one of the categories above?

Your only option is to get private health insurance with one of the private Germany student health insurance providers. The health insurance plan EDUCARE24 by a well known German health insurance company DR-WALTER is a perfect choice for all foreign students.

The benefits you get with EDUCARE24:

  • It meets all German study visa requirements
  • Acceptable by all German Embassies/Consulates
  • Independent of student status
  • Health insurance without deductible
  • Easy to purchase/get the policy online and receive your insurance certificate as well as all the other documents you need for embassies and authorities within minutes.

EDUCARE24 can be purchased in different combinations which are exactly tailored to the needs of:

  • Language students
  • Foreign students
  • Guest scientists and PhDs
  • Interns/Trainees
  • Accompanying family members

Keep in mind that health insurance is an official requirement to get a German student visa, as well as to enrol at a German university.

What Should Student Health Insurance in Germany Include?

When you are getting student health insurance in Germany, it must cover at least the following:

  • In-patient hospital care.
  • Out-patient care.
  • Regular medical check-ups.
  • The cost of medications.
  • Basic dental care.
  • Pregnancy treatment.
  • Emergency services (ambulance)
  • In case of death:
    • Repatriation of remains
    • Funeral costs

Private health insurance companies such as DR. Walter offer affordable health insurance plans for students in Germany. EDUCARE24 is the most sought after, cheapest and comprehensive plan for international students in Germany.

How to Get Proof of Student Health Insurance in Germany?

In order to get proof of student health insurance in Germany, you have to personally contact your private health insurance company and request a certificate. This certificate should contain details of your insurance plan, such as how much it covers and for what duration.

In most cases, health insurance providers will have information on the type of document you need to submit and will be able to issue it to you.

If you have a private health insurance plan, you still have to go to a public health insurance provider in your area and obtain proof that you have been exempt from public/statutory health insurance, and that your current private insurance meets the requirements. This also applies if you already have an acceptable health insurance plan from your home country (only applicable to the countries that have social security agreements with Germany.)

Options for Student Health Insurance in Germany

There are two types of health insurance in Germany: public (statutory) or private. Whether you will be eligible for public or private health insurance depends on the status of your studies and your age.

How much does student health insurance in Germany cost?

Health insurance for international students costs from €103.94 – €111.75 per month with a public health insurance provider, and it covers basic healthcare as well as long-term care insurance.

Read: US Travel Insurance – Health Insurance for Visitors to USA

Public Health Insurance for Students in Germany

All students in degree courses in Germany who are under 30 years of age must have public health insurance. You will not be able to register at your university unless you have a certificate that proves you have obtained adequate coverage. You can receive the certificate at the health insurance company where you are covered.

The majority of residents in Germany (about 90%) are registered in a public health insurance plan. Non-students (employees, freelancers) pay their health insurance contributions based on their income (usually 14%-15% of one’s salary goes to health insurance). However, students in Germany only have to pay about €110 per month (+/-  €5) – at least until they turn 30. This is lower than the required minimum in other circumstances.

You cannot register for public health insurance in Germany if:

  • You have health insurance in your home country and it is recognized in Germany through a social security agreement. (EU States, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Morocco, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Tunisia, and Turkey.)
  • You are over 30 years of age.
  • You are working as a freelancer or are self-employed.
  • You are not enrolled in a degree course in Germany yet (e.g: you are still in a preparatory or language course).

Please note: If you are working in Germany during your studies and you earn more than €450 per month, then you have to be registered as an employee and get health insurance as a foreign worker.

Exemption From Public Health Insurance in Germany for Students

If you are under 30 years of age, but you want to be registered exclusively with a private health insurance company, you have to request a certificate of exemption from the statutory health insurance. You have to apply for exemption within the first three months of starting your studies at the local public health insurance companies.

Once you forfeit your statutory health insurance, you cannot get back on it, at least not for the duration of your studies. You can only re-enroll in public health insurance if you find a job and must be registered as an employee.

Private Health Insurance for Students in Germany

If you fall under one of the following categories, you must purchase student health insurance from a private company in Germany:

  • You are over the age of 30
  • You are enrolled in a Preparatory or Language Course in Germany

This usually applies to Ph.D. students.

You may still be able to get public health insurance even if you aren’t technically eligible if:

  • You are enrolled in mandatory training after finishing your degree
  • You must care for disabled or sick relatives
  • You have an illness or disability
  • You will participate in a board of the university
  • Due to the birth of a child

Keep in mind:

If you were covered by public health insurance in Germany before you started your Ph.D. program (not as a student), you can choose to keep your public insurance or transfer to a private one.

Since public health insurance only covers basic medical needs, many students in Germany (even if they are not eligible for private insurance) choose to get a supplemental private health insurance plan for more coverage. This means as an international student in Germany under the age of 30, you can get private health insurance as long as:

  • It is in addition to the public/statutory insurance; or
  • You are not eligible for public health insurance; or
  • You have applied for exemption from public insurance

If any of the above criteria apply to you, you can purchase a private health insurance plan at Dr. Walter. You can also use their free tool to determine how much you need to pay to get a health insurance plan.

How to Get Student Health Insurance in Germany?

After you arrive in Germany, before you enrol in your chosen university, you have to get health insurance from one of the health insurance companies known as Krankenkassen. Once you contact one of them, they will provide you with their plans and give you the details and the documents required. Make sure that you choose a plan which has adequate coverage as required by German universities.

Before arriving in Germany, you have to apply for a German Student Visa from one of the German embassies or consulates abroad. In this case, you will also need a short-term travel health insurance plan, which will cover you for the initial period of your stay until you obtain long-term health insurance. Travel health insurance is a requirement of the German visa application process, but you cannot use your travel insurance as a substitute for student health insurance in Germany.

Please note that the specific requirements for Germany Student Visa health insurance can change between countries, so make sure to inquire with the adequate German embassy/consulate in your country.

Read: International Travel Insurance

Student Health Insurance in Germany for Preparatory or Language Course Students

International students in Germany who are following a preparatory or language course cannot obtain public health insurance because they still do not count as degree course students. Instead, they must purchase student health insurance from a private insurance company. Once they finish their preparatory courses, they can register for public health insurance and enroll in their chosen university in Germany.

Health Insurance for Exchange Students in Germany

Exchange students are usually enrolled in a degree course in Germany, which means they are eligible for regular public/statutory health insurance, despite the fact they will usually only be there for one or two semesters.

Health Insurance for PhD Students in Germany

Since PhD students in Germany are usually over the age of 30, they are not eligible for the public health insurance plan. When it comes to PhD students the type of health insurance they are eligible for depends on whether these students are employed by their university or not. PhD students can be divided into two categories:

  • PhD students who are staff members of the university.
  • PhD students who are not staff members of the university.

PhD students who are staff members of the university

In case a PhD student is employed by their university in either a lecturing position or as a research assistant, they will be required to pay the contribution of 7.3% matched by another 7.3% from their employer.

In addition, PhD students employed by the university are not required to take care of the health care insurance on their own since it is usually taken care of by the university. They are insured as employees in public insurance plans since it is unlikely that their payroll is above the threshold that gives them the possibility to register with private insurers.

PhD students who are not staff members of the university

PhD students who are not staff members of the university and are aged under 30 are eligible to register for discounted public health insurance. However, those who are over 30 years of age should look for private health insurance providers.

However, they also have the option of registering with the standard public healthcare through their employer, in case they are working part-time in any institution. In case these students come to Germany for less than one semester, then they can use their European Health Insurance Card as travel health insurance coverage.

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