Health Insurance for International Students in Germany

All legal residents in Germany, including international students, must have health insurance.

There are two types of health insurance in Germany: public (statutory) and private health insurance. If you are enrolled in a degree program in Germany, you are eligible for public (statutory) health insurance, which is not always the case for preparatory course students, language students, or Ph.D. students.

All students are required to have an insurance plan in Germany, but depending on where you come from, you might be eligible to use the plan you already have in your home country. You should consult your university鈥檚 international office for more details but we鈥檒l make sure to give you all the information we can in the meantime.

Is Health Insurance Mandatory for International Students?

Yes, health insurance in Germany is mandatory for international students. You will not be able to get a student visa without travel insurance or enroll at university (when you arrive) if you do not have health insurance.

German law requires all legal residents to be insured in the healthcare system. German healthcare is strictly regulated and renowned for its quality. Having health insurance makes it easier to access healthcare and avoid high medical bills.

Going to the doctor in Germany without insurance costs around 鈧30 to 鈧60 for a simple consultation. While this may not seem much in theory, this is just the cost of a simple consultation, which means other costs add up, leading to expensive medical bills, often too expensive when on a student budget.

This is why health insurance being mandatory for international students in Germany should be considered a good thing and not an inconvenience.

Is Health Insurance Mandatory for International Students in Germany

Who Needs Health Insurance?

Everyone does. All international students need health insurance in Germany.

However, if you are from the following countries, you may use the insurance from back home:

  • EU/EEA Countries
  • Switzerland
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • North Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • Serbia
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey

Just make sure you contact your health insurance provider from your home country to discuss the technicalities, such as what and how much they can cover while you are in Germany.

Who Needs Health Insurance in Germany

Public Health Insurance in Germany: Who Can Get It?

You can get public (statutory) health insurance in Germany if you are under the age of 30 and are studying a degree program, such as a bachelor鈥檚 or master鈥檚 degree.

This online tool by TK and DR-Walter can help you determine the type of insurance you can get.

How Much Does Public Health Insurance in Germany Cost?

Public health insurance costs in Germany range from 鈧120 to 鈧130 per month. The cost depends on factors such as age, whether or not you have children, and, of course, the provider 鈥 although there is not a big difference in cost among providers, as you will see listed below in just a while.

Public health insurance policies usually come at a discounted price for students, so the prices you see are some of the best in Germany in terms of affordability. Students only pay 70% () of the general contribution rate ().

Here鈥檚 a list to get a better idea of how much students pay for public health insurance in Germany:

Health Insurance Provider Health Insurance Contribution聽 Nursing Care Insurance Contribution Total/Month*
BKK firmus 鈧90,29 鈧32,48 鈧122,77
hkk Krankenkasse 鈧90,94 鈧32,48 鈧123,42
Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) 鈧92,73 鈧32,48 鈧125,21
HEK – Hanseatische Krankenkasse 鈧93,54 鈧32,48 鈧126,02
BKK ProVita 鈧95,09 鈧32,48 鈧127,57
Continentale BKK 鈧95,98 鈧32,48 鈧128,46
DAK Gesundheit 鈧96,79 鈧32,48 鈧129,27

*Remember, these amounts can vary slightly, either up or down, depending on factors such as your age and whether or not you have children (+ the number of children you have). So, if you simply contact the company of your choice, they will be glad to let you know their specific rates for your circumstances.

On Feather-Insurance, you can sign up for public health insurance today and get a price estimate in just a few clicks – all in English!聽

Why use Feather?

  • Digital signup – 100% digital, without unnecessary paperwork or waiting times.
  • Free to use – They’ve partnered with public insurance providers to help you sign up easily.
  • No German needed – Every part of the Feather experience is in English.

Click now to get your free quote for public health insurance and discover how affordable and comprehensive coverage can be.

Public Health Insurance in Germany

After Turning 30

If you become ineligible for public health insurance (e.g., you turn 30 years old), some companies can still extend your plan but this time on a voluntary basis. But, you will no longer be eligible for student discount rates.

With TK, for example, the amount will be based on your income. If you do not have an income, you will pay the minimum contribution (which is around 鈧226.24). You will get more or less the same price in other public health insurance companies as well. Of course, here too, factors like whether or not you have children (and how many) will be considered.

What Does Public Health Insurance Cover?

Public health insurance in Germany covers the following:

  • GP (general practitioner) appointments.
  • In-hospital treatment.
  • Out-patient treatments.
  • Prescription medication.
  • Surgery.
  • Cancer screening.
  • Maternity benefits.
  • Basic dental care.

If you want to visit a doctor, you must set an appointment with any doctor registered in the public healthcare system, known as Kassen盲rzte. Such doctors usually have signs on their doors specifying they are part of the public health insurance scheme.

Remember that purchasing additional private health insurance is possible if you want to claim more benefits, such as more advanced dental services or private hospital rooms.

Private Health Insurance in Germany: Who Can Get It?

Some students are not eligible for public health insurance in Germany and must get a private health insurance plan. This includes:

  • Students who are over 30 years of age. (Provisit Student).
  • Preparatory and language course students.聽(Educare24).
  • Post-graduate students, guest scientists, and scholarship holders without an employment contract.聽(Provisit Science).
  • Freelancers or self-employed students. (Feather Insurance).

If you belong to any of the groups mentioned above, you should know there are some pretty convenient private health insurance plans out there. So, don鈥檛 worry about costs, benefits, or visa requirements.

For example, EDUCARE24 by DR-WALTER is made specifically for students who belong to the above categories, meaning it will provide exactly what you need to meet all the requirements set by German authorities.

On the other hand, Provisit Student is an extremely convenient alternative to public health insurance for students who are not eligible. It鈥檚 ideal for students over 29 years old and it meets all the regulatory requirements!

There are other private health insurance plans and companies you can choose from, apart from the ones we mentioned here. But, this information gives you a good idea in terms of what鈥檚 out there and how private plans can be beneficial and affordable, so you don鈥檛 need to stress about that.

How Much Does Private Health Insurance in Germany Cost?

Private health insurance costs in Germany are budget-friendly for students. You can purchase a plan for as little as 鈧33 per month with Educare24 if you鈥檙e attending a Studienkolleg (preparatory course), internship, a summer university, or taking a language course in Germany.

On the other hand, plans for degree students (meaning those enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master鈥檚 program) start at 鈧79 per month with Provisit Student.

Overall, the cost is pretty much the same as public health insurance.

Let鈥檚 make it simpler and more specific! If you鈥檙e planning to study at the Bachelor鈥檚 or Master鈥檚 level, and for one reason or another, you do not want to get public insurance or are not eligible, here鈥檚 what you would pay with Provisit Student:

Monthly Premium Health and Long-Term Care Insurance*
Up to 29 years 鈧79.00
Up to 59 years 鈧129.00

*There are variations of costs for people over 59 years old or for accompanying spouses and children; you can take a look at them on the official health insurance provider website.

Private Health Insurance in Germany

What Does Private Health Insurance in Germany Cover?

Private health insurance in Germany covers the same services as public (statutory) health insurance, such as GP appointments, in-hospital treatment, outpatient treatments, dental treatment, operations, and maternity services.

One difference is that private health insurance allows you to include additional benefits, such as advanced dental treatment or other benefits, depending on your circumstances and needs.

For this reason, many people eligible for public health insurance combine some part of private insurance with their existing insurance policy.

How to Get Health Insurance as an International Student in Germany?

To get health insurance in Germany as an international student, start by contacting the health insurance company of your choice.

Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) has a 24/7 service in English, which makes communication pretty simple for non-German speakers. Which is convenient!

The most helpful thing ever, a.k.a. the collab we didn鈥檛 know we needed! 猬囷笍

Registering with TK will give you up to 31 days of free private insurance with DR-WALTER, which you will use before beginning your studies. You can show this free insurance to the visa authorities since your long-term insurance only becomes available after the semester starts.

Here鈥檚 where to begin if you want to get health insurance as an international student in Germany:

  1. Check the free online consultation tool by DR-WALTER (to see which type of insurance you need).
  2. Fill out the application form that appears after selecting the category you belong to.
  3. Pay after you arrive in Germany.

After successfully applying, you will receive the Student Health Insurance Certificate that you will use to enroll at your chosen university. You will also receive another certificate, separate from the first one, to use for the visa application process.

Is Health Insurance Required for the German Student Visa?

Well, technically, you need travel insurance for your student visa. But you will not be able to enroll at university, when you get to Germany, without health insurance (like the ones we have been discussing here).

This is why DR-WALTER (private) and Techniker Krankenkasse (public)聽have collaborated to provide one month of free private insurance before studies (to use for your visa application) and public insurance you can use after studies begin!

What About the Interval Between My Arrival and University Start Date?

Good question!

If you鈥檙e eligible for public (statutory) health insurance, you will need another health insurance plan for the period between your arrival and the start of your studies. This is known as 鈥渋ncoming travel insurance鈥 and it鈥檚 very easy to get, considering the public health insurance fund Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) has collaborated with the private health insurance fund DR-WALTER to make this process completely hassle-free.

Basically, if you choose Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) as your public health insurance provider, they solve this problem for you!

On the other hand, if you鈥檙e not eligible for public health insurance (you鈥檙e either over 30 years old or attending a non-degree program in Germany), this will not be a problem since private health insurance companies can arrange your plan according to your arrival date.

In any case, you will need travel health insurance if you arrive before the start of your studies, so you can be insured in that interval as well.

Anything Else I Should Know?聽

Glad you asked!聽

There鈥檚 this important thing that concerns you in terms of how health insurance companies and universities report to one another when it comes to you as an insured student enrolled at a state or state-recognized university in Germany.聽

Here鈥檚 what you should know, and this is all according to the Social Code ():听

  • Universities and the Foundation for University Admissions must inform you, as a prospective student, about your obligation to have statutory health insurance, the exemption options, and the procedures to be followed.聽
  • You must be able to prove to your university you have health insurance before enrolling.聽
    • You must also be able to show proof in case you are exempt from compulsory insurance, for one reason or another.

What your health insurance company must report to your university:

  • Your insurance status, including your name, address, date of birth, and your health insurance number.
  • Delay in your contribution payments.
  • Settlement of outstanding contributions (settled overdue payments).

In case you change your health insurance company, the new company must immediately inform the university of the start of insurance. In turn, the university must immediately inform the health insurance company of the date of your enrollment and the start of the semester.

This leads us to what your university must report to your health insurance company:

  • The date of your enrollment and the start of the semester.
  • The end of the semester (when you finish university) or the date of your exmatriculation, in case this is before the semester ends.

I鈥檓 Still Confused!

In a nutshell:

  • You need health insurance in Germany as a student because Germany is very strict about healthcare.
  • If you鈥檙e under 30 years old and attending a degree program (Bachelor鈥檚 or Master鈥檚), you can get public health insurance in Germany. Students usually like this option because of the student public health insurance rates (discussed above). When you turn 30, you become ineligible for public health insurance, even if you鈥檙e attending a degree program, but you can still extend your plan on a voluntary basis.
  • If you鈥檙e attending a PhD program (you鈥檙e over 30 and not employed by your university), or a non-degree program (preparatory course, language course, internship, exchange program, etc.), you will need to apply for private health insurance.
  • Both insurance types are affordable for students, so whichever you choose is fine.
  • Both insurance types cover basic services such as GP appointments, in-hospital treatment, outpatient treatments, dental treatment, etc., but the difference is that with private health insurance, you have the option to add a few more benefits to your plan, such as more advanced dental services.
  • You can combine your public health insurance plan with a private plan if you want more benefits/coverage.