Health insurance for international students in Germany

Germany is known as the country of regulations and insurances. These two characteristics come together when it comes to living in Germany, which includes your studies as well. It is mandatory by law for all students here to prove that they have sufficient health insurance for their whole studies. Otherwise, enrolment at a German university is not possible, or the university is forced to exmatriculate the student.

Fortunately, there are different health insurance companies from which you can choose, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Keep on reading to find out more about student health insurance in Germany.

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Why you need health insurance as an international student in Germany

Legal Obligation

Germany has a mandatory health insurance requirement for all residents, including international students. This is part of the country’s comprehensive healthcare system that ensures access to medical services for everyone. Health insurance helps cover the costs of medical treatment, doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, and other healthcare services.

Having health insurance also helps international students manage healthcare costs, ensuring that you receive the necessary medical attention without financial strain.

Requirement for visa application

You will probably be confronted with the German health insurance system for the first time when applying for your German student visa. To obtain a visa for Germany, you typically must prove that you have incoming or travel health insurance.

This insurance should cover your medical needs upon arrival and during your travel to Germany. Usually, it must cover the first three to six months of your stay, depending on the requirements of your local Germany embassy or consulate.

You also need to provide confirmation of private or public health insurance (a.k.a governmental or statutory health insurance) that will cover you for the rest of your stay in Germany.

What is the difference between the two confirmations?

Travel health insurance requires a paid insurance policy or an equivalent to that.

For private or governmental health insurance, a confirmation of your application is usually sufficient. This is mainly because most health insurance providers can only insure you once you are residing in Germany. Therefore, they do not conclude actual contracts with you in advance.

Requirement for university enrolment

While travel health insurance is sufficient for your visa application, it will not be adequate for your studies in Germany. This is regardless of whether you participate in a preparatory course at a Studienkolleg or start with your actual studies already.

When enrolling at your university, it is mandatory to provide adequate health insurance coverage during the full course of your studies. You can choose any student health insurance in Germany you want as long as it meets the university’s requirements.

Below you will find more information on public and private health insurance.

Regardless of the insurance type you choose, it is crucial to ensure that you pay your contributions on time. Otherwise, the health insurance provider can contact your university which can lead to your exmatriculation.

Public health insurance for international students

Public health insurance is often the suitable choice for most international students. You can enrol at a German university with the student tariffs of governmental health insurance providers. This applies if your university is state recognised and as long as you are below 30 years old. If you fulfil these requirements, the fees you have to pay every month depend on the health insurance provider you choose.

The fees are always based on a state-regulated base amount, to which health insurance companies can add additional fees. Please note that you will be insured for both, health insurance and nursing care insurance (“Pflegeversicherung”). These two insurances are always connected and are both mandatory. Costs for both change frequently, approximately every one or two years.

Furthermore, students above 23 years of age with no children have to pay an extra amount for nursing care insurance. Considering that, in the student tariff, the base amount you will have to pay for public health insurance is around 82.99 €. The amount for nursing care insurance would vary between 20 € and 33 €.

Most insurances usually add between 3.00 € and 13.00 € per month on top. The total would then add up to an average of 124.40 € per month.

If you are above 30 or your university is not state-recognised, you cannot have the student tariff of governmental health insurance. If you still wish to have governmental health insurance, you can voluntarily apply for it.

For this, you will have to provide proof of income and a residence permit with at least 12 months of validity. In addition, you will need to present your application for voluntary membership to the insurance provider of your choice. The prices here vary but will likely be around € 200.00 per month.

University enrollment with public health insurance

With public health insurance, you will be able to enrol at any university without any problems. When enrolling, you will have to provide your insurance documents to the university. These documents usually include the following three components:

  • Meldung der Hochschule über die Einschreibung“ (loosely translates to “Notification of the university about enrolment“)
  • Versicherungsbescheinigung“ (Insurance confirmation)
  • Meldung der Hochschule über Beendigung des Studiums“ (loosely translates to “Notification of the university about exmatriculation“)

The first notification is needed to inform your governmental health insurance provider about the university you are enrolled at. Your university will fill out this form and send it over to your insurance. That way, your personal information and the start of your studies will be transmitted to the insurance company.

Your insurance contribution will then be deducted from the date of enrollment indicated in this notification. After handing in the “Meldung der Hochschule über die Einschreibung”, your contract will be finalised with the specified insurance company. After this point, changing your insurance provider will not be possible for the next 12 months!

The second document, the “Versicherungsbescheinigung” notifies the university with which insurance provider you are insured. This document will remain at the university for the whole period of your studies.

Lastly, the “Notification of the university about exmatriculation” will also remain at your university. It will be filled in by them when you end your studies and then sent to your insurance provider. This will inform your insurer about the termination of your studies. Your contract will either be terminated or changed accordingly if you start working in Germany directly after your studies.

Public student health insurance in Germany with DAK Gesundheit

Advantages of DAK for international students

DAK-Gesundheit is one of the most reputable public health insurance providers in Germany. Moreover, DAK was named the top health insurance provider for young people by the German Financial Service Institute’s Großen GKV-Guide and Focus Money.

In addition, DAK-Gesundheit offers a wide range of extra services on top of what is required by law. Here are some benefits of having your student health insurance with DAK:

  • Telephone service to help you schedule an appointment with a specialist and get doctor recommendations
  • Multi-lingual customer service with over 20 languages available
  • Coverage of preventative services like vaccines, STD screening, and health check-ups
  • Higher cashback for various health services (e.g. €60 cashback for professional teeth cleaning)
  • Live-chat with consultants for questions about health insurance

Get publicly insured with DAK Gesundheit

Embarking on your academic journey in Germany? Secure your health and well-being with DAK-Gesundheit’s trusted public health insurance. Benefit from comprehensive coverage, affordable premiums, and a vast network of healthcare providers. Stay focused on your studies while we take care of your health needs.

Private health insurance for international students

While public health insurance is the most common choice, private health insurance can be suitable for certain students based on their individual circumstances. This insurance is more attractive and easier to apply for students above 30 or those at non-government-recognised institutions. This is because the student tariffs of public health insurance are not available for these groups.

If you are a student who does not fit into either of the two categories above but still prefers private insurance, you need to request an exemption from governmental health insurance. This exemption is also known as “Befreiung von der gesetzlichen Krankenversicherungspflicht” in German. You will need to request it from any governmental health insurance provider within the first 3 months after your enrollment.

If you do not submit the exemption to your university on time, you’ll be automatically enrolled in public health insurance.

Learn more about how private health insurance generally works in Germany here.

Once you are privately insured, you cannot go back into a public insurance plan. There are two exceptions to this rule:

  1. If you start working and are obligated to have statutory health insurance.
  2. If you finish your studies and start a new course that is not directly related to your current studies.

To sum it up, in the first 3 months of your studies, you can choose if you want to have private or public insurance. After this period is over and you made your decision, changing your choice becomes very difficult.

Private student health insurance in Germany with MAWISTA Student

Advantages of MAWISTA Student

MAWISTA is one of the industry leaders in Germany for customised private health insurance solutions. Here are some reasons why it is ideal for all eligible international students:

  • Not only for Bachelor’s and Master’s students but also language and preparatory course students
  • Valid for up to 60 months with automatic termination in the case of a switch to public health insurance
  • Choose between the Classic or Comfort tariffs
  • The Comfort tariff offers an insurance card that makes verification at the doctor’s seamless

Get privately insured with MAWISTA Student

MAWISTA Student’s private health insurance is perfect for international students in Germany. From customized coverage to budget-friendly premiums, you are covered. Stay protected during your academic journey in Germany – opt for MAWISTA Student and enjoy peace of mind.

Difference between private and public health insurance

Private health insurance covers at least the same minimum services as public health insurance. However, with private health insurance, you have the possibility to “customise” your package more. Many providers offer basic, medium and luxury packages, with increasing services and prices.

Private health insurance has a distinct feature. It does not cover any diseases or circumstances that occurred before you were insured with the company. This includes for example chronic diseases and pregnancy.

Also note that in private health insurance, you first pay your doctor, medication and treatment bills yourself. Afterwards, you hand in the receipt to your insurance provider.

View a more detailed comparison table showcasing the main differences between private and public health insurance here.

That’s a lot of information. What am I supposed to do now?

Whichever health insurance you choose, you will be covered by a legally defined minimum. This means you will not be burdened with a stack of health-related invoices. The Fintiba Plus package is a specially designed choice for international students, customised to meet your specific needs and circumstances.

By choosing Fintiba Plus, you will automatically be assigned a student health insurance in Germany that suits your needs best. This means you do not have to worry about anything. Does this sound interesting to you? Get Fintiba Plus now. It includes both the blocked account and health insurance coverage needed for your visa application and your stay in Germany!

Everything you need for a smooth start to your studies

The Fintiba Plus package simplifies the start of your studies. With this bundle you already have most of the requirements for your stay in Germany covered. It consists of a blocked account, tailor-made health insurance and many other benefits.

Fintiba step by step guide

The Fintiba Companion: Guiding your way to Germany step-by-step

Never miss an important step on your journey to Germany. From preparing your university application to mastering your visa application and navigating through daily life in Germany – the Fintiba Companion provides you with relevant information throughout all important stages of your German adventure within a comprehensive checklist – tailored to your individual situation.

Last update: August 29, 2023