How to Insure Your Family in Germany

As an expat coming to Germany, you should know that registering for health insurance is one of the most important things you need to take care of before moving to the country. Health insurance is compulsory for everyone living in Germany. Therefore, if you’re planning to bring your relatives with you, we would like to offer you all the information on how to insure your family in Germany.

How does family insurance work in Germany?

First of all, you should know that there are two main types of health insurance in Germany: public health insurance (or statutory health insurance) and private health insurance (usually known as PKV in German). No matter what kind of insurance you’re registered at, all family members must also be insured.

The German health care system includes certain regulations for family insurance in order to make sure that everyone is equally covered. There is a so-called family co-insurance, in which dependent family members, such as spouses and children, are eligible to enrol for free with the health insurance provider in which the main family member is already insured. This is due to the fact that it is common for family members to remain unemployed for a while after they move to Germany.

Who can benefit from free family co-insurance?

Expats’ partners who receive no income or an income that does not exceed 470 euros per month (as of 2022) are eligible for this aid. In addition, partners who earn 450 euros with a part-time job or find themselves under marginal employment can also be covered at no cost.

Children are normally insured free of charge until they reach the age of 18. However,  this age limit might be raised under certain conditions:

  • If they are unemployed, they can be insured up to 23 years old.
  • If they are still enrolled in school, vocational training or are doing voluntary programs, they can be insured up to 25 years old.
  • If their education was interrupted by military or civilian service, they can be insured over 25 years old.
  • Permanently disabled children do not have an age limit to be covered free of charge.

What are the steps to insure your family in Germany?

Regardless of your relatives’ situation, you will have to fill in and send a form to your health insurance provider to include them in your insurance coverage. In this form, you have to specify the members you want to include, their previous economic situation and their current incomes.

If the family members you are planning to bring to Germany will work in the country, you will have to pay additional costs to insure them. In order to calculate the premium you will pay as a family, your health insurance will evaluate your partner’s gross salary as an employee, including regular annual bonuses; their income as freelancers (if applicable) and their income from investments, rentals or similar, as well as those coming from retirement insurance.

However, this is something your health insurance provider will take care of. You don’t need to worry about anything!

What kinds of insurance should families have?

As a rule of thumb, you should insure everything that could put you in an existential risk as a family. There is a list of different insurances that are not compulsory in Germany, but highly recommended for families.

  • Liability insurance. If you cause damage to someone else, you will be liable for it. In the worst case, this could lead to financial problems. The price you pay for this insurance is usually around 40-60 euros a year, which is why most families opt for it.
  • Disability insurance. Occupational disability insurance covers you if you lose your income due to occupational disability.
  • Term life insurance. Term life insurance secures the family income if one parent dies.
  • Homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance offers homeowners protection in the event of damage that could threaten their property or assets (e.g. storm, lightning, explosion, etc.). We only recommend this type of insurance if you own a house.
  • Objects insurance. Household objects insurance covers damage to the contents of your flat or house.


We hope that this article helped you understand how to insure your family in Germany. If you want to find out more information, do not hesitate to schedule a call with our insurance experts at MW Expat.

Student Health Insurance: A Guide for Studying in Germany

International students hoping to complete their education in Germany need to have Germany’s healthcare insurance before enrolling in school and obtaining a residence permit. German student health insurance is designed to be reasonable. The country requires students to pay the standard discounted sum for their insurance unless they have a job.

How to Get Health Insurance as a Student in Germany

Before arriving in the country, you will apply for a German student visa from a German embassy in your city. You will need a short-term travel health insurance plan to cover you for your initial stay while you procure your long-term international healthcare insurance. Then, before enrolling at your chosen university, you will need to contact a Krankenkasse, i.e., a health insurance company. Your chosen company will give you their plan and relevant details. You can study the plan and coverage and choose the student health insurance that works best. 

What Should Your Student Health Insurance Cover?

Your student healthcare insurance in Germany should cover the following:

  • In-patient and out-patient care
  • Regular medical check-ups
  • Medicine costs
  • Emergency services
  • Basic dental care
  • Pregnancy treatment
  • Funeral costs and repatriation of remains costs in case of death

Choices for Student International Healthcare Insurance in Germany

Germany offers two types of health insurance – public and private. Your eligibility for them depends on your age and education status. Let’s explore these two options:

Public Health Insurance for Students

Students under 30 enrolled in degree courses in Germany must have public health insurance. You cannot register at your university without a statutory/public health insurance certificate. Students in Germany only have to pay around 110 per month as their premium until they turn 30. 

However, you cannot register for Germany’s statutory health insurance if:

  • You already have an EU health insurance in your home country 
  • You are over 30
  • You are self-employed or working as a freelancer
  • You are not enrolled in a degree course in the country

Important Note: If you reside and work in Germany while studying and earning more than €450 each month, you will need to avail health insurance as a foreign worker. 

Suppose you wish to benefit from private health insurance as a student under 30. In that case, you will have to request an exemption certificate from the statutory health insurance within the first three months of starting your studies. Once you forfeit your public insurance, you cannot revert to it for the duration of your education unless you start earning and register yourself as an employee. 

On the flip side, you can get public health insurance without technical eligibility if you are:

  • Enrolled in compulsory training after getting your degree
  • Have to care for sick or disabled relatives
  • Have a disability or illness
  • Participate in a board conducted by your university
  • A recent parent

Private Health Insurance for Students 

You must purchase private health insurance in Germany if you are:

  • Over 30
  • Enrolled in a language or preparatory course
  • A PhD student 

Moreover, if you were covered by statutory health insurance before your PhD program, you can keep it or get private insurance. Since public insurance only covers basic needs, many students opt for additional private health insurance. 

Getting Proof of Student Health Insurance in the Country

Germany’s healthcare system requires you to have proof of your student health insurance. You will need to contact your private health insurance company and request an insurance certificate as proof. It will contain your insurance plan, coverage, and other details. With a private insurance plan, you will need proof from the public health insurance provider in your area that you are exempt from statutory health insurance and that your current private plan meets your needs. 

Health Insurance for Language or Preparatory Course Students 

In Germany, international students pursuing a preparatory course cannot obtain public health insurance. Instead, they need to have private health insurance until they pass their course exam known as Feststellungsprüfung, enabling them to enrol in a degree program. That is when they will become eligible for statutory health insurance. 

Students pursuing a language course are not eligible for public health insurance. They will become eligible once they enrol in a degree programme or find employment. 

Health Insurance for Exchange Students 

Exchange students studying in Germany are enrolled in degree programs, enabling them to benefit from public health insurance. They can use the discounted amount like full-time international students despite studying in the country for a semester or two. 

Health Insurance for PhD Students 

PhD students studying in Germany are typically over 30 years of age, which means they are not eligible for statutory health insurance. However, the type of health insurance they are eligible for depends on their employment status.

PhD. Members Teaching at a University

When a PhD student is employed at a university as a research assistant or lecturer, they will need to pay 7.3% of their salary, and their employer will match the percentage. Moreover, PhD students teaching at a university are often insured as employees in public insurance plans by the university as their payroll is not above the threshold to register with private insurers.  

Non-Teaching PhD Students

PhD students who are not staff members and are less than 30 years old are eligible for the discounted statutory health insurance. However, students over 30 should seek private health insurance providers. But if they are working part-time in any institute, they can consider registering for public health insurance through their employer. 

MW Expat offers convenient public and private health insurance to students studying in Germany. Together with our student insurance partner BARMER we will help you to find the best solution for your personal situation. Get in touch with us today to learn more!  

The Expat Guide to Health Insurance in Germany

Our Expat Guide to Health Insurance in Germany will provide you with everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision of what type of health insurance is best for you and you family.

Did you know that health insurance in Germany ranks number 12 worldwide, and the Euro Health Consumer Index puts it at the top of European countries due to its extensive range of recovery measures?

What makes German health insurance incredible is that you have full access to the healthcare system as an expat in the country, like every other German citizen. Moreover, Germany also requires you to show proof of health insurance while applying for a German visa.

So, let’s explore the German healthcare system and all you need to know to secure a health insurance plan as a new expat in the country:

What to Expect from Health Insurance in Germany

In Germany, health insurance is an obligation, i.e., all residents and expats are required to have some form of medical insurance in Germany. You can register with public health insurance (GVK) or private health insurance. Alternatively, you can choose GVK with supplemental private medical insurance.

Private vs. Statutory Health Insurance in Germany

So, what is the best health insurance in Germany? The answer is entirely dependent on you. That said, most German residents choose public health insurance as the private one requires you to be self-employed, non-eligible for public healthcare, earn more than the required salary threshold, and more. 

The significant difference between these two insurance types is that the bills in public insurance go directly to the insurance company. Still, the privately-insured individuals have to pay the medical bill and then receive reimbursement from the insurance provider. 

What Does Public Health Insurance Cover?

Statutory or public health insurance covers you for the following events:

  • Regular check-ups
  • Medical examination by a registered doctor
  • In- and out-patient care at a hospital
  • Certified sick notes
  • Prescription drugs
  • Pregnancy care
  • Health insurance for non-working dependents, such as children up to a certain age, spouse, and civil partner
  • Statutory sick pay (the employer will pay your wages of up to 6 weeks, and then you can continue to receive 70% of your net salary for a maximum of 78 weeks.

In Germany, public health insurance doesn’t cover prescription glasses or lenses, private hospital room treatment, alternative treatments, dental implants, and consultation hours with private doctors.

As a German citizen or expat living in the country, you need to join an insurance plan. Public/statutory health insurance is the standard plan for anyone earning less than 64,350€ every year. The cost of statutory health insurance will depend entirely on your salary. You will only have to contribute if you earn more than 850 euros a month. 

The health insurance contribution is 14.6% of your gross monthly income. You will have to pay this rate to any public health insurance provider.

However, the great news is that your employer will share half the contribution, i.e., they will have to pay 7.3% of your gross monthly salary with a cap of 4,687.5 euros each month. Your part of the contribution will get deducted from your salary every month. 

All You Need to Know About Private Health Insurance in Germany?

When it comes to private health insurance, you have great packages to choose from, determined by your budget and needs. You can go for the most expensive or the cheapest private health insurance in Germany. Whether you can switch from state to private insurance will depend on your employment status. If you earn more than €64,350 each year, you can apply for a private health insurance plan. 

But if you’re self-employed and earn more than the threshold, you can switch to private insurance. It works best for younger individuals with fewer health issues and significant salaries.

It’s because private insurance premiums are determined by personal factors, such as age, health risks, and family members on the plan. 

With that said, private health insurance does offer more extensive services and lower waiting times. You will also have access to doctors who are not available under a public insurance policy. Since these doctors only see private patients, it results in shorter waiting times. You can also look for a doctor who speaks your language. 

But private insurance in Germany doesn’t cover partners or children for free. Moreover, it requires you to pay the doctor’s fee upfront and then seek reimbursement later, which means you might have to remain on a tight budget after paying a hefty medical bill and waiting for the reimbursement. That said, you will likely get the total amount.

If you want to reduce your monthly premiums, you can choose a deduction fee, i.e., opt for a certain amount that you can pay for your treatments each year. Moreover, you are not obliged to stay with a company for 18 months in private insurance, but each insurance company might have different terms.

Now that you know about both types of insurance, you need to decide which insurance plan works best for you, depending on your salary, needs, and specific budget.

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