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.