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!  

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