You already chose Germany as your next Masters study destination or you consider it, and you are wondering about all the specific requirements and things to do before you go there. Well, we are here to help with one of the obligatory things that every international student in Germany needs – statutory health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung (GKV)).
International students without health insurance are not allowed to enroll at German universities. In other words: you need to start thinking about this matter early on. Proof of health insurance is an obligatory part of your enrolment documents in Germany. The purpose of health insurance is that you won’t need to pay on your own if you need to go to a hospital due to an accident or illness.
Here comes the good news: if your country is part of the European Union, the EEA or one of the other countries that Germany has an agreement with – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Israel, Lichtenstein, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Morocco, Norway, Switzerland, Tunisia and Turkey - your health insurance will also be valid in Germany. However, you will still need to contact a statutory health insurance provider in Germany, who will have to recognise your existing health insurance.
Depending on your country of origin, there might be differences between the services covered by your health insurance in your home country and in Germany.
You can ask the institutions in your country for help and issue your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – the card assures that you have health insurance and you can use it in the entire European Union and some other countries. Naturally, it will cover the expenses in case of an emergency or an accident.
Tip: Don’t forget that you can always ask the international office at the university you are applying at. They will help you with the insurance documents and everything else.
If your home country health insurance is not recognised by the German universities, you will have to get German insurance. The health insurance providers in Germany are obliged by law to offer affordable insurances to students up to 30 years of age, until they finish their 14th subject-related semester. The tariff amounts to approximately €80 per month, and it can vary due to the different providers, that offer different coverage and extras.
There are around 110 companies that offer health insurance in Germany. You can choose whichever you want. Here is a list – called Krankenkassen - where you can read more about each company offering this service. All you need to do is contact them and they will guide you through the whole application process.
You can read more about statutory health insurance (GKV).
In Germany, having statutory health insurance will cover some of the simple dental procedures or dental emergencies. However, you might be asked for some co-payment money. If you require a major dental work like crowns and dentures, your health insurance will cover only part of the cost.
What students can do is to take dental insurance as an addition to their health insurance plan or as stand-alone insurance. The price isn’t that high and amounts around €10 to €20. Just read carefully what it offers and know what you need.