International Office

    Health Insurance

    If you wish to study in Germany you will need a health insurance. International students are not permitted to enroll at a German University without it.

    Health insurance provides the certainty that the costs of medical care and medications do not have to be paid privately in the event of an accident or illness.

    It is mandatory to insure yourself until you are 30 years old, or until your 14th study term.

    Many Studentenwerke offer Servicepakete for international students which, besides accommodation and meals, may also contain health insurance.

    1.) Choosing health insurance
    In Germany there are two kinds of health insurance, compulsory/public and private. Basically, up until you are 30 years old or until your 14th term of study you must have compulsory health insurance. Private health insurance is only allowed in exceptional cases. Please note: once you take out private health insurance you cannot revert to public health insurance!
    In most cases the public health insurance is the more reasonably priced version  - unless you are covered by your parents' health insurance.

    2.) Recognition of foreign health insurance
    With some countries, such as members of the European Union and the European Economic Area, Germany has a social security agreement. As long as you have public health insurance at home you can get this insurance coverage approved by a public health insurance company in Germany. But make sure you clarify at home which documents you will need to take with you! For students this is usually a European health insurance card (EHIC). Your insurance company will usually issue the EHIC free of charge.

    3.) Please note the following change that applies since the end of 2017: As soon as EU- or EEA-students take up a part time job or a paid internship, they have to apply for German health insurance.

    It is possible that your insurance will not cover all costs in Germany. Before you enter the country make sure you know exactly what services you are entitled to in Germany. If you do not have health insurance at home, you still have to insure yourself in Germany. 

    Sometimes private health insurance from other countries may also be recognised in Germany. You should clarify the exact details with your insurance.

    If your private health insurance is recognised then for the purpose of your enrolment at university you will need confirmation that you are exempt from taking out public health insurance. But be aware that for the duration of your studies you cannot change to public health insurance!

    For more information, please click here:

    First Aid – an illustrated Health Dictionary

    A basic vocabulary for health and illness in Germany.

    Download as PDF:

    Free print version (order form in German):