A Guide to German Health Insurance for Preparatory Course, Language, Exchange and PhD StudentsThe importance of student health insurance in Germany is twofold. It not only ensures you in situations requiring medical assistance, but it is also an essential requirement in order to be granted a study visa for Germany.

The law in Germany requires everyone to have health insurance, including international students.

While students enrolled in degree programmes are eligible to take public health insurance, students in preparatory or language courses and students over the age of 30 are required to get private health insurance plans.

In this guide, we will show you exactly what you need to know about student health insurance in Germany, your eligibility, requirements for your student visa, costs, and how to pick a health insurance plan that is both affordable and covers everything you need as an international student.

Table of contents:

Health Insurance for Foreign Students in Germany

If you are a student under the age of 30 enrolled in a degree programme at a German university, you can choose to register with a public health insurance provider so you can benefit from the statutory health insurance scheme.

Students over 30 years old, language and preparatory course students, PhD students, and guest scientists, however, only have the possibility of getting private health insurance.

International students who come from countries in the EU, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Tunisia and Turkey, are not required to get additional health insurance because their public insurance plans from their home countries are valid in Germany. Additionally, they should make sure to check with their health insurance provider in order to find the services they will be entitled to once they arrive in Germany since there is a possibility that the health insurance company from their home country will not cover all costs in Germany.

However, if an EU/EEA student is doing a student job or paid internship in Germany, they have to be insured with a German public health insurance provider. 

The following categories are not eligible for the public German health insurance scheme:

  • Students who have health insurance in their home country and it is recognized in Germany.
  • Students who are 30+ years of age.
  • Students who are working as freelancers or are self-employed.
  • Students who are not enrolled in degree programmes in Germany (e.g: preparatory or language courses).
  • Post-graduate students and scholarship holders (without a contract of employment).
  • Guest Scientists and Researchers.

What should you do if you belong to one of the categories above?

Your only option is to get private health insurance with one of the private Germany student health insurance providers. The health insurance plan EDUCARE24 by a well known German health insurance company DR-WALTER is a perfect choice for all foreign students.

The benefits you get with EDUCARE24:

  • It meets all German study visa requirements
  • Acceptable by all German Embassies/Consulates
  • Independent of student status
  • Health insurance without deductible
  • Easy to purchase/get the policy online and receive your insurance certificate as well as all the other documents you need for embassies and authorities within minutes.

EDUCARE24 can be purchased in different combinations which are exactly tailored to the needs of:

  • Language students
  • Foreign students
  • Guest scientists and PhDs
  • Interns/Trainees
  • Accompanying family members

Keep in mind that health insurance is an official requirement to get a German student visa, as well as to enrol at a German university.

How much does student health insurance in Germany cost?

Health insurance for international students costs from €103.94 – €111.75 per month with a public health insurance provider, and it covers basic healthcare as well as long-term care insurance.

Public health insurance contributions for 2019/20 are as follows:

  • TK – Techniker Krankenkasse 105,80 € (€103.94 per month for students up to the age of 22)
  • AOK Baden Württemberg 107,29 €
  • Barmer 108,77 €
  • KKH – Kaufmännische Krankenkasse 111,75 €

Private health insurance in Germany costs starts at around €33 per month, and increase depending on what extra services you opt for and whether your stay is going to be 18 months or longer.

If you want to calculate how much you will have to pay for health insurance in Germany, you can use this free tool.

How to get statutory health insurance in Germany as a foreign student?

Techniker Krankenkasse (TK)Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) is one of the most popular public health insurers in Germany, offering low-cost prices and an outstanding service. It is most popular with students, whether they are domestic or international. One of the services TK provides is also an online 24/7 service in English for all those who do not speak the German language.

How can I conclude TK student health insurance online?

You do not have to find out yourself whether you can take out TK student insurance in order to insure yourself for your stay in Germany. Because, DR-WALTER in cooperation with TK has developed an online consulting tool which will not only help you identify your insurance needs but, also will allow you to directly apply for insurance.

In case you need private health insurance in addition to statutory health insurance, e.g. if you arrive a few days before the beginning of your studies, the tool developed by DR-WALTER and TK will find out the ideal insurance combination, too.

What does health insurance for international students cover?

As mentioned, degree students up to the age of 29 can get public health insurance such as the statutory health insurance fund Techniker Krankenkasse. This health insurance provider pays for your health-related issues the likes of costs for visits to doctors, treatment, medication, screening examinations, rehabilitation, and basic dentist treatments with the TK dental partners. For example, if you need dentures, TK only pays a part of the whole sum (after you have submitted an application to TK).

On the other hand, the GERMAN STUDENT INSURANCE by DR-WALTER is a customized insurance plan for international students in Germany. It is basically an affordable, combined insurance offering both public and private health insurance services. Apart from offering both statutory and private insurance services, there are also other advantages to the German Student Insurance. Since proof of German health insurance is required for your student visa application, this insurance solution is recognized by all official bodies, meaning you will get an immediate confirmation document that you can use as proof of your health insurance.

Health Insurance for Preparatory Course Students in Germany

Everyone in Germany is required by law to have health insurance, so even preparatory course students in Germany must get insured. However, since these students are not yet enrolled in their degree programme, they cannot register with a provider of public health insurance for international students and will have to get a private health insurance plan.

By the end of their preparatory course, these students should pass an exam known as Feststellungsprüfung which will allow them to enrol in their degree programme. As a result, they will be eligible to register with statutory health insurance providers. However, until that happens, preparatory course students must have health insurance, in this case from private health insurance providers in Germany, like EDUCARE24 by DR-WALTER.

Health Insurance for Language Course Students in Germany

Students enrolled in language courses in Germany must also have student health insurance. However, it should be kept in mind that these students are not eligible for public health insurance. Instead, they should register with a private health insurance provider and they only can register with public providers once they are enrolled in a degree programme or find work.

It is always important to be aware of the services that private health insurances offer before signing a contract. Our recommendation would be EDUCARE24 by DR-WALTER, who is a low-cost private health insurance provider, offering some of the best services out there, always making sure all your health-related needs are met.

Health Insurance for Exchange Students in Germany

Getting health insurance as an exchange student in Germany is pretty simple. Exchange students are usually in Germany for a short period of time, typically one semester. It is possible for these students to rely on their European Health Insurance Card to cover healthcare services. However, exchange students are usually part of degree programmes which means that they will be eligible to take up public (statutory) health insurance and make use of the student discounted amount like full-time foreign students in Germany.

Health Insurance for PhD Students in Germany

Since PhD students in Germany are usually over the age of 30, they are not eligible for the public health insurance plan. When it comes to PhD students the type of health insurance they are eligible for depends on whether these students are employed by their university or not. PhD students can be divided into two categories:

  • PhD students who are staff members of the university.
  • PhD students who are not staff members of the university.

PhD students who are staff members of the university

In case a PhD student is employed by their university in either a lecturing position or as a research assistant, they will be required to pay the contribution of 7.3% matched by another 7.3% from their employer.

In addition, PhD students employed by the university are not required to take care of the health care insurance on their own since it is usually taken care of by the university. They are insured as employees in public insurance plans since it is unlikely that their payroll is above the threshold that gives them the possibility to register with private insurers.

PhD students who are not staff members of the university

PhD students who are not staff members of the university and are aged under 30 are eligible to register for the discounted public health insurance. However, those who are over 30 years of age should look for private health insurance providers.

However, they also have the option of registering with the standard public healthcare through their employer, in case they are working part-time in any institution. In case these students come to Germany for less than one semester, then they can use their European Health Insurance Card as travel health insurance cover.

Other types of health insurance for Expats in Germany: