Health insurance: Valid health insurance is really important

If you’d like to study in Germany, you have to have health insurance. You will need to present proof of health insurance when you enrol at university and apply for a residence permit. Make sure to take care of your health insurance status before you come to Germany.

by the Editors

Different health insurance cards  © DAAD/contentküche
German health insurance cards . © DAAD/contentküche

The first thing you should do is to find out whether your health insurance policy in your home country is also valid in Germany.

Health insurance policies which are valid in Germany

Public health insurance plans from the following countries are also valid in Germany:

Member states of the European Union, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Morocco, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Tunisia and Turkey.

Germany has signed social security agreements with these countries. With your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), any medical treatment you require in Germany is covered.


The Studentenwerk at numerous universities offers service packs for international students which include a room in a student hall of residence, meal tickets and health insurance coverage.

Private domestic and foreign health insurance policies from other countries may also be recognised in Germany. You should inquire about the details with your health insurance provider before leaving home. If your (public or private) health insurance policy from your home country is recognised, then you will need confirmation that you are exempted from public health insurance coverage when you enrol. In this case, when you arrive in Germany and before you enrol at your German university, contact a German health insurance provider in your town and have them issue you a letter certifying that you are insured. (It’s a good idea to ask the International Office about which health insurance provider to contact). Bear in mind that once this confirmation is issued, you will no longer be allowed to sign up for German public health insurance for the duration of your studies!

What to do if your insurance is not recognised

If your health insurance policy from your home country is not recognised in Germany, you will have to sign up for coverage in Germany. A public health insurance policy costs about 110 euros a month until you reach the age of 30 or have completed your 14th subject-related semester at university. After that, the monthly premium jumps to 190 euros or more per month.

In any case, it’s important to clarify your health insurance status before you begin your trip to Germany! In order to enrol and apply for a residence permit, you have to present confirmation of health insurance coverage. Your health insurance provider in your home country and the International Office at the university of your choice would be happy to assist you further.

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