Health insurance is mandatory in Germany for researchers and accompanying family members. You need the health insurance certificate for the issuance of a residence permit and the conclusion of an employment contract. The insurance must at least cover medical treatment in case of acute illness and accidents.
The two types of health insurance coverage in Germany are the statutory health insurance and the private health insurance:
- If you fund your stay in Germany independently or by means of a fellowship, you are required by law take out private medical insurance.
- If you have signed an employment contract, you are required by law to take out German statutory health insurance.
The following exceptions apply to the mandatory health insurance rule:
- EU citizens
- Your stay in Germany is scheduled to last no longer than 3 months and your home country health insurance covers medical costs in the amount of at least 30.000 euros.
- You are a citizen of a country which Germany has a social security agreement with (please ask the Welcome Center for more information).
Statutory health insurance
The level of contributions to statutory health insurance plans is standardized to 14,6% (as of 01/01/2021). In addition, there is the additional contribution of 1.3% to the health insurance funds. The health insurance contributions are deducted directly from the employee's gross salary.
The employer pays half of the total costs, i.e. currently 7.95% and the employee contribution is therefore also 7.95%.
You can also insure your spouse and your children with one of the statutory insurance companies as long as they are registered in Germany and live in the same household with you.
The benefits of a statutory health insurance plan are, for the most part, also standardized. There are differences in customer service, additional benefits and optional premiums. You are free to choose your statutory health insurance company.
If you need more information, please ask the Welcome Center.
Private Health Insurance
Unlike the statutory health insurance plans, private health insurance premiums are not income-driven, but rather depend on your health risk profile such as age, occupation, health, as well as type of coverage desired. The more comprehensive the package, the more expensive it becomes. Privately insured patients receive invoices, which they pay and submit the payment receipt to the insurance company for a refund. Each family member needs to be individually insured.
An overview of private health insurances with sufficient coverage can be found at EURAXESS Germany.
an information brochure from the German Student Union explains what needs to be considered when it comes to health and in the event of illness.