As a rule, all students enrolled at German state universities, state colleges and universities of applied sciences as well as anyone who completes practical training stipulated in the study regulations for a degree course are subject to compulsory health insurance and furthermore, since 1.1.1995, also to compulsory nursing care insurance.
Dispensation of the Obligation to Insure
Health insurance starts with the beginning of the semester, the first day insured will be the day of your registration or re-registration. Students subject to compulsory insurance must provide proof of valid health insurance upon registration. We recommend dispensation from the obligation to insure only if you are insured by some other insurance institution (private and/or statutory).
Any decision for or against German public health insurance is final and may not be revoked during the whole period of studies. Application for dispensation has to be made within in three months from the beginning of the obligation to insure. Once dispensation from the obligation to insure during studies is granted, students may only insure themselves with German public health insurances after they finished their studies and start working.
Private Health Insurance
Students may also contract health insurance with private insurance companies. You will have to pay medical treatment costs in advance and subsequently ask for reimbursement. Private insurance companies may also charge risk supplements. Private insurance is only possible once the obligation to insure has expired or in case of dispensation from obligation to insure. Dispensation will only be granted if the insurance cover provided by the private insurance company extends to the same medical field covered by public health companies (so called full coverage). If so, private insurance is normally considerably more expensive than the student fees of public health insurances. Private insurance can therefore only be recommended in cases where extended insurance coverage is provided and where security is provided for the complete period of studies (e.g. by the parents). As already mentioned in the paragraph “Dispensation of the Obligation to Insure” your choice of insurance is irrevocable for the full duration of your studies.
At the end of the mandatory period of insurance, private insurance may well be a financial alternative to those students who are not able to afford insurance in a public health insurance company, for, at that time, private insurance cover below full coverage is admissible.
Conclusion: there are special offers for students which only cover minimum risks (e.g. hospital, surgery, basic dentistry) and are, therefore, far cheaper than the student’s tariff of public health insurances. Remember, this solution is better than no insurance at all!
Continuation of Home Insurance
If you are insured against medical risks and nursing care risks in your home country such insurance may be continued in Germany in accordance with the “Agreement of Social Insurance” of your home country with the German Federal Republic. Upon registrations please produce your EHIC-Card (European Health Insurance Card) from your home country or, alternately, the E 111 form.
If you need medical care you fetch a “Behandlungsschein”, e.g. a form 80 or 81, from any German public health insurance company; medical services will then be charged to the insurance company delivering the form. This company will, in turn, settle accounts with your home insurance company.
This arrangement seems actually very attractive for students from EU-countries; one should however bear in mind that the German insurance company pays only for clear medical risks comparable to the coverage provided by travel insurances (and, therefore, does not cover medical check-ups or treatment of chronic disease).
Furthermore, the German insurance company, acting as broker, will only include in its accounts the amounts paid in accordance with scale of charges and fees in your home country: Say that a certain medical treatment will cost in your home country 80 €, in Germany however 100 €, the difference of 20 € will have to be paid by the student himself. Continuation of the home insurance may therefore not be as easy and advantageous as it seems at first sight! So, before you settle for this option please weigh the pros and cons of your individual situation.
End of compulsory insurance period
Compulsory insurance period for students ends
- seven month after the beginning of your last term as regularly registered student
- at the end of 14 academic terms or at the end of the term in which your reach 30 years of age
- in case another mandatory insurance takes over (e.g. when you enter employment)
As an exception to the above mentioned rule and under specific conditions, students insurance may be continued beyond 14 academic terms and also beyond 30 years of age. For further information kindly contact your insurance company.
Maintenance of membership
Membership at students’ insurance policy will, at any rate, continue for the time you are eligible for child allowances and during military or civil service.
Students will, as a rule, benefit from the same insurance payments as other members of German public heath insurance companies with the exception of sick-pay.
Students may continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance up to the age of 25 provided that their regular monthly income does not exceed 365,--/400,-- €.
This is not valid for a parent who is not insured with public health insurance companies, with a regular monthly income, as per 1.1.2004, of more than 3.712,-- € and where the total income is superior to the other parent which is publicly insured.
Students reaching the statutory time or age limit (or both) forfeit insurance coverage and have to reinstate insurance on a voluntary basis. Voluntary reinstatement is only possible once your membership with the public health insurance company exists since a minimum of 12 months. Since 2011 the monthly insurance fee amounts to health insurance (ca. 88,83 €) and nursing care insurance (16,61 € or 18,74 €) together for the first six months. Subsequently fees will be charged and calculated individually in accordance with your income and amounts, for the time being, to about 14% of your gross income.
Mandatory health insurance continues during the period of practical training carried out in accordance with the study regulations for a degree course. If, however, your regular working time as trainee exceeds 20 hours weekly you forfeit your student’s contribution scale and will be regarded as employee with, consequently, adjusted contributions calculated according to your income.
The employee’s contribution scale varies according to the insurance company you choose, and amounts to roughly 14 % of your gross income with 50 % of the monthly contribution are taken over by the employer. Fully paid training courses before starting regular studies or after termination of studies are regarded as professional training. Such trainees will be subject to the contribution scales of employees’ with monthly fees calculated in accordance with the earned income. If no income is earned the trainee has to insure himself.
It is not possible to continue students’ insurance coverage for the time of doctorate studies.