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The German health insurance system is rather complicated. For information and an overview of the German health insurance system click here.
It is an absolute requirement that all international scientists and researchers have a health insurance policy that is valid for the entire duration of their stay in Germany. The Immigration Authorities require you to prove that you have adequate health insurance cover before they can issue a residence permit. Please note that you must have health insurance cover from your very first day in Germany. If you enter Germany on a Schengen Visa for a short-term research stay up to 90 days, you will generally be required to prove that you have travel health insurance cover of at least 30,000 Euro. For longer-term stays, you must have comprehensive health insurance cover that is at least equivalent to a German statutory health insurance fund (unlimited insurance cover). We strongly recommend that you choose an adequate German health insurance policy. Depending on your status in Frankfurt, there are various options for health insurance policies:
- You have an employment contract at the University of Frankfurt: in this case, it is normally compulsory for you to be insured with a statutory health insurance fund, whereby you are free to choose which one of these funds you take. If you do not insure yourself with a statutory health insurance fund, you will automatically be health insured with the AOK insurance fund. As of January 2009 all statutory health insurance funds charge a standardised premium of 15.5% of your gross salary of which the employer pays 7,3% and the employee 8,2%. Health insurance premiums are deducted from your gross salary at source.
If your gross salary exceeds the compulsory insurance ceiling (52.200 EUR/year) you can insure yourself either privately or voluntarily with a statutory health insurance fund:
- You have a scholarship or are financed via your home country and are sufficiently insured in your home country: you have to prove that your health insurance is equivalent to the German statutory health insurance fund, which is very difficult. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you take out an adequate German private health insurance policy.
- You have a scholarship or are financed via your home country and are not sufficiently insured in your home country: You have to take out an adequate private health insurance policy in Germany.
- You are an EU citizen: The Member States of the European Union introduced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in 2004. It is issued by the national insurance carriers in your home country. As a holder of a European Health Insurance Card you can contact doctors and hospitals directly if you are ill, including in other EU Member States. Please note that the EHIC is only meant for short-term stays. For a long-term stay, German health insurance is required. Please check with your domestic insurance company what items are covered in Germany. Foreign insurance companies will not always cover all the costs that arise in Germany. Further information.
You can find further information on health insurance at EURAXESS Germany. The choice of private and statutory health insurance funds and companies is very large. It's worth comparing costs and services. In the following, we have compiled some information on the statutory and private health insurance funds and companies, but we do not make any claim as to the completeness of this information.
Statutory health insurances
All statutory health insurance funds charge a common percentage of your gross salary of 14.6%. Your employer covers 7.3% of it and another 7.3% will be deducted directly from your gross salary. The statutory health insurance funds do differ in the services they offer and may, besides the standard rate, charge a supplementary premium, usually about 1.1%. In contrast to private insurance companies, statutory insurance providers pay the costs to the doctor or hospital directly. You merely have to present your insurance card before treatment. Following we provide information on statutory health insurance companies in Frankfurt: