Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration

Study & Research Health Insurance for Students

In order to enrol at a German college or university and to obtain a residence permit, students must prove to have adequate health insurance.

Health Insurance for Students - Hamburg Welcome Portal

If you want to study in Germany as a foreign national, you need health insurance. Without sufficient insurance cover, enrolment at a university and the granting of a residence permit are not possible.

For students up to the 30th birthday or until the end of the 14th semester, insurance is mandatory in the statutory health insurance. If you opt for a private health insurance, you must apply for an exemption within the first three months after starting your studies.

Foreign Health Insurance

Students from the European Union as well as from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can be insured in their home country and receive medical services in Germany.

For this, apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) at the statutory health insurance in your home country, and use it to register your foreign health insurance with a statutory health insurance institution in Germany. The address of the relevant institution for issuing the EHIC in your home country can be found in the public directory of the European Union Institutions of social security.

In this case, medical incurred in Germany are reimbursed by the statutory health insurance of the patient. This also applies to nationals of countries which have concluded a social insurance agreement in the area of health insurance with Germany. This currently comprises the following countries outside the EU: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Israel, Morocco, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Tunisia (as of August 2017).

Private health insurance in other countries may also be recognised in Germany. For more information please contact your insurance company. If your private insurance is recognised, you need a confirmation that you are exempted from compulsory insurance in the German statutory health insurance. Please note that afterwards, you can no longer switch to a statutory health insurance for the duration of your studies afterwards!

Statutory Insurance

The compulsory statutory insurance for students is characterised by low monthly contributions (health insurance: currently 72.82 € plus individual additional contribution of the health insurance, long-term care insurance: currently 16.55 € or 18.17 € for insured persons of 23 years or older without children). However, access to student compulsory insurance ends at the latest after the 14th semester or with the semester in which you become 30 years old.

For students who have passed the age of 30 years or their 14th semester, compulsory insurance can only be continued if one of the following reasons exists:

  • Type of training,
  • family reasons (for example care of disabled or sick relatives),
  • personal reasons (such as illness, disability, birth of a child, participation in a board of the university),
  • or the acquisition of the university access requirements in institutions of the second-chance training

If there is no such reason for extension, the persons concerned can voluntarily insure themselves in the statutory health insurance. However, after a 6-month transitional period, the contributions are about twice as high as the reduced student tariff.

On the website of the GKV-Spitzenverband you will find a list of the statutory health insurance in Germany.

Private Insurance

If instead you choose a private health insurance, you must apply for an exemption from the compulsory statutory health insurance within the first three months after the compulsory insurance period begins. The benefits of the chosen private insurance must be equivalent to the compulsory statutory insurance.

When applying for the residence permit, evidence of sufficient health insurance coverage is required to verify the coverage of the livelihood costs. For this purpose, Annex 6 must be signed by the insurance company.

Please note: The exemption applies for the duration of the entire study and cannot be revoked.

On the website of the PKV-Verband you will find a list of private health insurance companies.

Preparatory Courses

Anyone attending a language course or attending a study course in Germany has no access to statutory health insurance. Therefore a private insurance must be chosen.
When applying for the residence permit, proof of sufficient insurance cover in case of illness has to be provided. For this purpose Annex 7 must be signed by the insurance company.

If the language course is finished, students who are younger than 30 can switch to the statutory health insurance for their studies.