German Health Insurance for International Students

German Health Insurance for International Students

Among the reasons international students are choosing Germany to pursue a master’s degree is its high-quality education system. In addition, the affordable tuition fees at German universities, and its campuses supporting multicultural ethnicity also attract students from all over the world. Before moving to study here, certain documents must be there with the students. Among the documents is Health Insurance. This blog will provide an in-depth look at German health insurance for international students. It will also cover how the German healthcare system works, the types of health insurance available, their costs, and the application process.

How Does the German Healthcare System Work?

Like other industries, the German healthcare system is also known for its efficiency and high standards. Health insurance is based on a dual system of public and private. Having health insurance is mandatory for every resident, including international students. The healthcare system in Germany is funded through contributions from insured individuals as in other countries. It is based on their income, and it provides comprehensive coverage, including doctor visits, hospital care, and medications.

Public German Health Insurance

Public health insurance, or “gesetzliche Krankenversicherung” (GKV), is the most common type of health insurance in Germany. It is mandatory for employees earning below a certain threshold and for many students. Public health insurance covers many medical services, including:

  • General practitioner and specialist visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Prescription medications
  • Preventative care
  • Basic dental care

The cost of public health insurance is around 110 euros per month for students, which is quite affordable taking into account the broad coverage.

Private German Health Insurance

Private health insurance, or “private Krankenversicherung” (PKV), is an alternative to public health insurance. It is available for those who meet specific criteria, such as self-employed individuals, freelancers, and students over the age of 30 years. Students who are enrolled in language courses or preparatory programs also fall into this category. Private insurance offers more coverage and shorter wait times for treatments.

Eligible for Private Health Insurance in Germany?

To be eligible for private health insurance in Germany, international students should meet the following conditions:

  • Being over 30 years of age
  • Enrolled in a language course or preparatory program
  • Opting out of the public health insurance system within the first three months of enrolment.

Students who meet these criteria can choose from a variety of private health insurance providers, each offering different levels of coverage and pricing.

What is the Difference Between Private & Public Health Insurance in Germany?

The main differences between private and public health insurance in Germany are:

  • Coverage: Private insurance gives more coverage, including access to private hospitals and specialists. Public insurance covers essential healthcare services but has longer wait times for some treatments.
  • Cost: Public health insurance premiums are income-based. On the other hand, private insurance premiums are based on factors such as age and health condition.
  • Flexibility: Private insurance offers more flexibility in choosing doctors and hospitals, while public insurance may limit these choices.
  • Additional Services: Private insurance may cover additional services that go beyond the basic coverage provided by public insurance such as alternative treatments, private hospital rooms, and dental care.

Cost of German Health Insurance in Germany

The cost of German health insurance for international students varies on whether they choose public or private insurance. As mentioned before, public health insurance costs around 110 euros per month for students. Private health insurance costs range from 35 to 100 euros per month for basic coverage. Students are required to compare different insurance providers and plans to find the best option according to their needs and budget.

Do International Students Need Health Insurance in Germany?

Yes, international students need health insurance to study in Germany. Proof of health insurance is required for visa applications and enrolment at German universities. Without valid health insurance, students cannot register for their courses or obtain a German Student Visa.

What Does Student Health Insurance in Germany Cover?

German health insurance for international students typically covers:

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Emergency services
  • Prescription medications
  • Mental health services
  • Preventative care and vaccinations
  • Basic dental care

Coverage details can vary between public and private health insurance providers, so students should review their policies carefully to understand what is included.

Is Healthcare in Germany Free for International Students?

Healthcare in Germany is not free for international students, but it is subsidized through the health insurance system. Students pay monthly premiums for their health insurance, which grants them access to a wide range of healthcare services at little or no additional cost.

Application Process for Health Insurance as an International Student in Germany

The application process for German health insurance for international students involves several steps:

  • Choosing an Insurance Provider: Students can choose between public and private health insurance providers based on their eligibility and preferences.
  • Completing the Application Form: The application form can be obtained from the insurance provider’s website or office. Students will need to provide personal information, proof of enrollment, and details about their study program.
  • Submitting the Application: The completed application form, along with any required documents, should be submitted to the insurance provider. Some providers offer online applications for convenience.
  • Receiving Confirmation: Once the application is processed, students will receive confirmation of their health insurance coverage. This confirmation is required for university enrollment and visa applications.
  • Paying Premiums: Students need to pay their monthly premiums to maintain their health insurance coverage. Payment methods and schedules vary between providers.


Getting German health insurance for international students can sometimes become difficult, but it is important to have one before proceeding to study MS in Germany. Therefore, understanding the differences between public and private health insurance, their costs, and the application process can help international students make proper decisions. They can also ensure the necessary coverage for their stay in Germany. With proper health insurance, students can focus on their studies and enjoy their time in Germany without worrying about medical expenses. However, the help of a reputed German educational consultant can also be taken.

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