A New Life in Germany – Getting Health Insurance

A New Life in Germany – Getting Health Insurance

How health insurance works in Germany


Health insurance visual


One of the first and most important things you must do when you move to Germany, is getting health insurance. It is compulsory for anyone working, living or studying here to be insured on the basic level.



Public or private insurance?




Roughly 89% of German residents are insured under the public healthcare system, and the other 11% have opted out for a private scheme.

The choice of your healthcare provider is not one to be taken lightly. Each provider has different offers, prices and conditions. They are in effect as individual as your own circumstance, so you must find the insurance provider and plan that fits your needs.

The public healthcare scheme is based on a system where the individual pays according to their earnings. People earning less, will be charged less, while people earning more will be charged at a higher level. The private system works in a different way, and is generally more expensive. With a private insurer you will be charged according to you age, health and your medical history. Generally, private health insurance is chosen by people who earn a higher income or are employed by the government.



Health insurance for foreign students


students in lecture


According to German law, all foreign students are required to have health insurance. On the public healthcare scheme, it can be as little as 90€ per month. Proof of health insurance is needed for enrolment. While all health care providers (both public and private) provide information on their website regarding plans, as well as the ability to sign up online, it always helps to go to your nearest branch and speak to someone in person.



The different health care providers




The HU Berlin has information on German based insurance, as well as a short list of student-aimed health insurance providers.

AOK is one of Germany’s largest providers. Information on their student focused insurance can be found here.

Our personal recommendation is Techniker Krankenkasse (TK). We had the chance to talk to university consultant Valerie.




Date: 2018/06/30

Update: 2019/06/25