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Information on Health Insurance for Students

Pursuant to Section 199a, subsection 1, sentence 2 of Book Five of the German Social Code (SGB V), the National Association of Public health insurance Funds (“GKV-Spitzenverband”) determines the content of the information to be provided to university applicants and students by the universities and the Foundation for Higher Education Admission (“Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung") with regard to compulsory insurance in the public health insurance system.

1. Facts about Insurance

a) Compulsory insurance

Students and new/returning enrollees who want to enroll at a state or state-recognized institution of higher education in the Federal Republic of Germany are required to have insurance from a public health insurance company as well as compulsory long-term care insurance. This also applies to students and new/returning enrollees enrolled in Germany who have their permanent or ordinary residence in another country. Students and new/returning enrollees who can prove that they have a claim to benefits in kind from a foreign health insurance company are exempt from this. Whether health insurance coverage that continues to apply while abroad is sufficient for this purpose depends, among other things, on whether corresponding agreements exist between Germany and the country in which the students or new/returning enrollees have their ordinary residence.

Compulsory insurance applies, at the longest, until the end of the semester in which the student reaches the age of 30. Compulsory insurance continues to apply beyond this point in time if

  • the type of education,
  • family reasons,
  • personal reasons,

justify exceeding the age limit or a longer period of specialized study.

Students who work for pay alongside their studies remain compulsorily insured as students if their overall situation appears to be that of a student, meaning that their time and effort is overwhelmingly dedicated to their studies (they do not work more than 20 hours/week). However, if the extent of a student’s employment conveys the impression of an employee, then this person is required to hold insurance as an employee and not as a student.

b) Family insurance

Students or new/returning enrollees are not required to hold individual student health insurance if they are covered by family insurance through a statutorily insured parent, spouse, or life partner (as defined by the German Act on Registered Life Partnerships). Family insurance in the public health insurance scheme without additional premiums is available for young adults up to the age of 25 if they are in school or undergoing professional education and training (including studies in higher education), provided that all other requirements are met. The relevant health insurance company can provide information about these requirements. If studies in higher education are terminated, family insurance continues until the end of the semester, but only up to the point that the student reaches the age of 25.

If their school or professional education is interrupted or delayed by voluntary military service or a voluntary service in accordance with the Act on the Federal Voluntary Service, the Act to Promote Youth Voluntary Services, or a comparable and officially recognized voluntary service or an occupation as a development aid volunteer, there is an option for family insurance coverage to continue. It will continue beyond the 25th birthday for a period corresponding to the service period, however, not exceeding 12 months.

c) Exemption from compulsory insurance

Students who become obligated to carry insurance upon enrollment can be exempted from compulsory insurance upon application to a public health insurance company. The application must be submitted to the public health insurance company within three months after the beginning of the compulsory insurance period. The exemption cannot be revoked; it is valid for the entire duration of your university studies.

d) Voluntary insurance

Students who are no longer subject to the insurance requirement (e.g., due to exceeding the maximum age for student health insurance) can receive continued coverage under voluntary insurance with the public health insurance company. If the student does not wish to continue the insurance coverage, he or she can declare his or her withdrawal within two weeks after the health insurance company has pointed out this withdrawal option. The withdrawal will only become effective if the existence of another claim to coverage in the event of illness can be documented – for example, through private health insurance.

2. Enrollment not possible without insurance

If you have health insurance with a statutory health insurance company in Germany, please ask your statutory health insurance compan (scroll down page) to send electronic proof of your insurance status to the University of Potsdam, citing the University’s sender number H0001228.

If you are insured with a private health insurance company, as a person entitled to an allowance or as a person enjoying free medical care in Germany, you can

  • contact your last statutory health insurance company (scroll down page) in Germany, which will provide electronic confirmation to the University of Potsdam, referencing the sender number H0001228, that you have private health insurance and that you have been exempted from the statutory insurance requirement. This electronic confirmation of exemption is sufficient as proof of health insurance for enrollment;
  • or, if you have never had statutory health insurance, contact any statutory health insurance company (scroll down page) in Germany. Ask the statutory health insurance company you have contacted to confirm the existence of your private health insurance by mentioning the sender number H0001228 and transmitting your insurance status electronically to the University. Any statutory health insurance company can provide this electronic confirmation to the University of Potsdam. You are free to choose which statutory health insurance company should provide this notification for you.

    ATTENTION – If you request an exemption certificate, please seek detailed advice from the statutory health insurance company on the consequences of such an exemption from compulsory insurance. If you claim the exemption, it applies for the entire duration of your studies and cannot be revoked.

Exceptions: New/returning enrollees who are enrolling in a doctoral program are not required to provide proof of their insurance status at the time of enrollment.

3. Further information

This website only provides general information. For further details, especially with regard to the exact amount of premiums to be paid, please refer to information provided by the competent health insurance company.

4. Information for international students and new/returning international enrollees

Further information on health insurance for international students and new/returning international enrollees is available here.