Information on Health Insurance

1. Facts about Insurance

a) Compulsory insurance

Students enrolled at a state or state-recognized institution of higher education in the Federal Republic of Germany are required to hold insurance in a public health insurance company and social care insurance. This also applies to students enrolled in Germany yet who have their residence or ordinary residence in another country, if they do not have any claim to benefits in kind due to supra- or interstate law.

The obligation to carry insurance exists until the conclusion of the 14th semester, or at the longest until the end of the semester in which the student turns 30 years of age. Compulsory insurance continue to apply beyond this point in time if justified by:

  • The type of education,
  • Family reasons,
  • Personal reasons.

The acquisition of admission requirements in a second-chance educational institution, exceedance of the age limit, or a longer period of university studies.

Students who work for pay alongside their studies remain compulsorily insured as students if their overall situation remains 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 are not required to hold insurance if they are covered under their parents’, spouse’s or life partner’s family insurance; the same applies for care insurance. Children have a claim to family insurance until they complete their 25th year if they are in school or professional education. If their education is interrupted or delayed by military or civil service, there is an option for family insurance coverage to continue beyond the 25th year for a period corresponding to the service period. The requirements for family insurance also includes the fact that the family member does not have a total income that regularly exceeds one-seventh of the benefit (€ 395.00) each month. (For marginally employed persons, the permitted total monthly income is € 450.00).

c) Exemption from compulsory insurance

Whoever becomes obligated to carry insurance as an enrolled student can apply for exemption from this obligation. The application must be submitted to the insurance company within three months after the beginning of the compulsory insurance period. The exemption cannot be revoked; it applies for the entire duration of your university studies.

d) Voluntary insurance

Students who are no longer subjected to the insurance requirement (e.g., due to exceeding the maximum number of semesters / maximum age) have the option to take on voluntary insurance. The requirement here is that such students, in the last five years before withdrawing from the compulsory insurance scheme, were insured without interruption for at least 24 months, or at least 12 months immediately proceeding the withdrawal. The continuation of the membership in the health insurance company as a voluntary member also requires written notice of joining the health insurance company within three months of withdrawing from the insurance obligation. Whoever continues voluntarily in the public health insurance scheme remains compulsorily insured in care insurance. The insurance obligation can however be converted by concluding a private care insurance contract. This right of selection can only be exercised within a period of three months after the beginning of the voluntary membership in the public health insurance scheme.

As of April 1, 2007, the premium reductions for student health health insurance also apply to voluntary members of a public health insurance company who are enrolled as students at a state or state-recognized institution of higher education abroad. If these insured parties demonstrate after April 1, 2007, that they are in fact students, then they only pay the “student premium” for their voluntary health insurance in Germany.

e) Private health insurance

Whoever is privately insured is obligated to also conclude a private care insurance policy. Young people with parents who have private care insurance can have private care insurance, premium-free, as is the case in the public health insurance system and the social care insurance system (see under item b) Family insurance).

2. Benefits

Students and, if applicable, their co-insured relatives, receive benefits that include physician and dental care, including dentures, provision of medicines, bandages, remedies, and adjuvants, treatment in a hospital, early screening tests, benefits for pregnancy and motherhood, as well as benefits for long-term care; there is no claim to sick pay, though.

3. Premiums*

Students obligated to hold insurance must pay premiums for the semester in the amount of € 366.06 for public health insurance and € 93.13 for care insurance with a premium supplement for childless students aged 23 or over (this corresponds to a supplement of € 61.01 or € 15.52 per month) before enrollment or re-registration, in advance, to the respective health insurance company. The semester premium for care insurance for students with children or for those under 23 years of age without children is € 84.18 (this is € 14.03 per month). The umbrella organization for all health insurance companies will uniformly determine a method of payment. It is still possible to pay premiums on a monthly basis. Since January 1, 2015, health insurance companies can require a supplemental premium that must also be paid by students in individual amounts.

No premiums are paid for students who are insured under their family insurance plan.

Premiums are set in accordance with the rules and regulations of the health insurance company for students who are voluntarily insured.

* These amounts were valid on January 1, 2015.

4. Enrollment not possible without insurance

Every university applicant must contact their health insurance company before university enrollment to get a certificate of insurance. The health insurance company provides a certificate to the applicant that indicates

  • Whether the applicant is insured, or
  • Whether the applicant does not have insurance, is exempted from the insurance requirement, or is not required to have insurance.

The certificate of insurance must be submitted with the documentation for enrollment at the university. If you change universities, you will need to submit a new certificate of health insurance.

5. Which public health insurance company?

Applicants receive the certificate of health insurance required for their first enrollment from the health insurance company in which they were enrolled as a member at the beginning of their studies, or in which they are insured as a family member, or in which they are anticipated to be insured.

Applicants who are not insured in a public health insurance company at the beginning of their studies receive their certificate of health insurance from the health insurance company in which they last held a membership or family insurance coverage. It is irrelevant how long ago the last membership or family insurance coverage existed. If there is no last health insurance company, then one of the available health insurance companies is responsible for issuing the certificate of health insurance.

Applicants who want to be exempted from the insurance requirement receive their certificate of health insurance from the health insurance company that grants the exemption.

6. Choosing a health insurance company

Those subject to compulsory insurance, or students required to carry insurance, have the opportunity to choose a membership at one of the following health insurance companies:

  • Your local AOK office.
  • Any alternative health care fund whose administrative responsibility extends to the insured’s place of residence.
  • The company or guild health insurance companies if their rules and regulations provide for this and the insured lives in the health care district.
  • The health insurance company at which the insured last had a membership or had family coverage.
  • The health insurance company at which the insured’s spouse is insured.
  • The AOK or any alternative health care fund at the location at which the university is located.

The insured must make a choice within two weeks at the latest from the date on which the insurance requirement enters into force, and this choice must be communicated to the selected health insurance company. The selected health insurance company is also responsible for issuing a care insurance policy. Insured family members have no voting right; the member’s selection applies to them as well.

7. Information for international students

International students can find more information on health insurance here.

Please speak directly with a health insurance company to get more information about health insurance for students.