Health Insurance in Germany for International Students


In Germany, everyone must have health insurance, regardless of their nationality. Therefore, we advise you to get health insurance in Germany before you even consider enrolling in a university. Make sure you have all the information you need to apply for health insurance and prepare all the necessary documents. This will give you more time to apply for higher education in Germany.

What health insurance do international students need?

There are two types of health insurance in Germany: public and private.

This insurance is mandatory for all students. However, depending on your country of origin, you may be exempt from taking out health insurance. Instead, you must provide proof of health insurance in your home country.

Do not hesitate to contact your university for more information.

However, even if you subscribe to a basic plan, you can always opt for complementary health coverage for certain necessities.

German-speaking students

Many students decide to learn German in Germany. Speaking with native speakers is a good way to improve your conversational skills.

You will also learn about their culture, among other benefits. Some language programs require that you stay in Germany for several weeks or months. In these cases, health insurance is mandatory.

In addition, you can choose the health insurance plan that suits you best. On the other hand, you also have the possibility to compare several private health insurance plans and apply online.

Please note that you are not entitled to public health insurance as a language student in Germany.

Exchange Students

To live in Germany as an exchange student, you absolutely need health insurance.

Whether you are staying for a semester or a year as part of an exchange program like Erasmus, you will need health insurance. Since the law of the land requires everyone to have health insurance, you should definitely choose a plan that meets the requirements of the law.

Most exchange students choose a customized health insurance plan to get the best coverage possible.

International Doctoral Students

Most students doing their Ph.D. in Germany will need to choose a private health insurance plan. As an international student, you can apply for compulsory health insurance if you have reached the age of 30 or are entering your 14th semester of study.

In order to enroll at German universities, you must provide proof of health insurance taken out in Germany or any type of health insurance accepted in Germany.

How do I register for a health insurance plan?

There are about 113 health insurance companies in Germany (the “Krankenkassen”). You can choose the plan that suits you best.

Just call the company of your choice and make sure you meet the requirements. But don’t worry, they will certainly guide you through the process.

Can you live in Germany without health insurance?

You can still enroll in a university without health insurance. However, as soon as you land in Germany, you will need to purchase insurance within 30 days of declaring your address.