Health insurance for international students

Health insurance is mandatory by federal law for all students at German universities.

There are two types of health insurances: statutory health insurance and private health insurance.

Basically, up until you are 30 years old or until your 14th term of study you must have compulsory health insurance. Private health insurance is only allowed in exceptional cases. Please note: once you take out private health insurance you cannot revert to public health insurance!

Statutory health insurance

For statutory health insurance the terms of contract, monthly contributions and the scope of benefits are regulated by federal law. Statutory health insurance companies charge a standard fee of 80 euros a month for a student health insurance. This fee is normally discounted from your account on a monthly basis.

Private health insurance

For private health insurances the terms and conditions vary from provider to provider, while the scope of benefits and cover correlates with the monthly contribution. Low-priced insurance schemes normally cover only the basic service. It could happen that in case of sudden illnesses or accidents (but also in case of pregnancy or psychological disorders) the costs of treatment will not be covered. We therefore recommend a statutory health insurance.

There are essential differences regarding the health insurance regulations for EU and non-EU students.

In order to enrol with private health insurance, you will need a certificate indicating that you are exempt or not subject to compulsory statutory health insurance („versicherungsfrei“, „von der Versicherungspflicht befreit“, oder „nicht versicherungspflichtig“). You will receive this certificate only after your policy has been reviewed by a statutory health insurance company to determine that your health insurance is officially recognised and considered sufficient in coverage. Proof of private health insurance is not sufficient for matriculation. However, please note that you will not be able to switch to the statutory health insurance for the duration of your studies.

Non-EU students must have a health insurance in order to apply for a German student visa. Normally, that is a travel health insurance which can be obtained in the home country. This travel insurance will cover the first weeks of your stay in Germany.

After your arrival to Germany, a German health insurance must be obtained. This is the insurance that will be valid during your study period in Germany. You will need proof of this health insurance in order to enroll at the university.

Please note that the student health insurance becomes valid only with the beginning of the semester (1st April or 1st October). Make sure that your travel health insurance is valid until then.

Some of the service providers also offer an opportunity to sign up for the insurance from abroad (TK, DAK, AOK). An affordable solution for health insurance combined together with a blocked account, is offered by Fintiba. Please refer to the webpages of the insurance companies and contact them directly for more information. The International Office cannot give any detailed information on that regard.

Important for non-EU students who are older than 30:

After your 30th birthday or your 14th term of study you can no longer get public health insurance at the favourable student rate. However, some public health insurance funds do offer tariffs for graduates which grant cheaper rate health insurance for one extra term. You can also take out voluntary health insurance with one of the public health funds. The Deutsche Studentenwerk has made a general agreement with the UNION Versicherungsdienst and Hanse Merkur Reiseversicherung AG for students who cannot get insurance with a public health fund. You will find more information here.

EU students don't need any particular travel health insurance as they are covered by the statutory health insurance in their home country throughout the EU, regardless of the beginning of the semester.

Nonetheless, the coverage, its duration and validity must be clarified with the health insurance in the home country beforehand. If coverage in the home country is not provided (anymore), a German health insurance must be obtained, too. For the enrollment, a copy of the EHIC will suffice.

Important: You should carefully compare the advantages and disadvantages of both systems before making a final decision, especially if you are considering the private insurance. Should you opt for a private insurance, it will not be possible to switch to a statutory insurance scheme at any time during your studies.

Disclaimer: The data above is for general information purposes only and is not comparable to legal advice. The International Office of the University of Göttingen disclaims any liability concerning the accuracy of the information provided and is not responsible for the content of any external links or websites.