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Health Insurance

As a researcher in Germany, you are required by law to have health insurance coverage for yourself and any accompanying family members (more information in 40 languages). You will be required to provide proof of insurance coverage when you apply to obtain a residence permit and enter into an employment contract. The minimum insurance policy requirement is that you at least have critical illness and accident coverage.

The two types of health insurance coverage in Germany are the statutory health insurance and the private health insurance:

  • If you fund your stay in Germany independently or by means of a fellowship, you are required by law take out private medical insurance.
  • If you have signed an employment contract, you are required by law to take out German statutory health insurance.

The following exceptions apply to the mandatory health insurance rule: 

  • EU citizens
  • Your stay in Germany is scheduled to last no longer than 3 months and your home country health insurance covers medical costs in the amount of at least 30.000 euros.
  • You are a citizen of a country which Germany has a social security agreement with (please ask the Welcome Center for more information).

The level of contributions to statutory health insurance plans is standardized to 14,6% (as of 01/01/2021). In addition, there is the additional contribution of 1.3% to the health insurance funds. The health insurance contributions are deducted directly from the employee's gross salary. The employer pays half of the total costs, i.e. currently 7.95%. The employee contribution is therefore also 7.95%. 
You can also insure your spouse and your children with one of the statutory insurance companies as long as they are registered in Germany and live in the same household with you.

The benefits of a statutory health insurance plan are, for the most part, also standardized. There are differences in customer service, additional benefits and optional premiums. You are free to choose your statutory health insurance company. If you need more information, please ask the Welcome Center.

Unlike the statutory health insurance plans, private health insurance premiums are not income-driven, but rather depend on your health risk profile such as age, occupation, health, as well as type of coverage desired. The more comprehensive the package, the more expensive it becomes. Privately insured patients receive invoices, which they pay and submit the payment receipt to the insurance company for a refund. Each family member needs to be individually insured. 

An overview of private health insurances with sufficient coverage can be found at EURAXESS Germany.


First Aid: an Illustrated Health Dictionary

Information brochure for foreign students in Germany by Deutsches Studentenwerk.


Julia Holz

SFG 0330
Tel: +49-421-218-60381
julia.holzprotect me ?!vw.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de


Private Health Insurance Providers


DAAD Insurances

DeGiS (Care Concept)
For students and researchers under the age of 34

ISHCP (IHC-Company S.A.)

No age limit

Travel insurances

We only recommend these insurances as travel insurances for the visa application.

Deutsches Studentenwerk/VELA Optimal


Care Concept AG

educare 24


Explanatory video (Techniker Krankenkasse)