Health insurance

Stronger medicines are not freely available in Germany. You can get them only in pharmacies and on prescription.

 


You want to know...

  • ...which health insurance provider is right for you?
  • ...who you can turn to when you get sick?
  • ...how much you will have to pay for health insurance and doctor’s visits?

 

Health Insurance

Medical Care

Emergencies


Health Insurance

You are not allowed to study in Germany without health insurance. You have to provide confirmation of health insurance coverage when you enrol at university and when you register with the Alien Registration Office. That’s why we recommend obtaining health insurance as soon as you arrive in Weimar. Depending on your age, country of origin and the purpose of your stay, you may decide to take out a policy with a private or public health insurance provider.

Generally all students must be insured through a public health insurance provider [Glossar]. The student rate – about 80 euros a month – is the same at all public health insurance companies.

Special conditions apply to those who belong to the following groups:

  1. You come from an EU/EEA-member country or Switzerland?
  2. You are older than 30 or have studied for 14 semesters or longer?
  3. You are a PhD student?
  4. You are a participant in a university-preparatory language course?
1. You are from Europe/EEA or Switzerland?

If you are a citizen of an EU country, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey or any of the countries of former Yugoslavia, you are not required to take out a health insurance policy in Germany. Your insurance policy from home can be recognised in Germany.

If you are covered by a public health insurer in your home country, you can have your policy recognised by a public health insurer in Germany. All you need is the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which you should obtain before you arrive in Germany.

Some private insurers are also recognised in Germany. Inquire at your health insurance company in advance as to whether your policy will be recognised and what kind of supporting documentation you will have to bring along to Germany. If your private insurance policy is recognised, you will have to provide university officials with confirmation (in German or English translation) at enrolment stating that you are exempt from the health insurance requirement.

Please note! Once you are recognised as privately insured, you may not switch to a public health insurance provider for the entire duration of your studies in Germany. Therefore, inquire in advance what expenses your policy will cover and which you will have to pay out-of-pocket. Your policy should absolutely cover the cost of return transport to your home country. Travel insurance will not suffice in such cases.

2.You are older than 30 years or have studied more than 14 semester already?

If you belong to this group, you are required to take out a normal or “graduate” insurance policy, which public health insurance providers offer for about 100 euros a month. In certain cases, a private policy may be cheaper for you than the public version. Bear in mind that with the lower monthly premium you are also required to pay for outpatient treatment and medicine yourself and provide the insurance company with receipts for later reimbursement. Visit the Studentenwerk Thüringen for an overview of the many policies, rates and varying insurance plans available.

The German Studentenwerk has made a special agreement with the Union Versicherungsdienst to provide affordable coverage to foreign students. Click here [Only German] for an overview of private health insurance providers in Germany.

3.You are PhD student?

The health insurance requirement for PhD students depends on the status or purpose of their stay. Doctoral candidates who have signed a contract as a research assistant with the university are required to have public health insurance coverage.

All other doctoral candidates may choose between a public or private health insurance provider. In some cases, private health insurance might be cheaper than those offered by public insurers. However, policies with lower monthly premiums often require you to pay for outpatient treatment and medicine yourself and then provide the insurance company with receipts for later reimbursement. There is a wide range of health insurance companies in Germany which offer various rates and insurance plans. The German Studentenwerk has made a special agreement with the Union Versicherungsdienst to provide affordable coverage to foreign students.

Please note! We strongly recommend that doctoral candidates, who bring family members with them to Germany, apply for a public health insurance policy. Such policies cover spouses and children free of charge. Private insurance companies, however, require policies for each family member which can end up being very expensive in total.

4. You are a participant in a university-preparatory language course.

If you are participating in a university-preparatory language course, you are not eligible for coverage from a public health insurance provider. You will have to take out a private insurance policy.

The German Studentenwerk has made a special agreement with the Union Versicherungsdienst to provide affordable coverage to foreign students. Click here [Only German] for an overview of private health insurance providers in Germany.

At the end of your language course, if you decide to study in Germany and haven’t yet reached the age of 30, you may switch to a public health insurance provider if you wish.

 

 


Medical Care

If you are sick and require treatment from a general practitioner in Weimar, the doctor will ask to see your health insurance card. If the general practitioner cannot help you further, he or she will refer you to a specialist. The first time you go to the doctor in each quarter, you will have to pay a 10-euro consultation fee (Praxisgebühr) in cash. For emergencies, on public holidays and at weekends, you are required to pay an additional 10-euro fee.

Click here for a list of doctors in Thuringia who can speak English and/or other languages. [Pdf]

In Germany all prescription and over-the-counter medicines are sold at pharmacies. The Medical Preparations Act in Germany is very strict. You may find that medicine that is normally for sale at supermarkets in your home country is only available on prescription in Germany.


Emergencies

 

If you face a life-threatening emergency, you can call the medical emergency service at any hour of the day. By dialling 112, you can request an ambulance to pick you up immediately.

If you are too sick to go the doctor, you can ask for a doctor to make a house call by dialling the freephone number (0) 8 00 8 25 25 25.

If you are having an emotional crisis, do not hesitate to call the crisis line at (0) 800-1110111.


If you are suffering from an excruciating headache or other problems in the middle of the night, you can purchase medication from the Pharmacy Emergency Service. Click here [German only] and choose the current month to find out which pharmacy is open for emergencies tonight.