Health insurance for expats in Germany

The German health insurance system made simple - made in Germany.

Health insurance in Germany

Moving to Germany may cause much bureaucracy - but with the right guide it runs fast and easy. We know there is so much to do, so please don’t let the mandatory enrollment in health insurance slow you down. We choose the right type of health insurance for living in Germany. As independent insurance brokers we compare 

  • Individual private health insurance
  • Statutory health insurance (SHI)
  • Travel insurance for Germany
  • Cover available from today

How to cover your medical expenses in Germany? Meet our English speaking experts.

We help to choose a healthcare plan for you without much paperwork.


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Public or Private Health
insurance system

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students, expats & residents

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How to get Health insurance in Germany?

As a country with one of the best healthcare system worldwide, the German requirements are not always easy to understand - especially for foreign immigrants. There are two different health insurance systems, both equally valid, but running in parallel. The public statutory health system and private health insurance certificate.


Private health insurance is an insurance policy which covers the costs of private healthcare. It works in a similar way like any other insurance – you pay monthly or annual premiums, and your provider re-claims one or all of the cost of the medical treatment you receive.


The public statutory health system is comparable to NHS in the UK for example. Premium depending on your income. As a member of the statutory system you own a membercard (EHIC) to confirm cover when you visit a medical provider like your GP or hospital. The treatment cost will be billed and re-claimed directly. However you won´t have to pay first and wait for your refund. As you may expect the benefits are on a very low level of necessary treatments.


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Better safe than sorry.

Welcome to FinanzSchneiderei, Germanys most visited expatriate broker and the premier online comparison website for international health insurance.


For expats the German health system can be really confusing and difficult to unterstand at first sight. Our experienced experts for German insurance are looking forward to answer your questions - for free, independent and competently. Together we will find an "customized" insurance which covers all your needs.


If you are either living overseas or planning to begin the expatriate life in Germany then you will be able to find all of the best international medical insurance companies online in a comparison table, which is simple to use and easy to understand.


With more agreements in place with more international health insurance companies, Finanzschneiderei is considered to be the most comprehensive expatriate international insurance website for people working or studying in Germany.


If you are looking to get the best deals on your international health insurance plan or need advice regarding insurance then look no further than FinanzSchneiderei and get your free quotes and comparisons today.

Systems of the german health insurance and healthcare in Germany

A health insurance reimburses you high costs in case of illness or accidents, including necessary medication. The German health insurance is divided into two systems - the statutory health insurance (SHI) and the private health insurance (PHI). Since 2009 a general health insurance obligation requires Germans and everyone living in Germany to be health insured. This must also include coverage for certain medical check-ups and pregnancy. It is important to understand the health system in order to filter out the most suitable plan for you while living in Germany.

  • independent of income
  • high scope of services
  • broad geographical coverage


Private health insurance (PHI)

A private health insurance is especially interesting for young and healthy people, as the contribution amount is calculated out of the age, health status and scope of services, regardless of income. Also for employer or employees with a high income, civil servants, freelancers and self-employed persons private health insurer are particularly low, because the contribution doesn't depend on earnings. As you see, the PHI can be cheaper than the SHI in many cases and offers you a higher scope of services, like for example shorter waiting times for treatments or doctors speaking your native language. In general, private health plans cover a wider choice of medical and dental treatments and provide broad geographical coverage. Additional services can be individually designed and adapted to the customer, even for statutory health insured persons.

  • dependent of income
  • lower scope of services
  • free advise of our experts


Statutory health insurance (SHI)

Approximately 80% of the people in Germany are members of the statutory health insurance system. Customers are often employees and pensioners. The contributions can be calculated from the income with a rate of 15% of the earnings and an additional contribution of 1%. So people with a high income have to pay more and should think about if it's more profitable to change to a private health plan, which insures people independent of their earnings. Let our experts help you - wether for a comprehensive health insurance or additional insurance to the statutory health insurance - we advise you independently and competently.

  • favorable contributions
  • no credit or health checks
  • no penalties


European health insurance

The European health insurance offers millions of customers worldwide the best benefits and favorable contributions. Although international insurance companies, so-called EWR service providers, are still largely unknown in Germany, more and more people are opting for EU health insurance. The German private health insurance and the European health insurance are in comparison with the scope of services on a similar high level - but usually much cheaper. Neither penalties nor credit- or health checks are required to be admitted. The European health insurance currently protects many people in Germany, also non-insured ones, from expensive treatment costs in case of illness, but the companies from neighbouring EU Countries can not replace a German substitutive private health insurance.

Important european service providers (EWR)

EWR service providers are European health insurance companies that are authorized to offer their insurance to all people in the European Union. So what has long been the practice in Europe is now also gaining importance in Germany. However, due to German jurisdiction the tariffs offered do not or only partially correspond to the health insurance obligation applicable in this country. Although the offers from the EU can cover free choice of doctor, treatment as a private patient or comfortable head physician treatment - a German private or statutory health insurance can not replace international companies.

Our conclusion: The EEA service providers offer favorable tariffs with good services. However, the requirements of a compulsory insurance acc. §193 VVG are not completely fulfilled and can not replace a German private or statutory health insurance. The contracts are valid in accordance with the Schengen Visa Code as a proof of travel health insurance as a condition for stays in Germany.

Legal requirements for EWR service providers in Germany


Obligation of health insurance §193 VVG
The insurance covers outpatient, dental and inpatient services fulfilled
Scope of services corresponds to the basis tariff partly fulfilled

Substitutive health insurance § 146 VAG

Formations of retirement provisions not fulfilled
Waiver of termination if the contribution is not paid not fulfilled
Visa division for stays in the Schengen area
Reimbursement of medical emergencies >30.000 EUR fulfilled
Medical emergency care fulfilled
Return transport to your residence country fulfilled
Assistence in case of death fulfilled

Health insurance for foreign students in Germany

All non-German students studying at a German university or college must have a health insurance. Different conditions apply depending on the country of origin, age and purpose of stay. In general, students are divided into one of the following five groups:


  • Students from EEA countries or countries that have concluded a social security agreement with Germany.
  • Pupils from other countries
  • Students older than 30 years of age or who have already completed the 14th semester.
  • Participants in preparatory language courses
  • Foreign doctoral students and scholarship holders

Health insurance in Germany for immigrants

People who want to immigrate to Germany and thus seeking permanent residency have to take out health insurance to be issued with a German Visa.


Regulations for EU Citizens

If you are a citizen of a Member State of the EU have the right to live in any country of the EU. You have to demonstrate sufficient mean of subsistence to earn a residence in Germany. In addition you have to transact a German health insurance.


Regulations for non-EU Cititzens

Immigrants from Countries requiring a visa to enter Germany must already have health insurance coverage at the time of entry. Depending on whether or not an immigrant is gainfully employed, different conditions apply.

Insurance of property

People living in Germany can protect themselves well against all possible eventualities of their everyday life by taking out insurance. In general, insurance policies can be divided into two categories: Your personal insurance on the one hand and the property insurance for your property on the other. Property insurances protect objects from destruction, damage or loss, personal insurances offer you protection from special life risks, in case of illness or an accident. Below you will find an overview of the various kinds of property insurance.

Supplementary insurance

The supplementary insurance serves to close gaps in your health insurance coverage. It is taken out with a private insurance company.

personal liability insurance

Liability insurance covers damage caused by negligence, lack of performance or reckless behaviour. It applies to all damages for which you are responsible. Only damage to third parties is covered by the insurance.

Life insurance

A life insurance policy covers the risks of death or disability and can also be used as a retirement provision. Depending on your risk profile, various contract options are offered. A fixed sum insured is agreed, which is either paid out after a certain number of years in the event of survival or earlier in the event of death.

Automobile liability insurance

All drivers of motor vehicles are under an obligation of taking out motor third party liability insurance. The insurance will cover damage resulting from an accident caused by the vehicle driver. It will cover damages to foreign motor vehicles, but can be applied to your own vehicle at additional cost.

Legal insurance

Legal expenses insurance covers the costs of legal proceedings, including a lawyer, the costs of experts and legal costs, as well as the costs of the other party if you lose the case. You can only make a claim after a certain waiting period, which begins with the conclusion of the insurance policy.

What to do in an emergency?

What to do in an emergency? Especially if you need medical care in an emergency or if you need a hospital quickly, it is important to know who to contact and how to obtain such assistance. Below you can get some informations, how to act.

There are two different numbers to call in an emergency. You can call them if medical treatment is needed quickly or in any other case of sickness or emergency:

  • 112 - Ambulance and fire brigade
  • 110 - Police

Medicines are usually obtained through pharmacies. They are indicated by a large, red “A” symbol. There are two types of medicines:

  • available without a doctor’s prescription (e.g. headache pills)
  • prior medical examination and doctor’s prescription required (e.g. antibiotics)

+49 831 930 62 440

Need Help? Feel free to get in touch with our professional health care advisers.