4.3 Health insurance coverage

When the application for a visa is made in the applicant's home country, proof of health insurance coverage may be required. At that point a German health insurance provider (Krankenkasse) should be contacted and health coverage for the stay in Germany should be arranged (5.1.2). An advantage of this approach is that doctor's visits or a stay in hospital will be a lot less complicated, because the cost of treatment will largely be covered by the medical insurance company rather than paid immediately by the patient.

If the prospective student has private health insurance coverage in the home country, this must be approved by a compulsory health insurance provider in Germany, which could mean that exemption is granted from mandatory health insurance coverage in Germany. It should, however, be considered carefully, because once such an arrangement has been made, admission to any mandatory health insurance provider in Germany will be rather difficult. Students should make sure that their private insurance provides them equal coverage to that of German public insurance.

If the country of origin has reciprocal arrangements with the Federal Republic of Germany (EU and EEA countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey), the applicant's national health insurance provider should be asked about the best insurance coverage. Meanwhile, a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will guarantee provision in the event of medical emergencies or when urgent medical treatment is required abroad. Holders of the EHIC card are exempted from the German requirement to be insured with a recognised mandatory health insurance provider in Germany. Sometimes taking out additional insurance coverage is advisable. Advice on this should be sought in the applicant's home country.