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). Having a German health insurance provider makes transactions in the case of illness much less complicated as doctors in Germany are very familiar with German health insurance providers. Especially in the case of German statutory health insurance (gesetzliche Krankenversicherung), where you are not required to pay the cost of treatment in advance.

If you have private health insurance coverage in your home country, this must be approved by a statutory 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 statutory 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 statutory health insurance provider in Germany. Sometimes taking out additional insurance coverage is advisable. Advice on this should be sought in your home country.

Please also note our information about household contents, personal liability and accident insurance (► 9.9).