Health Insurance

In Germany you are required to have valid health insurance. You must have it from the day you arrive. Insurance from abroad is only sufficient in a few exceptional cases. Here you can find information on what kind of health insurance you need.

For example, you will have to prove that you hold health insurance valid for Germany when applying for a visa, signing an employment contract, enrolling as a doctoral student or being issued a residence permit. Foreign insurance is only adequate in a few exceptional cases, and very often only insurance from German insurance companies will be accepted.

Germany has both private and statutory health insurance. Whether you are able to obtain private or statutory health insurance generally depends on whether you are employed in Germany or are being funded from elsewhere (e.g. via a scholarship, funding from your home university, own funds).

EU citizens are subject to the special regulations listed below.

Research Assistants

The following applies for Humboldt-Universität employees: You will generally have compulsory insurance from a statutory health insurance scheme. You can choose the statutory health insurance scheme from which you wish to obtain your insurance.
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Scholarship Funded or Private Funding

Scholars not employed in Germany and not previously holding statutory insurance in Germany will generally only be able to obtain private health insurance.
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Working in Germany as a professor you have mostly the status of a civil servant ("Beamter"). As a civil servant you are not obliged to be insured in the statutory health insurance system, which is the "public" system.
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Insurance is not required

  • Travel health insurance is sufficient for short stays of up to 90 days. This must be valid in all Schengen countries and have a coverage level of at least €30,000.

  • As EU citizens: Particularly if you are not employed in Germany and are still paying health insurance contributions in your home country, your insurance will often be recognised in Germany. If you are visiting Germany for a brief stay, ask your health insurance scheme in your home country for a European Health Insurance Card. However, this will only cover emergencies. For additional coverage, ask your health insurance scheme in your native country for a European S1 form. You can find information on specific conditions for EU citizens on the independent information platform:

  • Here you can find more information about the EHIC European Health Insurance Card:

  • Individuals from non-EU countries whose insurance in their home country also covers insurance claims in Germany: For your health insurance to be recognised in Germany, you must demonstrate that your health insurance scheme offers the same protection as German statutory health insurance. This is very difficult and often impossible to prove. Do not rely on this rule. If in doubt, we recommend that you obtain additional insurance from a German insurance company.

Tips and advice
  • Health insurance from abroad is very often not recognised in Germany. Even travel health insurance is not generally recognised for stays of more than 90 days!

  • You are required to hold insurance from the day of your arrival. However, it is often difficult to obtain insurance from a private or statutory German health insurance scheme whilst still abroad. You can therefore opt for foreign or travel health insurance as a temporary measure to cover your first few weeks in Germany. If you do this, you should obtain insurance from a German insurance company as soon as possible after your arrival in Germany.

  • In any case, if you plan to stay for more than 90 days you will have to obtain German insurance. We recommend that you do not purchase foreign or travel health insurance for your entire stay in Germany. In this event, your best option is to ask the German embassy or a German consulate how long your insurance must last for you to be granted a visa, as you will be obtaining new insurance once in Germany.