Home Health Legal Health Insurance in Germany For Indian Students And Employees – Forbes Advisor INDIA

Legal Health Insurance in Germany For Indian Students And Employees – Forbes Advisor INDIA

Legal Health Insurance in Germany For Indian Students And Employees – Forbes Advisor INDIA

Purchasing a health insurance policy is considered as one of the first priorities if you are planning to come to study or work in Germany. As per the German law, everyone residing in the country must have health insurance, including foreign students or employees. The advantage of having health insurance in Germany is two-fold: First, it provides you with financial help in case of any medical emergencies and second, it is needed to obtain a residency permit or student visa in Germany.

Here’s a guide with an overview of health insurance in Germany for Indian students and employees, the eligibility and benefits and everything else an Indian student or an employee would require in Germany.

How Does the Health Insurance Sector of Germany Work?

The German healthcare insurance is considered as one of the best in Europe. Under German law, you must have health insurance with an insurance provider (called a Krankenkasse in German) that offers at least the minimum basic coverage.

Even if as an Indian you are working or studying in Germany, you are very much eligible to apply for German health insurance and once you become a resident of Germany, you have to register yourself for either private health insurance or statutory health insurance. The state-run and government-regulated statutory health insurance system (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung, GKV) and private health insurance (Private Krankenversicherung, PKV) can be taken up from any German or international insurance company 

To know about private health insurance and statutory health insurance of Germany, read our article for more details.

When Should Indian Students/ Employees Consider Having A Health Insurance in Germany? 

Ideally, those Indians or expats who are planning to come to Germany for their studies or work, should try to get their health insurance done before they arrive here. However, the government in Germany provides a brief grace period of 30 days, only to European Union (EU) nationals. 

But being from a country outside the European Union, like India, it is advisable that Indians must have their health policy in place before they arrive in Germany for work or for study to avoid any hassles and tough situations. Indians also need to have a valid German health insurance, which further helps them to obtain a student or residency visa.  

How Do Indian Students/Employees Get Health Insurance Policy in Germany?

If you are arriving in Germany as a company employee, then your employer will take care of all the requirements related to health insurance, but if you come here as a freelancer, a self-employed professional or as a student, you are required to take up the health insurance policy and must submit all the needful documents required for your insurance and visa application, much before in advance. 

But, if you are less than 30 years of age, then it is a legal obligation to have a statutory health insurance policy in Germany. For this, you need to contact the insurance companies such as TK, Barmer, HKK, DAK health, IKK classic, among many other accessible health insurance companies to apply for statutory insurance. Read our article on the best statutory health insurance companies in Germany for more details.

However, for private health insurance or PKV, Germany does offer the insurance coverage, only if:

  • If you are above the age of 30 year.
  • If you earn more than 64.350 euros every year (as for year 2022).
  • If you are a freelancer or self-employed.
  • If you are a civil servant.
  • If you are a foreign student in Germany.

There are several companies that provide private health insurance to Indian students and employees. A complete list of all private health insurance providers is available on their official website. Remember, all statutory and private insurance schemes have special discounted rates for foreign students.

What are the Benefits of Having a Health Insurance In Germany? 

Statutory health insurance or popularly known as GKV covers most of the German population. So, if as an Indian student or as an employee you are residing in Germany and earn less than 64.350 euros per year, then you will be enrolled in this scheme automatically. Your contributions to health insurance would broadly cover the following benefits: 

  • Outpatient treatment costs such as visiting a doctor.
  • Inpatient treatment costs as a ward patient.
  • Basic dental care.
  • Prescriptions and medicines.
  • Premium-free family insurance
  • No pre-health screening needed

However, if you take up for the private health insurance policy in Germany, then the Indian students or employees would receive more comprehensive insurance coverage but at costly rates, such as:

  • Outpatient treatment costs such as visiting a doctor.
  • Inpatient treatment costs as a ward patient.
  • Dental care.
  • Treatment costs related to rehabilitation. 
  • Alternative treatment in private hospitals.
  • Quicker access to specialized doctors
  • Maternity and new-born coverage.
  • Coverage for pre-existing diseases.
  • Provision with medicines and medical appliances.
  • Option to choose private hospitals with better amenities..
  • Each family member will have a separate policy which means more coverage but with additional cost. 

It is to be noted that the coverage provided by statutory healthcare insurance in Germany is quite extensive which ensures that all the crucial treatments get covered. However, PKV provides a much wider range of services with faster access and better amenities but at a higher cost. 

Optional Health Insurance Cover

There is also an option of enhancing the present health insurance coverage in Germany. There is an option to choose supplementary coverage with your present private or statutory insurance, at the cost of extra premium. This additional coverage could be beneficial, if one wants to be covered for the additional benefits which are not included in their present policy. The optional coverage includes:

  • Additional dental care, such as tooth cleaning.
  • Additional maternity coverage.
  • Private and single hospital rooms.
  • Consultant doctors.
  • Sickness benefits.
  • Direct access to specialists.
  • Fixed-rate premiums.
  • Reduced voluntary excess.

What are the Documents Needed to Apply for Health Insurance in Germany?

Once you know which kind of health insurance policy you need to opt for, it is advisable to compare the various insurance providers by using comparison websites such as Tarifcheck, Check24, PKV-Gesundheit to see which company offers the best coverage at good rates. 

Then, if you have chosen your provider, purchasing an insurance policy can be easily done by filling up a quick form on their website with your personal details. You might also need some of the following documents:

  • Valid ID proof such as passport.
  • Registration Certificate (It act as a proof of address, given to everyone who lives in Germany, whether expat or German citizen)
  • International Bank Account Number, IBAN for your German bank account
  • Recent photograph.

After filling up the form and submitting all the required documents online, you need to send the printed copy via post to the concerned insurance provider. 

As a next step, you will receive an insurance certificate, which can be used as proof of coverage, that enables you to enroll for a university and also can be submitted to the concerned employer in case you have been employed in Germany.  

What is a German Health Insurance Card?

Once you have got the German health insurance policy, now you will be given a health insurance card. This health card is to be shown to your doctor, hospital, dentist or any pharmacy, which will show that you are covered by insurance and thus you do not have to pay upfront for bills related to medical requirements and emergencies.

Bottom Line

Residing in Germany without having a proper health insurance policy is illegal. And, if one is found to be doing so, they are liable for a huge penalty. It is also advisable to be very well aware of the coverage and services of statutory or private health insurance providers before signing any contract of health insurance policy. Look for the decent coverage at affordable premium rates to make sure that all your health based needs are met. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the usual cost of having statutory health insurance in Germany?

On an average, the German citizens are required to pay almost 15.9% of their gross income as a monthly contribution to statutory health insurance. This costing is made up of general contribution rate and individual additional contribution rate.

For more information Read our article Changing Health Insurance, Here’s How for more details on the costing up front of GVK.

How do Indian students receive a statutory health insurance policy?

What is basic coverage of German Health Insurance policy?

Is healthcare in Germany free for Indian students and employees?