Getting private health insurance as an international student in Germany

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You must apply for an exemption from statutory health insurance if you want to purchase private health insurance. Within the first three months of beginning your studies, you can apply to any statutory German health insurance provider (for example TK or AOK) for this exemption. It is valid for the duration of the program and cannot be reversed. 

How do I obtain a waiver from statutory health insurance?

To be exempt from statutory insurance, you must first contact a statutory health insurance provider, such as AOK or BARMER. Representatives from statutory health insurance providers frequently work out of offices at German universities. Even if you go to a local office, you must apply for an exemption in writing. Please bring your valid private health insurance certificate with you as this will be required to obtain the exemption. Private health insurance certificates will only be accepted by German universities in conjunction with statutory insurance exemption certificates.

How do I go about applying for private health insurance? 

You can apply for health insurance in person at one of your preferred provider’s branches, or you can apply online through the provider’s website. 

Depending on the health insurance provider you choose, they may only be able to give you advice in German or, to a lesser extent, English. Most private health insurance providers allow you to apply for coverage in multiple languages. Their customer service representatives will also be able to communicate in a variety of languages.

Remember the following points if you decide to apply for private health insurance: 

Tip: You can only get private insurance if your monthly income is less than 450 €. If you earn more than 450 € per month, you are no longer eligible for private insurance and must instead obtain statutory coverage. Contracts for so-called working students are an exception to this rule. You can earn more than 450 € as a working student while remaining privately insured.

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1. German Health Insurance
2. University Students
3. Studying in Germany