Guide for Scholarship holders and other foreign academics

All you need to know about Health Insurance for Scholarship holders, PhDs, Postdocs and self-funded Guest Scientists plus additional information like application and Blocked Account.


Health Insurance overview for Scholarship holders, PhDs, Postdocs and Guest Scientists

The German university system is amongst the best in the world, with over 300 public universities including both traditional academic institutions and Universities of Applied Sciences. German universities are committed to both excellence in research and internationalism. Consequently, a large number of internationals study for a Doctorate or take a Guest Scientist residency in Germany, either being granted a scholarship, being employed or also being completely self-funded.

International Guest Scientists play an integral role in the German university system. Most German universities offer positions for foreign researchers and also warmly welcome international PhD students and Postdocs. Each year in Germany 28,000 students complete a doctorate, 5,000 of those have an international background. 

Guest Scientists (Researchers, Scholars, Doctoral candidates, Post-Doctoral candidates – with scholarship or self-funded) in Germany will find DeGiS network as a vital source of information, support and advice to help them when planning the move to Germany and during their time of studies.

 

Healthcare Insurance – Introduction

It is mandatory by law that all residents of Germany have health insurance, and this includes foreign academics, i.e. Guest Scientists (Researchers, Scholars, Doctoral candidates, Post-Doctoral candidates – with scholarship or self-funded). Most of the German population and also international students have public healthcare insurance whereas this is not always possible for Guest Scientists. Therefore, please read the entire DeGiS Health Insurance Guide with particular attention.

If you are an international Guest Scientists (Researchers, Scholars, Doctoral candidates, Post-Doctoral candidates, etc.) with an employment contract in Germany, or if you have been covered by Public Health Insurance (GKV)  from any European country in the past, you might be eligible for the Public Health Insurance – in this case, you can conclude it here. All other Guest Scientists from outside the EU/EEA only have the option of taking out Private Health Insurance (PKV) in Germany.

 

Decision tree: “Which Health Insurance to take?”

 

Unsure which Health Insurance to choose? Use the Exploration Chatbot and do an individual assessment of your Health Insurance situation

Different Private Health Insurance methods

Please be advised that there are two different kind of Private Health Insurances, as explained in our dedicated article about German Health Insurance. Those two different kind of insurances are in general:

  1. (Private) Travel Health Insurances
  2. (Private) Substitutive Health Insurances

The Travel Health Insurances may not cover all the treatments you wish to have covered (like the inclusion of pre-existing conditions, preventive assessments, existing pregnancy & childbirth, high-quality tooth treatments, vaccinations etc.) and often come with certain waiting periods before the actual coverage starts. Please also pay attention that depending on the local Foreigners Office handling the residence permit application, the travel health insurance might not be accepted as it does not qualify as a so-called “Substitutive” Health Insurance, so basically it does not offer  coverage on the same level as the Public Health Insurance. Still, a Travel Health Insurance offers a good coverage for the travel period and for short-term stay in Germany (<90 days), therefore in case of interest, read our Travel Health Insurance page.

As aligned with EURAXESS network, DeGiS always recommends concluding a “Substitutive” Private Health Insurance for a stay of more than 90 days. Several providers do offer such a Private Health insurances qualifying as “Substitutive”, but only a few tailor them to the special need of foreign academics, as listed below. With some of the providers, DeGiS negotiated special group contracts that are beneficial for the person insured.

 

Options for taking out Substitutive Private Health Insurance

There are different providers and possibilities for Substitutive Private Health Insurance coverage. DeGiS strongly advises international scholarship holders, PhDs or self-funded Guest Scientists to compare the available options and make a sound decision based on the price and coverage. The DeGiS- Care Concept is advisable for very young and healthy scholarship holders, whereas for all others the DR-WALTER PROVISIT is advisable as it offers comparably cheap prices and comparably high coverage. If DR-WALTER is not eligible because of certain pre-existing health conditions the DAAD – Continentale is an option, but it is comparably more expensive. In case of severe pre-existing conditions which are not covered by DR-WALTER or DAAD, the DeGiS-Hallesche is the only choice.

In case of questions, please refer to the Exploration Chatbot or contact the dedicated DeGiS insurance department for further information under versicherung@degis.info.

 

Unsure which Health Insurance to choose? Use the Exploration Chatbot and do an individual assessment of your Health Insurance situation

 

Substitutive Health Insurances overview:

Name tariffDeGiS – Care STUDENT GDeGiS – DR-WALTER PROVISITDAAD – Continentale 790DDeGiS – Hallesche BD1
InsurerCare Concept & Hanse MerkurBarmeniaContinentaleHallesche
Acceptance groupOpen for every scholarship holder.Open for guest scientists (Guest Researcher, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral candidates, etc. – self-funded or with scholarship)Open for every scholarship holder from DAAD partner universities.Open for every scholarship holder.
Acceptance ageUp to 34 yearsNo age limitsUp to 55 yearsUp to 64 years
Health questionnaireDetailed health questionnaire, surcharge, exclusion or rejection in case of pre-existing conditions.Rejection of customers with the following pre-existing conditions in the past 3 years: HIV, cancer, kidney failure, blood disease or multiple sclerosis, alcohol/drug abuse, bronchial asthma, gastrointestinal disorder, depression, diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, heart disease, neurodermatitis, rheumatic disease, stroke, brain damage, lung disease, spinal and joint disorder, liver disease, or if in need of medical care.Rejection of customers with the following pre-existing conditions: HIV, cancer, kidney failure, blood disease or multiple sclerosis.No health questionnaire. Open to all applicants, also with severe pre-existing conditions and ongoing treatments.
Has to be concluded within 6 weeks after arrival to Germany.
Premium Health InsuranceUp to 29 years €69.62. Between 29 and 34 years €95.68 per month.

€300.- deductible.
With scholarship: Up to 29 years €79.- Between 29 and 59 years €129.- per month.

Self-funded stay: flat €150.-

From 60 years €620.-
No deductible.
Flat €190 per month.

No deductible.
Between €182.25 and €513.18 per month, depending on age.

No deductible.
Premium Nursing Care Insurance (PVN)Mandatory Nursing Care Insurance, costs depending on age.Nursing Care Insurance not mandatory in every case – individual assessment.Nursing Care Insurance mandatory for stay >6 months.Mandatory Nursing Care Insurance, costs depending on age.
Premium for spouseFlat €144.74 per month.Flat €150.- per month.Same as main person insured.Same as main person insured.
Premium for childrenFlat €144.74 per month.Flat €99.- per month.Flat €139.- until the age of 18.Between €182,25 and €239,08 per month, depending on age.
Other factorsLiability and accident insurance can be added for €6 per month.Liability-, accident-, luggage-, and assistance insurance can be added for €6.60 per month.Price includes liability and accident insurance.Daily sickness allowance can be added, price depending on age.
Conclusion.Suitable for:Young and healthy scholarship holders with no or non-severe pre-existing conditions.Guest scientists, also without scholarship, without certain severe pre-existing conditions.Scholarship holders without certain severe pre-existing conditions.Ideal for scholarship holders with severe pre-existing conditions.
LinkDeGiS - Care Student GDeGiS - DR-WALTER PROVISITDAADDeGiS - Hallesche

 

Substitutive Health Insurances details:

1. DeGiS – CARE STUDENT G group insurance with Hanse Merkur

DeGiS has developed this tariff together with Care Concept. It is open to every scholarship holder and usually offers a comparably cheap price with comparably high coverage. It can be concluded up to the age of 34 and starts from €69,62 per month with the maximum price of €95,68 (with a deductible of €300 p.a.). If desired by the applicant, a private liability and accident insurance from Care Concept can be added for a small additional cost or concluded separately with another provider. The advantage is the cheap price, the disadvantage is, that it is only possible to conclude for young scholarship holder in a good health condition with no or little pre-existing conditions – in other cases, the insurance might reject your application. More information in different languages and the application can be found here: DeGiS – Care Concept

2. DeGiS – DR-WALTER PROVISIT group insurance with Barmenia

DeGiS has developed this tariff together with DR-WALTER. It is open to every Guest Scientist (not only scholarship holders!) and usually offers a comparably cheap price with comparably high coverage. It starts from €79,- per month with the maximum price of €150,- (no deductible). If desired by the applicant, a private liability-, accident-, luggage- and assistance insurance from DR-WALTER can be added for a small additional cost or concluded separately with another provider. The advantage of this tariff is, that there is no age limit and pre-existing conditions can be insured (but some exclusions as you can see in the table). More information in different languages and the application can be found here: DeGiS – DR-WALTER

3. DAAD group insurance with Continentale

If you are a scholarship holder at a partner organisation of the DAAD, it is possible to insure yourself in the DAAD’s group insurance. The price for this tariff is €190 including a basic private liability and accident insurance (no deductible). The advantage of this tariff is, that also persons up to 55 years of age can insure themselves, with the possibility of getting insured pre-existing conditions (but some exclusions as you can see in the table). More information and the application can be found here: DAAD – Continentale

4. DeGiS – HALLESCHE BD2 group insurance 

DeGiS has also developed another tariff together with Hallesche. This tariff is open to every scholarship holder. It can be concluded up to the age of 64 and with exemplarily costs of €203,38 per month for a 30-year-old scholar and €219,48 for a 35-year-old one in the tariff BD2 for non-EU scholars. The tariffs offer the possibility to join without a health questionnaire. More information and the application can be found here: DeGiS – Hallesche

Alternative providers:

If you are a scholarship holder with Max Planck Society or Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, you can also apply for private health insurance coverage with Mawista (tariff BD2 or DGOP2 provided by Hallesche) or IHC (tariff FlexMed Global provided by AXA). More information and the application can be found here: MawistaFlexMed Global

You can of course also conclude any other substitutive private health insurance. A good overview can be found on the website of the German Association of Private Health Insurances.

 

Unsure which Health Insurance to choose? Use the Exploration Chatbot and do an individual assessment of your Health Insurance situation

 

Blocked Account for Scholarship holders, PhDs and self-funded Guest Scientists

International PhD students from outside of the EU will often need to open a German Blocked Account and deposit sufficient funds to prove they can cover their living costs for the duration of their studies. This Blocked Account needs to be opened before a visa will be granted. Guests Scientists usually do not need a Blocked Account but will need their invitation letter from the university, proof of agreed payment or allowances or a scholarship contract in order to apply for a visa. On the contrary, self-funded guest-scientists without scholarship from the university might need to open a German Blocked Account.