The German medical system is excellent, however it is also very expensive. Therefore if you plan to stay longer, adequate health insurance is an absolute necessity.
Studying in Germany
If you particpate in a course at a local language school, health insurance is generally optional. Many schools offer an additional insurance package available for a moderate price. Alternatively, you can always take out private travel and health insurance in your home country before you arrive in Germany.
Attending university in Germany
Public health insurance is mandatory in order to attend university in Germany. You will not be able to register for courses without official proof that you have public health insurance. Please contact the International students Office of your university for more detailed information.
Working in Germany
If you are working in Germany, mandatory public health insurance will be automatically deducted from your salary. It is also possible to purchase private insurance to increase the coverage of your insurance and to give you more options in terms of choosing your doctor etc.
Medical Emergency - Visiting a doctor
Generally, you will not have to pay for your visit in advance. If you are a student or working fulltime in Germany, you will probably have a public insurance card. If you are covered by private travel or health insurance, you must pay via bank transfer. Afterwards, you will hopefully be reimbursed by your own insurance company (remember to keep the receipt!). Not all treatments are covered by public or private insurance policies. Check with the doctor and/or the insurance company. In emergencies dial 112 for assistance.
If you are studying or working in Germany, treatment in hospitals is free, except for a small contribution called a co-payment. When travelling in Germany be sure to check with your insurance company prior to departure about which treatments and emergencies are covered by them. Hospitals and physicians do not generally accept credit cards.
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