Health insurance

The International Center gives advice concerning health insurance etc.

Private or statutory health insurance?

In Germany you can choose between private and statutory health insurance. Up to your 30th year of life (or the 14th semester) you must always insure yourself with a statutory health insurance. Only in exceptional cases is private insurance permitted. Clarify this with the International Center. However, remember that you will not be able to switch back to a statutory health insurance during your entire studies once you have chosen to go to a private health insurance.

Most students are insured anyway by one of the statutory health insurance companies, since these often offer cheaper rates than the private health insurances. Currently, the monthly contribution rates for students in the statutory health insurance are around 90 Euros. Spouse and children of the insured person are also insured in this amount if they do not have their own (or only a small) income.

Recognition of foreign health insurance

There are social security agreements with some countries, including the member states of the European Union and the European Economic Area: If you have statutory health insurance in your home country, you can have this insurance cover recognized in Germany by a statutory health insurance. However, clarify in your home country which documents you need for this! For students, this is usually a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC can be applied for free at your health insurance.

Your insurance may not cover all costs in Germany. Inquire prior to your arrival exactly what services you are allowed to use in Germany. If you have no insurance at home, you still have to sign up for an insurance in Germany, like all other students. The private health insurances of other countries may also be recognized in Germany. More details should be clarified with your insurance company.

The homepage of the German Liaison Office for Health Insurance Abroad (Deutsche Verbindungsstelle Krankenversicherung - Ausland (, German only) will tell you which countries Germany has concluded Social Security Agreements with.

During enrollment at the beginning of the semester you will receive information on statutory health insurance at the International Center!

Private health insurance

After the 30th birthday or the 14th semester, you can no longer insure yourself in the moderate student rate of the statutory health insurance. However, some statutory health insurance companies offer graduate tariffs that grant you a discounted insurance cover for another semester. In addition, you have the opportunity to take out voluntary insurance with your statutory health insurance.

Otherwise, you will have to switch to a private health insurance. This is especially true for students who are already 30 when they start their studies in Germany.

Also those students who take part in a preparatory language course, e.g. at the Department German as a foreign language at Kiel University, can not insure in a statutory health insurance. In this case, a private insurance must be chosen. If the language course is finished, students under 30 can switch to the statutory health insurance for their studies.

The Deutsche Studentenwerk has made a general agreement with the UNION Versicherungsdienst GmbH and Advigon Versicherung AG for students who cannot get insurance with a public health fund.

If you are staying for a longer period, the "VELA optimal" tariff is recommended. This offers comprehensive health insurance including vaccinations and preventive medical checkups. The tariff "VELA basic" offers only limited services and is more suitable for exchange students who are only staying one or two terms in Germany. It is especially good value for money in the first twelve months; however as of the 13th month the contributions for the basic tariff increase.

More information at your Studentenwerk or directly at:

VELA - a brand of UNION Versicherungsdienst GmbH  Ecclesiastr. 1-4
D- 32758 Detmold
Customer service: 0800 603-6039 (Germany)
Customer service: +49 5231 603-6390 (international)

DAAD group insurance scheme

Application form for a special combined Health, Personal Accident, and Private Liability Insurance by DAAD Group Scheme

The below mentioned groups (as well as their families) which are sponsored or supported by the following DAAD programmes or organisations and DAAD partnerships an apply for the DAAD Group Insurance Scheme:

Practical Trainees (Tariff 720)

  • Deutsches Komitee der AIESEC e.V.
  • Deutsches Komitee der IAESTE e.V.
  • Deutscher Famulantenaustausch (DFA)
  • International Association of Agricultural Students (IAAS)
  • Leonardo da Vinci-Programme
  • Zahnmedizinischer Austauschdienst (ZAD)

Students and Graduates from European Countries (Tariff 762)

  • DAAD (for Example: Erasmus/Sokrates-Programmes, Go West-free mover)
  • Members of DAAD (Universities and Institutions of higher Education or practice orientated Education)

Students, Graduates, Post-Graduates, Doctoral Candidates, Academics and the likes sponsored, supported or represented by DAAD (Tariff 780, 781)

  • For example: CAPES, CNPQ, NSC, government fellow ship,  etc.)
  • Participants of International Studies (Master) or doctoral studies (Phd)

Students, Graduates, Post-Graduates, Doctoral Candidates, Academics and the likes sponsored, supported or represented by Members of DAAD or DAAD Partner Organisations (Tariff 790)

  • Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (AvH)
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
  • Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ)
  • Kernforschungszentrum Jülich (KfJ)
  • Members of DAAD (Universities and Institutions of higher Education or practice orientated education)
  • and other (cf. DAAD Partner Organisations)

Terms&Conditions, application forms and more information on group insurance schemes

(Source: DAAD)