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    Moving abroad is usually equal parts exciting and equal parts overwhelming. There are many new systems and ways of life to understand. One of the first things an international student coming to Germany must tackle is their health insurance. Understanding the German health insurance system may seem overwhelming, but we at Coracle break it down for you while offering options and the next steps on how to get insured during your studies in Germany.

    Germany runs a universal multi-payer health care system. This means that the healthcare system is financed through more than one payer, usually including the government, private health insurance companies, etc. The system is divided into public health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) and private health insurance (Private Krankenversicherung – PKV). About 10.5% of the German public is covered by private health insurance while the remaining 89.5% is covered under public health insurance. Public health insurance in Germany is also known as statutory health insurance, this sets a level at which everyone must reach their health insurance coverage, it’s sort of like the “bare minimum”. Don’t let the term “bare minimum “ fool you, Germany’s healthcare system is considered to be one of the best in the world!

    Is health insurance in Germany mandatory for students?

    Health insurance has been mandatory in Germany for everyone since 2009 and that means that it’s also mandatory for international students pursuing their studies in Germany. Despite health insurance being compulsory for students, it’s also important to be protected during your studies abroad as you never know what could happen!

    What is necessary to know and understand about the healthcare system in Germany is that it is divided into public health insurance and private health insurance. We will go into a bit more depth on each one and explain if you fall into public or private health insurance, what coverage you can expect, how to register, and how to choose which provider is the best fit for you.

    Public Health Insurance 

    Public health insurance is the most popular option in Germany, providing coverage for about 89% of the population. Public insurance premiums are decided by your salary, not your age or preexisting conditions. There are currently around 130 non-profit private insurance companies, also known as Krankenkasse or sick funds.

    Who is eligible for public insurance? 

    International students enrolled in a university, so bachelor’s and master’s students. Since public health insurance is the most popular option in Germany, it might be easier to talk about who is NOT eligible. 

    Who is NOT eligible for public health insurance?

    • Language students & studienkolleg (preparatory students)
    • International students over the age of 30
    • Guest professors, scientists, and researchers
    • Ph.D. Students

    How much does public health insurance cost for international students in Germany?

    As an international student in Germany, you can expect to pay around 110€ per month for your public health insurance. This can range from 105€ to around 130€ depending on your provider.

    Visit our comparison chart to read more about the differences between public health insurance.

    What does public insurance through Coracle Typically cover for international students?

    With Coracle, you can select from multiple big-name insurance companies in Germany such as TK, AOK, BARMER; and DAK. Though these companies may differ slightly, they mostly cover the same things, as public health insurance is regulated by the state. 

    Examples of what is covered by public health insurance:

    • Statutory coverage as mandated by the german government
    • 24/7 Hotline
    • Online booking for Doctor’s appointments 
    • Health bonus programs (varying programs depending on provider)
    • Vaccinations
    • Access to specialists
    • Cashless doctor’s visits
    • Preventative services 

    Why should I register for German public health insurance through Coracle?

    We make what can be a complicated process, easy. Just select which insurance provider you would like, fill out some details on our application form, and we’ll take care of the rest. No further paperwork when you arrive. It’s an additional layer of support to your start in Germany as you can always reach out to our support team if you have any questions! 

    As an additional bonus, bachelor’s and master’s students qualify for our PRIME UNI Package, which offers a blocked account at a reduced rate, public health insurance registration, and FREE incoming travel insurance!

    Private Health Insurance 

    So now we’ve covered public health insurance in Germany, but what about private health insurance? Currently, around 10.5% of people in Germany are covered by private health insurance. Some private insurance companies are for-profit while some are non-profit and there are some specially tailored to students, such as Cannywings, powered by ERGO and offered by Coracle in our PRIME PRE package.

    Who qualifies for private insurance? Some people can only be covered by private health insurance while others may choose to opt into private health insurance, such as employees making over 62,500 euros a year.

    Others who are either eligible or must opt for private health insurance include:

    • Language students & Studienkolleg
    • Freelancers
    • Self-employed persons 
    • Civil servants
    • International students over the age of 30

    Do you find yourself in this category? Then as a student, you are eligible for private insurance with Cannywings, powered by ERGO. Canny wings are the exclusive brand of private health insurance for Coracle’s PRIME PRE students.

    Arzt mit rotem Stethoskop

    Benefits of private insurance with Coracle ( Cannywings):

    • Meets all German study visa requirements 
    • Accepted by all German embassies/ consulates 
    • Easy to register 
    • Tailored to students
    • Can be combined with free incoming travel insurance when booked as a PRIME PRE package. 

    What does private health insurance through Coracle (Cannywings) cover?

    • Treatments in hospitals, including operations
    • Out-patient treatment, drugs, medicines, and bandages
    • Dental treatment for pain relief
    • Insured in case of an illness or accident in Germany

    Learn more and apply for your private health insurance with Coracle

    Tip: Once preparatory students pass the Festellungsprüfung and enroll in University, they qualify for public health insurance!


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