Information for international students

You come to Germany to study? Welcome! A lot of things will be different for you here. To prepare you to study successfully, we will take care of your health insurance. As you might know, you may not enrol in Germany without a health insurance. This means that you must not forget to take out a health insurance either in your home country or immediately after arriving in Germany. We will now show you how this is done!
Mehrere Studenten auf dem Campus liegen entspannt beieinander und lachen miteinander.© AOK


    How does the German health and welfare system work?

    Health insurance in Germany

    In Germany, health insurance is mandatory for all students. Please inform your health insurance provider early for which university or college you’re enrolling, in order to provide proof of health insurance. The health insurance company then transmits the necessary data on your insurance status to the educational institution.

    As an international student, do I need to take out health insurance?

    In Germany, all students have to provide proof of health and long-term care insurance by certificate of a statutory health insurance company, in order to be matriculated.

    A student can be insured as follows:

    • under statutory health insurance
    • under student health insurance
    • under private health insurance (an exemption from student health insurance is necessary)

    If you are from another EU country and studying in Germany, you don't have to take out health insurance, under the condition that you are already insured in your home country and you can provide a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you are insured through private family insurance an exemption has to be individually reviewed.

    This also applies to you, if your home country has signed a Social Security Agreement concerning health insurance with Germany. To verify your insurance to us, you need a certificate of entitlement (EESSI or  A/T 11).

    Your AOK student advisor will personally discuss the best option for your particular situation with you:

    Just call 0049 9131 9242 10 128 *
    Mon - Wed: 8am – 16.30pm
    Thu: 8am – 17.30pm 
    Fr: 8am – 15pm 

    * The cost of a call from abroad via land line or mobile phone depends on the rates set by the respective foreign network operator.

    Students with an European Health Insurance Card

    Students with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are also considered to possess a recognized health insurance in Germany.

    Germany recognizes the EHIC’s of the following countries: Austria, Belgium Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus (southern), Czech Republik, Denmark (including the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Estonia, Finland, France (including Martinique and  Guadeloupe), Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal (including Madeira), Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (including Balearic Islands and Canary Islands),Sweden and Switzerland

    If you are planning to study in Germany and are originally from the UK you do not have access to the EHIC. Please inform the NHS that you are planning to study in Germany and registers for a Global Health Insurance Card under the following link:

    To be able to enroll at a German university, you will need to prove that you have taken out a health insurance. You may do this by simply taking your EHIC or proof of insurance to a branch of the AOK. The AOK will then notify the University of your insurance status and transfer all relevant data for you.

    What do I need to bear in mind if I have a job alongside my studies?

    Attention: The following rules only apply to Persons who have student health insurance with the AOK.

    • All kinds of 'minor employment' up to an income threshold of 450 Euro/month are exempt from insurance in all lines of insurance.
    • Short-term jobs up to a maximum of three months or 70 calendar days are exempt from insurance in all lines of insurance.
    • During the semester, jobs that require you to work up to 20 hours a week are exempt from insurance under statutory health insurance, private health insurance and unemployment insurance.
    • Regardless of how much money you earn and how many hours you work per week, as a student your job is exempt from insurance during semester breaks.

    If you are insured with a different health care provider, please check which guidelines apply to you.

    What are the advantages for me if I take out insurance with AOK?

    The AOK is a non profit oriented health insurance organisation. As one of the largest health insurance organisations in Germany we have the administrative and financial strength to provide excellent medical care at moderate rates. Our service is fast, competent and unbureaucratic. You can count on us in case of emergency. We offer you:

    • Affordable premiums
    • Our special "AOK Student-Service " - 70 times in Germany
    • Free choice among over 130.000 doctors and dentists
    • No advance payments thanks to your AOK card
    • Individual advice and personal service provided by our student advisers
    • Accessible office locations, directly on-site in many university and college towns
    • Long opening hours and quick, unbureaucratic help when needed
    • Nation-wide telephone hotline at the cost of a local call
    • Advice and assistance in all matters relating to social security
    • A comprehensive program to promote health and healthy living
    • On-going support to help you overcome all hurdles relating to insurance during your studies
    • We will arrange for you a smooth transfer from free family insurance to the Student Health Insurance scheme and, if required, subsequent Voluntary Student Insurance.

    What risks does the health insurance cover?

    As its slogan “the health insurance provider” already suggests, the AOK provides 27 million people with health insurance and thus is one of the biggest health insurance companies in Germany. They pay out for treatment by doctors and dentists, medication, therapy (massages, physiotherapy, etc.), assistive equipment (wheelchairs, walking aids, etc.) and hospital treatment. You are also eligible to an allowance if you fall ill and are not able work. Please note that you are not eligible for this sickness allowance if you have student health insurance. Also, some of these services can include additional charges. This is the case for people insured with any insurance company.

    Further information: With our benefits, we support the idea that illnesses can be prevented, or be detected and treated at an early stage.

    Find out more about AOK's benefits and services here (The site is in German).

    How can I take out insurance with my regional AOK?

    Please enter your German postcode so that we can display regional offerings and information on how to become an AOK member.
    Aktualisiert: 12.03.2024

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