Health Insurance for International Students in Germany

In Germany, international students need a health insurance coverage as a prerequisite for university and student visa applications. Long before you even claim a spot at an institution of higher education, you must arrange a health insurance. Only after that, you can proceed to register in a study program. 

With a matter this important, we have here all the information you need about health insurance for students in Germany. Find out what type of coverage you need as a university student, as a German language, a PhD student and so on. Learn also how to choose and apply for the right type of insurance based on your situation. 

Learn here how to apply to university in Germany.

Is health insurance mandatory for international students in Germany? 

In Germany, everyone, including international students, must have a health insurance coverage. University students who are under 30 can get a public German health insurance. On the other hand, those who are over 30, who are exchange students, language students and PhD students absolutely need private health insurance plans. 

As a student, make sure to check the insurance requirements for your university application and visa, the costs and pick a coverage that is not only affordable but also ensures you in case you need medical assistance in Germany. 

Lastly, after graduation, if you switch to a German work visa, you can apply for a public insurance again. However, you will pay then the same price as a worker, not the student reduced fees. 

Find here how international students can work in Germany after graduation.

Take a health insurance from your home country

You may be able to use preexisting health insurance depending on your home country. In this case, you need to check if your home country have a social insurance agreement with Germany. This is the case of the member countries of the European Union and European Economic Area. 

Hence, with a public health insurance in your home country, you can apply to have the same cover, as long as it’s recognized by a statutory health insurance company in Germany. Please consult your university for more information. Even if you get a basic plan, some students can also get additional health insurance plans to cover certain requirements.

German language students

Many students choose to learn German in Germany. In fact, it can help you enhance your conversational skills by speaking with native speakers. You’ll also get to experience their culture and more. Some language programs will require you to stay a couple of weeks or months in Germany. In that case, health insurance is required.

Additionally, you can choose the right insurance plan according to your own circumstances. On the other hand, you’re now able to compare private insurance plans and get them online. Please note that as a language student in Germany, you will not be able to access a public health plan.

Exchange students

To live in Germany as an exchange student, you will certainly need health insurance. Whether you’re taking a single semester or an entire year as an exchange student, or you’re a part of a program like Erasmus, you will be required to have health insurance. Considering that the law requires everyone in Germany to have health insurance, you’ll have to have a health plan according to the law. Most exchange students in Germany choose a tailor-made plan for better coverage.

International PhD students

Most students studying to earn their PhD in Germany will have to get a private health plan. As an international student, you can get statutory health insurance if you’ve reached the age of 30 or if you’re starting your 14th quarter.

How much is health insurance for international students in Germany?  

Public / statutory health insurance for students in Germany costs around €110 per month, depending on the company. One popular option for students is TK health insurance, which costs around €107 per month from the beginning of the semester. 

Private insurance, on the other hand, starts from €33 per month and increase to €60 if you’re older than 40. Moreover, this cost can increase depending on the content of the policy, and if you have pre-existing conditions and need more coverage. But in general, you won’t pay more than €130 per month. 

How to apply for a health plan?

There are approximately 113 public health insurance companies in Germany (known as Krankenkassen). You’re free to choose whichever one that suits you. All you need to do is call the company to inform them of your choice. Once you get in touch with them, they will guide you through the procedure, costs, and documents you need to provide. Also, many of them offer an online application process. And you’ll receive your student health insurance certificate as a printable PDF file, by e-mail.

The best German health insurance for international students (public and private ones)

Here’s an overview of some of the most popular insurance plans for students in Germany.

DR. WALTER: the cheapest health insurance in Germany for students

For students who are looking for a budget friendly coverage during their study stay in Germany, this is one of the best options. They offer public and private coverage for students for all medical costs during your studies in the country. This is also a good plan for your student visa application, since it’s recognized by all German official institutions such as embassies and immigration offices.

TK health insurance for international students

TK (Techniker Krankenkasse) is one of the biggest public healthcare administers in Germany. They cover a large percentage of the German population and offer online and phone support seven days a week. It’s no surprise then that TK is also popular among students, international and German ones. So, if you are eligible (international student under 30 studying at a German university), this might be a good option to check out. 

AOK health insurance for international students

Next to TK, AOK is the other main provider of statutory health insurance in Germany. They are also praised among students since they have a comprehensive plan tailored for them. Among their services, there is the possibility to meet your personal AOK adviser directly on campus or close by. Along with that, the coverage will give you access to state doctors in Germany. The cost is a bit higher, even for students, but if you need to cover all your medical needs, this is an interesting option to check out.


Feather provides this advantage of offering a public, private, dental, liability insurance and more in Germany. The company is also an English-speaking health insurance. In other words; you can sign up entirely online and get full support anytime and in English (if you don’t speak German yet!) For students, at a cost that starts at €72 per month, this insurance will cover all your health care needs during your stay in Germany. It’s also a good insurance plan for a visa application. 

Learn here how to get a student visa in Germany.

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