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In Germany health insurance is compulsory, i.e. all doctoral and postdoctoral researchers resident in Germany must have health insurance coverage. You will need proof of health insurance, e.g. when enrolling at the university or applying for and extending your residence permit.
Researchers with employment contract must take out statutory health insurance. If you do not take out health insurance yourself, your employer will register you with the AOK (local statutory health insurer). You can change insurers within 3 months of the start of your employment contract. AOK and Techniker Krankenkasse are statutory health insurance organizations, which both have a branch office on our campus. Bills for medical treatment and medication are paid directly by the insurer, i.e. you do not need to pay them in advance.
Your statutory health insurance premium is deducted directly from your gross salary and the payments are shown in your pay slip. An explanation of the pay slip in English can be found in our flyer "Understanding your Payslip".
Health insurance is also compulsory if you are financing your stay yourself or through a scholarship. In this case, you must take out private health insurance. This also applies for shorter stays such as exchange semesters or internships. The premium for private health insurance depends on the age and medical condition of the policy holder. By contrast to statutory health insurance, in the case of private health insurance you pay the invoices for medical treatment and medication yourself first and are reimbursed later by your insurer. Please note that there can be considerable differences in private health insurance tariffs. Therefore, before taking out coverage, you should examine in detail what is covered by which tariff. In addition, there are special rates for doctoral researchers or young researchers from abroad. Private health insurance must be recognized by a branch of a statutory health insurer. The branch office of the AOK (a statutory health insurer) is located on the campus right next to the canteen. This office will issue a corresponding certificate for you. You also need such a certificate to enrol at the University.
A good overview on private health insurances for international researchers can be found here: https://www.euraxess.de/germany/private-substitutive-krankenvollversicherung-für-stipendiaten-deutschland
For citizens of EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Norway and Switzerland, the insurance coverage of their home country is usually also valid in Germany. For recognition, please bring the European Health Insurance Card with you, which you can obtain free of charge from your health insurance company in your home country. Then present it to a statutory health insurance company in Germany, which will confirm your exemption from compulsory insurance in Germany. You will find a representative of a statutory health insurance company on the campus grounds directly next to the cafeteria (AOK office). There you will be able to obtain a confirmation of your exemption from compulsory health insurance. You will also need such a confirmation for the registration as a doctoral student at the university.
Please note that the terms and conditions of coverage may differ in your home country and Germany. We therefore strongly advise you to discuss the range of services and possible additional insurances with your health insurance company before you travel to Germany.