Statutory health insurance for foreigners

Any foreigner entering or living in Germany is obliged to take out health insurance. The different tariffs and models depend on the reasons and the duration of the stay. Foreign employees who work have to take out statutory health insurance.

In Germany everyone must have health insurance

In Germany, there are a wide variety of statutory and private insurances. Everyone can insure himself for and against everything he considers necessary or what he would like. But there are of course, as in many other countries, also insurances, which are a compelling necessity and duty as compulsory insurances.

Health insurance is compulsory – also for foreigners

One of the most important compulsory insurances is the statutory health insurance, also known under the abbreviation GKV. The SHI is, just like the unemployment pension, accident and long-term care insurance, an integral part of the German social insurance system and at the same time part of the health system. The health insurance is a compulsory insurance for all employees, who are below the insurance limit with their annual work pay and for many other groups of persons. Of course, it is also possible to take out voluntary SHI insurance. People who have left the GKV for professional or other reasons, for example, make use of this option.

In Germany, health insurance is also compulsory for persons from abroad living here permanently or temporarily. It differs in its tariffs and models, which depend on the duration and the reason for the stay. However, the general social regulations of the host country, the Federal Republic of Germany, always apply, even for foreigners in Germany. Many foreigners arriving in Germany require a visa for entry from certain countries. However, they only receive this if they can prove a valid health insurance. Also for foreigners the health insurance must correspond to the basic insurance protection of the GKV.

What do the GKV and the health insurance have in common for all foreigners in Germany?

If foreigners are not insured in one of the statutory health insurance funds, they must ensure that their health insurance contains essentially the same service points as the SHI so that medical care, treatment and other health-promoting measures can be granted and claimed.

In principle, as in the SHI system, outpatient medical treatment, dental care and medication, remedies and aids must be part of the health insurance for foreigners. Furthermore, the health insurance must include in-patient treatment and stays, medically necessary rehabilitation measures and all services for pregnant women, including childbirth.

Foreign students studying in Germany are also subject to health and nursing care insurance. They must present proof of health insurance at the time of enrolment. As a special feature for foreign students from EU countries, a European identity card is sufficient. They can obtain this card from their health insurance company in their home country. With this identity card, foreign students are automatically exempt from German health insurance.

During their stay in Germany, foreign students are looked after by the GKV. It also issues proof of matriculation. Foreigners who are not gainfully employed in Germany have the option of taking out private health insurance for foreigners. The private health insurance can be concluded individually, but must at least include the basic care of the GKV as well as transport to the home country or transfer in the event of death.

Professional advice and insurance comparison pay off

Foreigners in particular are not familiar with the necessary requirements in a foreign country. Foreigners who work in Germany and are subject to compulsory insurance are automatically covered by statutory health insurance (GKV). An insurance comparison for the decision, into which health insurance company one would like to enter, can be made, since there are different legal health insurance companies in Germany. They all provide the same basic care, but in some cases grant their members different additional benefits, which are reflected in the contributions.

Since every legally insured foreigner can also take out an additional private supplementary insurance policy, he should seek advice on this or obtain detailed information himself. Most private insurers offer private health insurance for foreigners with special rates. The special rates include Care College for foreigners who are staying in Germany for a maximum of one year for further training. The Economy tariff is also a tariff model that includes graduated contributions according to the duration of the stay. But no matter which insurance a foreigner chooses, an insurance comparison shows the conditions, strengths and weaknesses of the insurance in question. For the insurance comparison our free health insurance company comparison can be used:

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Christina Cherry
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