Health Insurance

A man with a broken foot and crutches at a doctor's office

What is health insurance?

Health insurance is for your own protection and is a requirement for all people in Germany. The insurance covers the costs of medical treatment; this also applies especially in case a person cannot even pay for the doctor because of the illness involved. The option is available to select between legal and private health insurance. Employees with an employment contract will be employed by their employer. This means that the employer assumes nearly half of the health insurance provider’s fee, and contributions for health, pension, social, and unemployment insurance are also subtracted from the gross salary.

The following services (among others) are covered by the basic insurance plan of the legally appointed health insurance providers:

  • Out-patient medical treatments
  • Basic dental care
  • In-patient stays and treatments in hospitals
  • Medically required rehabilitation measures
  • Services for pregnant patients and births

If you do not yet have an employment contract, you can apply for insurance voluntarily with an insurance provider of your choice. The Guide to legal health insurance providers of the Ministry of Health in german will make it easier for you to reach a decision.

Private health insurance providers offer a range of different insurance packages.

As an EU citizen, you may still be covered by the health insurance provided to you by your home country. In any case, this is usually limited to emergency treatments. For this reason, it is recommended to apply to a German health insurance provider as an EU citizen as early as possible. In case of an employment contract as an employee, you are even obligated to purchase health insurance.

Refugees in Berlin are registered with a health insurance provider via the Landesamt für Flüchtlingsangelegenheiten (State office for Refugee affairs). During the first 15 months of residence, there is only a limited right to claim medical treatment. More information is available under health.

How can I purchase health insurance?

If you have selected a health insurance provider, then you can apply for membership. The respective membership applications are available online at the homepage of the respective health insurance provider or the respective service locations in Berlin.