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Private Health Insurance for Expats

Everything you need to know for your stay in Germany

PKV from € 259.84 per monthCheapest PKV tariff for employees. Own contribution to private health insurance costs: €259.84 per month. The employer’s contribution has already been taken into account.weiterlesen This is a sample calculation from ARAG (tariffs: K0, KTV42, PVN) for an employee aged 30, single room, no deductible, incl. compulsory long-term care insurance, no daily hospital allowance, daily sickness allowance of €110 from day 43. The premiums include the 10% surcharge for relief in old age and the nursing care contribution (as at January 2024). Please note that the calculation only shows the tariff costs when the policy is taken out. Higher monthly premiums may become due with increasing age.

  • Health insurance is mandatory
  • Private Health Insurance is ideal for Non-EU expats staying in Germany
  • It covers medical needs during stays

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Health insurance is mandatory

Private Health Insurance is ideal for Non-EU expats staying in Germany

It covers medical needs during stays

We find the best rates from over 180 insurers for you.

  • Health insurance is mandatory for all residents in Germany, including expats. Without it, you cannot obtain a visa or residence permit.
  • Expat health insurance is suitable for non-EU citizens with a temporary visa up to 5 years and provides coverage for medical treatments, hospital stays, and emergencies.
  • Switching from private to statutory health insurance in Germany is challenging and subject to specific income requirements.
  • Some insurers offer additional coverage such as travel liability insurance, travel accident insurance and daily sickness allowance insurance for the self-employed.
  • Typically, expat insurance covers only the individual, but some insurers offer separate policies for family members.

What is expat health insurance?

If you want to live and work in Germany, you need health insurance. If you are not from the EU or the Schengen Area (EU including Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein) and only plan a temporary stay, expat insurance is an option for you to fulfill the mandatory health insurance requirement in Germany.

Expat health insurance, also known as incoming health insurance or international health insurance, is a special type of private health insurance. It is aimed at non-EU citizens who want to live and work in Germany with a temporary visa for up to 5 years.

Who needs expat health insurance?

Expat insurance is ideal for you if you are a non-EU citizen and …

  • Are moving to Germany for the first time and applying for a residence permit and a job. In this case, expat insurance can help you get a visa quickly and establish yourself in Germany during the first 1 to 2 years.
  • Plan to stay in Germany for a maximum of 5 years from the start and work here as a freelancer or self-employed person.
  • Cannot immediately join statutory or private health insurance in Germany upon arrival. In some cases, expat insurance can bridge the gap until you can switch to regular health insurance.

If you fall ill or have an accident during your stay in Germany, expat insurance will provide you with the necessary medical care and prevent you from facing high medical costs.

Who benefits from incoming insurance?

  • Employees from non-EU countries sent to Germany by their employer or working in multiple countries
  • Business travelers
  • Doctoral students, guest lecturers, and interns without social security obligations
  • Students at private universities or students over 30 years old
  • Language students, au pairs
  • Freelancers & self-employed individuals (without social security obligations)

Advantages of incoming insurance over regular health insurance

  • Simple application process
  • English-speaking service
  • Flexibility
  • Meets visa requirements
  • Faster appointments with private health insurance
  • Often cheaper than public health insurance
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Services covered by expat health insurance

The following insurance benefits should be provided by expat insurance:

  • Reimbursement for medical treatments (outpatient and inpatient) and emergency treatments.
  • Reimbursement for hospital stays.
  • Coverage for medical repatriation or return transport.
  • Minimum coverage of €30,000.

These benefits must be met for you to apply for a visa in Germany. Depending on the provider and plan, expat insurance may offer additional benefits, such as subsidies for dental treatments, physiotherapy, maternity treatments, or preventive examinations.

With some insurers, you can supplement your expat health insurance with travel liability insurance, travel accident insurance or – if you are self-emploeyed – daily sickness allowance insurance.

What does incoming insurance cost?

The cost of expat health insurance depends on factors such as your age, health condition, the scope of coverage you want, deductible and the contract duration. Prices for comprehensive coverage start at around €100 per month, depending on the provider and plan. But the costs are calculated individually. Comparing rates, plans and providers is therefore worthwhile when choosing your insurance coverage during your stay in Germany.

Get advice directly from our CLARK PKV expert team.

Good to know

Expat health insurance is only a temporary solution. If you want to extend your visa and stay in Germany longer, you should promptly look into German health insurance options. Germany has 2 systems: statutory and private health insurance. However, you do not always have a free choice. Let our experts at CLARK advise you on which health insurance is right for you.

How to take out expat health insurance?

Who offers incoming insurances?

You can find expat insurances from reputable German insurers such as Allianz, Hallesche Kranken­versicherung, Barmer or HanseMerkur, to name a few. For students, Mawista is a company offering health insurance plans tailored to expats.

International providers like Aetna (USA), Cigna (USA), or IMG (International Medical Group) also offer expat insurances, often with worldwide coverage.

How it works

How do you find the right insurance for you among these and many other providers? It’s simple with CLARK. Our insurance experts provide comprehensive advice and suggest insurers that offer you the optimal coverage.

This saves you time and stress, allowing you to start your stay in Germany well-insured.

Of course, they will also answer all of your questions about insurance.

Other health insurance options in Germany

If you are an EU citizen or plan to stay in Germany for more than 5 years, there are various health insurance options available to you.

Health insurance for EU citizens

For citizens from the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, or Norway, obtaining health insurance in Germany is relatively straightforward. You can apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) through your home country’s health insurance company. Typically, this card is already printed on your existing insurance card. The EHIC ensures that your foreign health insurance is recognized in Germany and entitles you to medically necessary treatments.

Key Points:

  • EHIC Coverage: Covers necessary treatments, but not those that can be postponed until you return home.
  • Services Covered: Doctors, dentists, hospital stays, with some co-payments (e.g., €10 per day for hospital stays, €10 plus 10% for prescriptions).
  • Extending EHIC Benefits: Obtain EU form S1 from your home insurance for extended coverage.

How long is the EHIC valid?

It’s important to note that the EHIC is valid for the entire duration of your temporary stay, not just 3 months. The definition of a ‘temporary’ stay can vary based on individual circumstances

Health insurance for non-EU citizens

For non-EU citizens, health insurance requirements depend on whether your country has a social security agreement with Germany. If you need a visa, you must prove that you have health insurance, typically through special travel or incoming insurance policies, that is valid for up to 5 years. Expat insurance fulfills exactly this requirement.

Key Points:

  • Visa Requirement: Proof of health insurance required.
  • Short-term Stay: Insurance must cover the Schengen area, with a minimum coverage of €30,000.
  • Countries with Agreements: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Morocco, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Tunisia.

Do you have any questions or require individual advice? Contact us today and let our experts help you find the best health insurance for your needs.

Types of health insurance in Germany

Germany offers two main types of health insurance: statutory health insurance (SHI or GKV) and private health insurance (PHI or PKV).

AspectStatutory Health InsurancePrivate Health Insurance
CostsBased on income, 14.6% plus additional plan-specific contribution. Employers pay half for employees.Based on chosen benefits, age, and health condition. Income is not a factor.
BenefitsStandardized across insurers; treatment costs paid directly by the insurer, except for co-payments.Customizable coverage, often with shorter wait times and access to innovative treatments.
Pre-existing ConditionsNo effect on contributions; insurance cannot be refused.Can lead to higher contributions or refusal. Basic tariff available with SHI-level benefits.
PrepaymentNot applicable, treatment costs are paid directly by the insurer.Bills are paid upfront by the insured and then reimbursed by the insurer.

Can you freely switch between public and private health insurance?

If you work as an employee, you must meet certain requirements to switch to private health insurance (PKV). Primarily, you need to have an income of €69,300 per year or €5,775 per month (as of 2024). Once you have opted for private health insurance, switching back to public health insurance (GKV) is challenging and comes with several obstacles.

Health insurance by occupational group

The type of health insurance you should choose often depends on your occupational group:

Migrant Workers

Must have statutory health insurance; employers handle registration.

Self-employed Migrants

Choose based on previous coverage; uninsured must take out private insurance, for example expat insurance.

Foreign Students

Opt for statutory health insurance or incoming insurance if not covered by EHIC.

Migrant Retirees

Usually covered by home country insurance.

Migrant Jobseekers

Must have statutory health insurance, regardless of receiving unemployment benefits. Unemployed individuals may also take out voluntary statutory insurance if they can show proof of previous insurance periods.

Family members: Can be included in statutory health insurance through free family insurance, covering spouses and children up to the age of 18.

For those coming to Germany from outside the EU, private health insurance is generally required.

If you have any questions or need personalized advice, feel free to contact us today and let our experts help you find the best health insurance for your needs.

Taking out health insurance in Germany: Required documents for foreigners

To register for health insurance in Germany, you will need the following documents:

  • Contract of employment
  • Copy of passport or identity card
  • Copy of residence permit

You must choose a health insurance plan within 3 months of your arrival. Be aware that contributions are levied retroactively. If you register in the third month, you will still need to pay contributions for the first 2 months.

Frequently asked questions on expat health insurances

Is my family also covered by the Expat health insurance?

Usually, you take out expat insurance only for yourself. However, some insurers offer a separate policy to cover family members, such as spouses and children.

What happens if I don’t have health insurance during my stay in Germany?

Health insurance is mandatory in Germany. When applying for a visa and residence permit, you must prove that you have valid health insurance. Without health insurance, you are violating the law and must pay for all medical treatments and hospital stays out of pocket.

What happens to my expat insurance contract if I have to leave the country early?

If you have to leave Germany early, your insurer should allow you to terminate your contract, as the reason for the insurance no longer exists. Some providers allow policyholders to cancel their insurance at the end of the month without providing a reason.

Does international health insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Some insurers require a health assessment, known as a risk assessment, as part of the application process. You will need to provide information about your medical history and the insurer will decide whether to cover pre-existing conditions, charge additional premiums or exclude them from coverage. At Allianz, for instance, there are international health insurance plans with a waiting period (moratorium), where coverage for pre-existing conditions begins only after the waiting period has elapsed.

Next steps

  1. Contact Our CLARK Experts: You can easily reach out via chat in the CLARK app or by providing your contact details.
  2. Get Advice: Our CLARK experts will provide you with non-binding advice. Upon request, you will receive a personalized offer tailored to your situation.
  3. Choose Your Insurer: Select your preferred insurer. With the help of our CLARK experts, you can submit your application and sign the contract digitally. Insurance has never been easier!

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