Health Insurance – The best and cheapest insurances for expats and international students

Save up to almost €600 a year with the right insurance!

Which health insurance is the best for me in Germany?

This blog post covers the topic of which is the best and cheapest health insurance for international students and expats in Germany. Having health insurance is mandatory for everyone in Germany. In other words, you don’t have a choice. You got to get covered by an insurance! However, insurance companies sometimes have a price discrepancy of up to 600 € per year. To speak plainly and honest, you can save almost 600€ a year with ease! However, choosing the more affordable insurance option also comes with some downsides.

Which three main criterias make a good insurance for international students and expats?

  • The price
  • English-speaking customer support
  • A smooth sign-up process

First, it is important to distinguish between the different types of insurances that are offered Germany. International students in Germany typically have several options for health insurance coverage, including:

  1. German Statutory Health Insurance (SHI) – Students who are working and earning above a certain income threshold must enroll in the German Statutory Health Insurance (SHI), which is the standard health insurance option in Germany and is mandatory. Most Germans, around 87% are members of the national (state) health insurance scheme.
  2. Private Health Insurance – This option is suitable for students who are not eligible for SHI or who prefer a higher level of coverage and additional benefits. Private insurance plans can be more expensive than SHI, but they offer more flexibility and often have shorter wait times for appointments.
  3. International Student Health Insurance – This type of insurance is specifically designed for international students and is available from a number of insurance providers. It provides coverage for both medical treatment and travel back to the student’s home country in case of an emergency.

Feather has a great comparison table regarding which public insurance might be the best option for you. It is a digital sign up and no German is required. Especially the public Barmer insurance who has partnered with Feather, has a smooth sign-up process as the online sign up just takes a few minutes. It’s in English, of course. Another way to compare insurance providers browse the Expatino directory.

Let’s talk moneyall public insurances charge 121€ a month.

How can you get covered more cheaply?

It sounds strange, but you can get a better deal from signing up with an expat insurance. For international students, getting covered by an expat insurance has many advantages. Normally, with a private insurance, you must build up a financial cushion for a later period in life. This is not the case with international students and expats. Student tariffs are particularly favorable because they do not yet build up aging reserves.

For international students, however, membership in an expat health insurance is in most cases cheaper, up to 600 €. The Feather expat insurance, for example, charges only €72 a month for incoming students and international students. This type of insurance is accepted at the visa office and will cover the user for a maximum of five years. You can cancel at any time and easily switch to public health insurance if you find a job. If you choose The Feather expat insurance, you would save a staggering 588€ a year.

What are the advantages of an expat insurance?

Expat insurance, also known as international health insurance, is designed specifically for individuals living and working abroad, including expats in Germany. Some of the advantages of expat insurance in Germany include:

  1. Comprehensive coverage: Both in Germany and internationally, ensuring that you have access to medical treatment wherever you are in the world.
  2. Customizable Coverage: Many expat insurance policies offer flexible coverage options that can be tailored to your individual needs and budget, including options for out-patient treatment, dental care, and maternity coverage.
  3. Quality of Care: Expat insurance policies often provide access to a network of high-quality international healthcare providers, ensuring that you receive the best possible medical treatment.
  4. 24/7 Assistance: Many expat insurance providers offer 24/7 assistance and support services, including access to telemedicine, medical advice, and emergency medical evacuation services.
  5. No Waiting Periods: Unlike some public health insurance options in Germany, expat insurance policies often have no waiting periods for pre-existing conditions, meaning you can receive treatment as soon as you need it.

Overall, expat insurance provides a high level of security and peace of mind for expats living and working in Germany, ensuring that you have access to quality medical treatment whenever you need it.

This low price does come with a few downsides, though. Some of them are listed below.

Disadvantages expat insurances:

  • Treatments related to pre-existing conditions are not covered
  • Bills must first be paid by the patient – However, you can make a photo and upload the documents to get an reimbursement asap
  • The policy does not cover check-ups and any conditions discovered during check-ups

Benefits “gesetzliche” state-run Insurance/Versicherung

  • Covers every appointment at GP (general practitioner), in-hospital treatment, out-patient treatments, surgery, maternity services and dental care
  • Medication, health remedies or medical aids
  • Medically necessary rehabilitation measures
  • Free choice of providers and unrestricted access to all care levels

It is important to compare the different insurance options carefully and to choose a plan that best suits your individual needs and budget. It is also a good idea to review the insurance policy thoroughly and to make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of the coverage.

How can you switch your insurance?

German authorities generally allow international students to change their insurance at any time. The new provider will then take charge of terminating your contract with the old company and will electronically send a new membership certificate to you.

However, there may be certain restrictions or limitations depending on the specific insurance plan and the individual circumstances of the student.

For example, some health insurance plans in Germany have a switch period, during which students are not allowed to change their insurance. This switch period usually lasts for three months from the start of the insurance policy and is meant to prevent people from changing insurance providers frequently.

Additionally, some health insurance plans may require students to pay a fee or penalty for cancelling their insurance early. It is important to check with the insurance provider for specific information on switching insurance plans, as well as for information on the costs and benefits of different insurance options.

In general, it is always a good idea to carefully consider your insurance needs and to compare different insurance plans before making any changes.

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