If you want to enrol at a university, you must have health insurance, because students are required to have health insurance in statutory health insurance funds. For enrolment, you must therefore present an insurance certificate from a health and nursing care insurance company.
When you reach the age of 25, you can no longer insure yourself through your family. However, if your education has been delayed due to military or civilian service, you are entitled to family insurance beyond the age of 25 for this period of service.
A family insurance is excluded if your regular total monthly income exceeds 470 Euro (in case of a mini-job: 450 Euro).
Family insurance is also not possible if only one parent is a member of a statutory health insurance fund, but the other parent and spouse of the member who is related to the children has an income above the annual compulsory insurance limit of 64,350 euros (as of 2021) and is privately insured.
In principle, you can be exempted from compulsory insurance within certain periods. However, an exemption is only possible if you have health insurance elsewhere (i.e. privately and/or through benefits).
Attention! The exemption from compulsory insurance is a final decision, as the exemption cannot be revoked during the entire period of study. Even after you have finished your studies, you cannot (re)join the statutory health insurance without further ado.
The exemption from compulsory student health insurance only becomes irrelevant when you become an employee again.
The application for exemption from compulsory insurance has to be submitted to the health insurance company with which you were last insured within three months after the start of compulsory student insurance (this is usually the start of your studies or the end of family insurance; but not the start of a semester). If you were not previously insured (not even with a family insurance) with a statutory health insurance fund, you can submit the application to any statutory health insurance fund.
If you are privately insured, you can be exempted from the statutory health insurance obligation. To do so, you have to submit an application to the relevant health insurance fund within three months of the start of your compulsory insurance. The exemption takes effect from the beginning of the calendar month following the application. Therefore, you should already apply for exemption before the beginning of the semester, otherwise you will be obliged to insure and contribute to the statutory health insurance.
You can get the application forms from the private insurance company. However, you have to contact your health insurance company before enrolment in order to get an insurance certificate. The health insurance company will issue a certificate stating whether you are insured with them or whether you are exempt from compulsory insurance.
Disadvantages of private insurance for students:
- In health insurance, family members are required to pay their own contributions.
- All costs must be financed in advance and will only be reimbursed later by the private insurance company.
- The contribution increases progressively with age.
- Women generally pay more than men.
- If the financial risk is too high, the private health insurance company can cancel the insurance contract.
- Once you have left the statutory health insurance, you usually have to stay in the private insurance until the end of your studies. If there is at least one month's interruption (exmatriculation) between the Bachelor's and Master's studies, it is possible to apply for admission to a statutory health insurance fund in the following Master's studies.
- At the end of your studies, at the latest when you reach the age of 34, the relatively low contribution of the private student health insurance tariff also ends.
The health insurance contribution for students subject to compulsory insurance is currently 76.04 euros per month. On top of that, there are the contributions for nursing care insurance. In addition, each health insurance company charges a different additional contribution - you can get information about this from your health insurance company.
If you receive BAföG, you will receive a monthly allowance of 84 Euros to compensate for these expenses. For this you need a certificate, which you get from your health insurance company and submit to the department for educational grants.
Students who are voluntarily insured and receive BAföG funding receive up to 155 euros per month as compensation for the higher voluntary health insurance contributions.
The insurance obligation - and thus the favourable contribution - exists at the longest until the end of the semester in which the 30th year of age is reached. An extension is possible in exceptional cases; our social counselling service will be happy to advise you on this.
Your membership ends one month after the end of the semester for which you last enrolled or re-registered, at the latest with your exmatriculation.
In addition, you leave the statutory health insurance for students at the end of the semester in which you reach the age of 30, or if another priority insurance obligation occurs (for example, as an employee).
Until December 2019, the insurance obligation ended at the latest after the 14th semester. This limit no longer applies as of 1 January 2020. So if you are younger than 30 and have dropped out of the student insurance due to too many semesters and are therefore in the voluntary insurance tariff, you can switch back to the cheaper student tariff at your health insurance by presenting your certificate of enrolment.
Attention! The compulsory insurance applies to everyone. This means that you have to continue to insure yourself after the end of your compulsory student insurance, regardless of whether you have statutory or private insurance. If you are currently without insurance coverage, the health insurance company with which you were last insured must continue to insure you. In the case of private insurance, there is a basic tariff for this.
Exceptionally, the more favourable student insurance requirement may continue after the age of 30. These exceptions can be
- the type of education
- family and personal reasons
- non-admission to the chosen education in the selection procedure
- acquisition of the higher education entrance qualification by second-chance education
- statutory compulsory service and civilian service
- voluntary social year, federal voluntary service, development aid service
- participation in the committees of the university
The health insurance companies always decide on a possible extension of the insurance obligation in each individual case. If the health insurance fund does not recognise the exceptional reasons given, you can appeal against this decision within one month. In this case, you should again give detailed reasons for your application for an extension of the insurance obligation. However, an objection or a complaint does not have a suspensive effect. Therefore, it may be necessary to continue to insure yourself voluntarily as an alternative.
There is no general exemption from co-payments. Initially, you have to pay all co-payments for medication etc. yourself. So that the financial burden is not too high, the co-payments may not exceed 2% of the annual household income.
If you do not have a regular income, the limit is 103,68 € (2 % of the standard rate of the head of household according to SGB II); this means that you have to pay this amount yourself. What is above this amount will be paid by your health insurance. To prove this, you have to collect all relevant receipts and then submit them to your health insurance fund. If this amount is already reached in the current year, you will receive an exemption card for the remaining months.
International students or students residing abroad who are enrolled at a German university are also subject to compulsory insurance.
However, there is no compulsory insurance if the student is entitled to benefits in kind from an institution in his/her home country on the basis of supranational or international law.
The age limit up to the age of 30 applies to foreign students in the same way as to German students. This also applies to the possible exceptions.
The co-insurance of spouses and/or children of foreign students who are subject to compulsory insurance is usually possible without any problems if the co-insured family members are also duly registered at the place of study.
The forgotten cooking pot on the stove causes a fire in the dormitory. On your way to university, you cause an accident on your bike, damaging two cars. While looking at your smartphone, you step carelessly into the street, a car has to swerve and seriously injures another pedestrian.
Three examples of situations that can happen to anyone and everyone and for which you have to bear the financial consequences. Serious property damage and personal injury in particular can mean paying for it for life and even financial ruin.
That's why you should be covered by personal liability insurance, which pays for the financial consequences of these damages.
If you have not yet completed your education and are not married, you should ask your parents whether they have personal liability insurance. It is possible that they still have insurance cover for you. In any case, this should be clarified with the insurance company.
If you are not covered by your parents, you can find information and offers for cheap private liability insurance from consumer advice centres and on the Internet.