As soon as you are a resident in Germany or have your habitual residence, you are subject to compulsory health insurance in Germany. This is also the case if you do not have a permanent job yet. You have to register with a statutory health insurance company of your choice in Germany. Please note: The compulsory insurance in the statutory health insurance (GKV) takes effect automatically and also retrospectively! If your registration for membership in a health insurance company is delayed, this will result in premium debts. If you are only staying in Germany temporarily, you will remain insured in your country of origin. In Germany you can then be treated by means of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
All employees in Germany are compulsorily insured in the statutory accident insurance. A special registration is not required for this. The insurance is free of charge for you; contributions are paid by the employer alone. The accident insurance serves the prevention and protection against the consequences of accidents at work and occupational diseases. Their benefits include in particular curative treatment and benefits for medical rehabilitation, benefits for participation in working life (occupational rehabilitation), benefits for participation in life in society (social rehabilitation), wage replacement during incapacity for work and pensions for injured and surviving dependents. In the event of an accident at work, your employer will report the accident; if an occupational disease is suspected, your doctor will report it. The accident insurance company will then automatically check your claims. You do not need to submit an application or report.
If you are only staying in Germany temporarily, for example as a tourist, as a posted worker or as a seasonal worker mainly employed in the country of origin, you will remain covered by the health insurance in your country of origin. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is issued free of charge by your health insurance company in your country of origin. This allows you to be treated free of charge in Germany. You can find more information about medical treatment in Germany with the EHIC or a replacement certificate here.
Health insurance in Germany is possible via two different systems: statutory health insurance (GKV) and private health insurance (PKV). Statutory health insurance is compulsory for employees up to a certain income limit. Above this limit, you can choose whether you want to be a member of statutory or private health insurance. You have to choose one of these two variants. It is not possible to forego health insurance cover entirely! As a member of Statutory health insurance (GKV) you automatically are covered by care insurance. Tip: If you are self-employed, you are free to decide whether you want to be insured under statutory or private health insurance. However, private health insurance companies often differ in their contributions and benefits. Find out more and always compare several offers. Migration advice centres can help you with this. As a member of the statutory health insurance (GKV) you will receive a health insurance card. You present the health insurance card every time you visit a doctor. As a rule, the costs for medical treatment are settled directly with the health insurance company. You do not have to pay anything. Please note: Sometimes the doctor will recommend treatments that are not included in basic care. You can decide whether to use them at an additional cost. If your spouse lives in Germany and does not work, you can also insure them in the Statutory health insurance (GKV). There are no additional costs for doing so. The same applies to your children (family insurance). If you are insured in your country of origin and are only staying in Germany temporarily, you can receive medical treatment in Germany if this becomes necessary during your stay, i.e. you cannot wait until you return. This also includes benefits in kind in connection with chronic illnesses and pregnancy. To do this, present your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You should apply for the EHIC from your health insurance company in your country of origin before you leave. It will be issued to you free of charge. If no EHIC was issued, e.g. which would take too long to be issued, you can also request a provisional replacement certificate. Please note: The EHIC is only recognised by doctors and hospitals that are part of the public healthcare system – private healthcare is not covered. If you are only going to Germany to receive medical treatment,the costs incurred will only be covered by your foreign health insurance if you have obtained prior approval. You can prove the approval with a form (Document S2) from your health insurance company at your place of residence. If you have moved to Germany to look for a job, you can register with the German health system. To register, you must bring a form (Document S1) from your health insurance company in your country of origin and present it to the German insurance company. You will remain a member of your old health insurance, but you will receive full non-cash benefits in Germany. Without registration – i.e. only with your EHIC – you will only receive the medical care necessary during your stay. General information on the benefits of German social insurance in the event of illness, accidents at work and occupational diseases are available on the websites of the GKV-Central association and the German Statutory Accident Insurance.