Health insurance is mandatory in Germany and it often has to be presented already when applying for a visa.
For entry into Germany, it is advisable to have travel health insurance that covers the period of arrival.
Once you have arrived in Germany, however, you must have valid health insurance for your stay. If you come from an EU country, you should clarify whether you can continue to use your existing insurance in your home country for your stay in Germany. If this is not the case or if you come from a country outside the EU, you should take out health insurance in good time. It is possible to apply for health insurance from abroad with most German health insurance companies.
In Germany there are both private and statutory health insurances. Whether you have to take out private or statutory health insurance usually depends on whether you have an employment contract in Germany or whether you are financed, for example, by a scholarship, funding from your home university or your own funds.
We recommend the information portal Euraxess, as it contains precise and detailed information on the topic of health insurance. You will also find lists of public and private health insurance companies with the relevant contact details.
Health insurance with employment contract
You will need health insurance when living in Germany. If you have an employment contract with Saar University, you are obligated to be included in all social security insurances. Please find out what this means for your stay via the
On our websites, we also provide you with a brief overview with information on the topic of social insurance.
With your employment contract, you will join the German statutory health insurance. There are many different providers, three providers have an insurance office on campus.
Health insurance without employment contract
If you do not have an employment contract, you will need to arrange your own health insurance cover. Students must submit proof that they have adequate health insurance cover when enrolling at the university.
If you are a national of an EU member state and are already in possession of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you will not need to take out additional German health insurance. The EHIC applies to medical and health services within the entire EU region.
If you are a student and plan to enrol, in this case you will also need a certificate called "Befreiung von der Versicherungspflicht / nicht versicherungspflichtig" (exemption from compulsory insurance / not subject to compulsory insurance).
Students from countries outside the EU will need to purchase student health insurance cover from a health insurance provider in Germany. If you are older than 30 years, please contact the statutory insurance providers, to learn if you can still join their insurance.
You can find this type of insurance, amongst other places, with the three providers of statutory health insurance on campus.
If statutory health insurance is not possible (for example due to age), you can look into the option of private insurance.
If you are taking a German language course or preparatory courses at the Studienkolleg, you will not be able to apply for student health insurance cover from a statutory health insurance fund. You will need to take out private health insurance or apply to pay voluntary contributions to a statutory health insurance fund. If you need help finding a health insurance provider, please contact the staff at the Welcome Center for assistance.
Guest researchers without employment contract, who finance themselves privately or via a scholarship, are exempt from the mandatory contribution to the social insurance, but still need to have a health insurance. They need to get private insurance.
If you already have valid health insurance in your home country, please check if this insurance covers visits to the doctor's office and hospitals during your stay in Germany. Please take a written confirmation of your insurance provider with you (at least in English).
If you insurance coverage is not sufficient, you need to buy an additional private insurance. While you can do this with an insurance abroad, we recommend to buy this insurance with a German provider, to ensure the coverage for your stay. You can also check with your scholarship provider, whether they offer any healt insurance package.
Private health insurance providers calculate their fees on the basis of several factors: age, length of stay, gender etc. Often different rates are offered (basic or premium), in which case the cheaper rates exclude many services. Please make sure to compare these offers in depth and when in doubt, choose the higher rate that covers more services.
On the website of the Euraxess network you will find detailed information on the topic of private health insurance for visiting academics and researchers.
Notes on private health insurance
Please note that private health insurance may have limitations. Please always read the tariffs offered in detail and check whether there are any pre-existing conditions that are not covered. Often, private health insurance also comes with waiting periods and the rates are calculated according to age.
In many cases, it may be necessary to take out private insurance (participation in preparatory studies, students older than 30, etc.). However, we advise against taking out private insurance only because it seems cheaper.
If it is possible, we always advise joining the German statutory health insurance!
On the Euraxess Network website you will find an overview with information on private health insurance for international doctoral students and researchers with scholarships or self-funding