Health insurance cover for students
In order to enrol at Saarland University, you will need sufficient health insurance cover in accordance with the Saarland University Act. Proof of health insurance must thus be submitted at the time of enrolment. You normally must submit proof of health insurance cover provided by a German statutory health insurance company.
Please contact your health insurance provider to obtain an insurance certificate prior to your enrolment. The health insurance company will issue a certificate stating
- whether you are insured or
- whether you are exempted from insurance, exempted from compulsory insurance or not subject to compulsory insurance.
Information from the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (web site available in English)
Information on health insurance for students issued by the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds (PDF available in German only)
German statutory health insurances offers a compulsory insurance for students, that students can generally take out no longer than up to the semester in which they reach the age of 30. If your studies have been verifiably delayed, for example due to voluntary service or the care for relatives in need of care, your membership can be extended.
Once you have reached the age of 30, your membership in the student health insurance usually automatically ends in the following semester. However, it is possible to continue to be insured under the statutory health insurance scheme through a so-called voluntary health insurance, a special type of statutory health insurance.
If you are insured with a private health insurance company you must be exempted from student health insurance for the duration of your studies (see below 'Exemption from compulsory insurance'). When switching from a statutory to a private health insurance, the previous statutory health insurance company is responsible to confirm this exemption.
There are cases in wich an exemption from compulsory insurance is not possible. In this case, the German statutory health insurance company must certify that you are exempt from compulsory insurance or that you are not subject to compulsory insurance. Proof of a health insurance cover provided by a private insurance provider (e.g. policy) alone is not sufficient for enrolment.
You are not subject to compulsory student statutory health insurance if you have family insurance through a parent, spouse or life partner (within the meaning of the Act on Registered Life Partnership, LPartG) who has statutory health insurance.
Up to the age of 25 you are eligible for non-contributory family insurance in the statutory health insurance scheme if you are in school or vocational training (including university studies), provided that all other requirements are met. Your health insurance provider can provide more information on these requirements. Once you have completed your university studies, the family insurance continues until the end of the semester, in which you graduated, however, at the latest until your reach the age of 25.
Your family insurance can be extended if your school or vocational training is interrupted or delayed by voluntary military service, voluntary service under the Federal Voluntary Service Act (Bundesfreiwilligendienstgesetz), the 'Act to Promote Youth Voluntary Services (Jugendfreiwilligendienstegesetz) or a comparable recognized voluntary service or because you have worked as a development aid worker. The insurance cover can then be extended for a period corresponding to the duration of your service beyond the age of 25, but for a maximum of 12 months.
Until you reach the age of 25 you can, under certain conditions, be insured with the legally insured parent free of charge.
If you have statutory health insurance cover in a Member State of the European Union (other than Germany), you must ask your home insurance provider to issue you with a European health insurance card (EHIC).
In addition, for enrolment you will need a certificate of health insurance cover from a German statutory health insurance. To obtain this certificate, please contact a German statutory health insurance provider and send them a copy of your identity card/passport, of your letter of admission to Saarland University, as well as proof of your existing health insurance. Once your insurance coverage has been checked, you will receive the corresponding health insurance certificate from the German statutory health insurance that you need to submit to the university.
With the EHIC, you are entitled to services and cost coverage for medically acute and necessary treatments. Your German health insurance provider, which issued the certificate of health insurance cover, settles these costs directly with your health insurance fund that issued the EHIC. If the services are not acutely necessary, it is also possible for the attending doctor to issue a private bill.
Please note: For planned treatments (not emergencies), international students with an EHIC or a social security agreement must first contact the German health insurance company from which they received the certificate they presented at enrolment. The German health insurance company will issue the document Nationaler Anspruchsnachweis. This document must then be presented to the attending doctor.
With Turkey, Tunisia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Germany has concluded bilateral social security agreements. If you are legally insured in one of these countries, you do not necessarily have to take out additional insurance in Germany. However, you will need to provide the correct certificate issued in your home country (e.g. AT/11 from Turkey) .
In addition, for enrolment you will need a certificate of health insurance cover from a German statutory health insurance. To obtain this certificate, please contact a German statutory health insurance provider and send them a copy of your identity card/passport, of your admission letter to Saarland University, as well as proof of your existing health insurance. After your insurance coverage has been checked, you will receive the corresponding health insurance certificate from the German statutory health insurance that you need to submit to the university.
Please note: For planned treatments (not emergencies), international students with an EHIC or a social security agreement must first contact the German health insurance company from which they received the certificate to be presented at enrolment. The German health insurance company will issue the document Nationaler Anspruchsnachweis. This document must then be presented to the attending doctor.
If you no longer have compulsory statutory insurance (e.g. because you have reached a specified age limit), you have the option remaining voluntarily insured in the statutory health insurance scheme. The prerequisite is that you have continuously had compulsory insurance cover for at least 24 months in the last five years or for at least 12 months immediately before leaving the compulsory insurance scheme. Continuation of membership in the health insurance scheme as a voluntary member also requires that you notify the health insurance fund in writing about joining within three months of leaving the compulsory insurance scheme. If you continue to be insured voluntarily you will remain subject to compulsory insurance in the long-term care insurance.
If your compulsory insurance cover ends (in particular because you have reached a specified age limit), you will remain in the statutory health insurance scheme but it will automatically continue as voluntary insurance. If you do not want to continue the insurance, you can declare your withdrawal within two weeks after the health insurance company has informed you about the possibility of withdrawal. The withdrawal will only become effective if you prove the existence of another entitlement to cover costs in the event of illness, for example through private health insurance.
Anyone who becomes subject to compulsory insurance as a result of enrolment at a higher education institution can apply for exemption from compulsory insurance. In this case, you must apply for the exemption at a German statutory health insurance provider within three months of the start of compulsory insurance. The exemption cannot be revoked, it is valid for the entire duration of your studies. The exemption only becomes effective if you prove the existence of another entitlement to cover costs in the event of illness, for example through private health insurance.
If you would like to apply for exemption from compulsory insurance because you take out private health insurance, please contact a German statutory health insurance provider. Send them a copy of your identity card/passport, of your letter of admission to Saarland University, as well as proof of private health insurance. The statutory health insurance provider will inform you about the possible disadvantages of an exemption.
Some student groups are not subject to compulsory health insurance but must still present proof of health insurance for enrolment. These groups include:
- Doctoral students (PhD students) who seek enrolment
- Students who are older than 30 years
- Participants in the German language course or the international foundation programme VSi MINT
Special insurance situations
Some students are not subject to compulsory insurance. Here you can read more about these exceptional cases.
Students in the preparatory German course or in the VSi MINT programme usually need German private health insurance because they cannot join the statutory insurance system for students.
Your health insurance coverage must be valid for at least one full semester. We advise that you conclude the health insurance coverage directly for the expected duration of your preparatory programme. If you complete or end the programme early, it should not be a problem to cancel your private.
We have listed examples of private health insurance providers with which students were insured during their enrolment in the past. The contracts with these providers can usually be concluded and renewed online. Information on insurance plans and their costs can be obtained from the insurance companies and on their websites:
We strongly recommend that you read the details of the insurance policies carefully and make sure that all your health insurance needs are covered. The cheapest plans usually offer few benefits and you may have to pay for parts of your treatment yourself. The more expensive plans usually offer better coverage and include more benefits.
Only the following groups of persons are exempt from the obligation to take out private insurance:
- Family insurance holder via the spouse or other family members
- Employees with statutory insurance
- Refugees with statutory insurance
- EU nationals with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). In addition to the EHIC, you must present a certificate from a German statutory insurance company confirming that you are not subject to compulsory insurance in Germany. To obtain this certificate, please present your EHIC and the letter of admission you received from Saarland University to a German statutory health insurance company. This is often possible by email.
If you take up doctoral studies, the prerequisite for which is a completed first degree, and are enrolled at the university while writing the dissertation, you no longer belong to the group of regular students for the purposes of statutory health insurance, because the doctorate usually serves the scientific qualification after completion of your first degree and is no longer part of your scientific education. Remaining in or joining the students' statutory insurance is thus no longer possible.
You look into the possibility of voluntary insurance with a statutory insurance company but please note that the costs for this are higher than for the students' statutory insurance.
You must provide proof of health insurance cover when enrolling at Saarland University. If you take out private insurance, you also need a certificate from the statutory insurance company, confirming that you are not subject to compulsory insurance (Befreiungsbescheid).
Doctoral students with an employment contract subject to social insurance will receive an employee’s insurance certificate from the health insurance company. This document must be presented at the time of enrolment.
Doctoral students who only wish to register (no enrolment) do not need to provide proof of health insurance cover.