Students registered to study at a state or state-recognised university in the Federal Republic of Germany are obliged to take out health insurance. This also applies to students registered at a German university but whose residence or habitual place of residence is abroad, if they are not entitled to benefits under international or supranational law.
The obligation to take out health insurance continues until the end of the 14th semester of study and at the latest until the end of the semester in which the student turns 30. Beyond this point, students are still obliged to take out health insurance if
or in particular if the qualifications needed to study at university were gained as a mature student in an adult learning centre, justify this age limit being exceeded or justify a longer period of study.
Students who take on paid employment alongside their studies must take out health insurance for students if they are classified as a student, i.e. if they devote the majority of their time and effort to their studies. If, on the other hand, the extent of their employment classifies them as an employee, they must be insured as an employee and not as a student.
Students are not obliged to take out health insurance if they are insured under the statutory health insurance of their parents or spouse. This also applies to nursing care insurance. Children up to the age of 25 are entitled to be covered under their family’s insurance plan if they are studying at a higher education or vocational training institution. If a student’s education or training is interrupted or delayed by military or community service, the student may continue to be covered under their family’s insurance plan beyond their 25th birthday for the duration of the military or community service undertaken. To be entitled to cover under their family’s insurance plan, the family member must not have a total monthly income that regularly exceeds one seventh of the reference value (2008 = €355.00); for people in marginal, low-paid, part-time work, the permissible total income is €400.00.
Individuals obliged to take out health insurance as a result of registering as a student may apply to be exempted from this obligation. The application must be submitted to the health insurance provider within three months of the start of the obligation to take out health insurance. The exemption may not be revoked and applies for the entire duration of the course of study.
Students who are no longer obliged to take out health insurance (e.g. because they have exceeded the maximum number of semesters/the age limit) may take out insurance on a voluntary basis. The prerequisite for this is that they have been insured for at least 24 months without a break during the 5 years before the end of this obligation or for at least 12 months without a break directly before the end of this obligation. Students who continue to belong to a health insurance scheme as a voluntary member must also notify the health insurance scheme of this in writing within three months of the end of their obligation to take out insurance. Students who continue to be insured on a voluntary basis are also obliged to take out nursing care insurance.
Students who choose to take out private health insurance must also take out private nursing care insurance. Young people whose parents have taken out private health insurance may be insured under their parents’ private insurance plan without being liable to pay any contributions. They are insured under the same conditions as students whose family has taken out statutory health insurance and social nursing care insurance (see the section on family insurance above).
Students and any dependants insured under their plan are entitled to benefits such as medical and dental treatment including dental prosthetics, medication, bandages and dressings, remedies and medical aids, hospital treatment, screening tests, pre and postnatal care and nursing care. They are not, however, entitled to any sick pay.
Students who are obliged to take out health insurance must pay their contributions for their health and nursing care insurance for the semester to their health insurance provider in advance prior to registration or re-registration. Methods of payment may differ depending on the articles of association of the individual health insurance providers. The university shall not permit any students who fail to pay their contributions to register or re-register. No contribution is due from students who are insured under their family’s insurance plan.
The contributions payable by students who take out insurance on a voluntary basis are governed by the articles of association of the specific health insurance provider.
Applicants must contact their health insurance provider before registering in order to obtain an insurance certificate. The health insurance provider issues a certificate to the applicant that states
The insurance certificate must be submitted together with the documents needed to register for the university. If the student changes universities, a new insurance certificate must be submitted.
Applicants can obtain the insurance certificate needed to register with the university for the first time from the health insurance provider with which they are insured as a member at the start of their course of study, with which their family is insured (if they are insured under their family’s insurance plan) or with which they expect to be insured.
Applicants who are not insured by a statutory health insurance provider at the start of their course of study can obtain their insurance certificate from the health insurance provider with which they or their family was most recently insured. It does not matter how long ago this was.If the student has not been insured by a health insurance provider before, the insurance certificate may be issued by one of the permissible providers listed below.
Applicants who wish to exempt themselves from the obligation to take out health insurance can obtain their insurance certificate from the health insurance provider that grants this exemption.
Since 1 January 1996, students who are obliged or entitled to take out health insurance have been able to choose between the following health insurance schemes:
Students must notify the selected health insurance scheme accordingly no later than two weeks after they become obliged to take out health insurance. The selected health insurer is also responsible for providing nursing care insurance. Students covered by their family’s health insurance plan are not entitled to decide which plan to take out; instead, they are covered by the plan chosen by the family member who has joined the scheme.
The information provided here is general and is not binding. Further information about health insurance for students is available from the health insurance providers.
Students are liable for personal injury and property damage caused in relation to their studies (in particular during the practical training semester and when writing the thesis) in accordance with general principles of liability. For this reason, students are advised to take out personal liability insurance in good time before the start of the degree or semester to protect them against claims for damages.
Information and forms for taking out personal liability insurance are available from Weihenstephan’s Work Placement Office.
During their education and training at universities, students are protected by the statutory social accident insurance (Section 2 Paragraph 1 Number 8 c of the German Code of Social Law – SGB VII).
You can find a short excerpt from the broschure below:
To be eligible for protection by the accident insurance, students must be properly registered with the university and must be attending university with the aim of seriously furthering their education. The course does not necessarily have to be vocational in nature.
Students are only insured when there is an intrinsic connection between the education and training provided by the university and the student’s activities. They are therefore only covered by the insurance when carrying out activities related to their studies in the immediate vicinity of the university and its facilities and at a date and time that makes it clear that these activities are being undertaken in relation to the university. In addition to direct participation in university events, activities undertaken for the purposes of the student’s studies in other university buildings, such as university libraries, seminar rooms and institutes, and the participation in excursions are covered. However, students are not covered by the insurance when studying or working in their private time or at home, even if this work is necessary for them to prepare for their exams.
Statutory accident insurance also generally covers participation in university sports. However, it may not cover activities that predominantly take place during the student’s leisure time (e.g. trips abroad) or competitive sporting events or top-level competitions.
Further information is available on the website of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), the umbrella association of Germany’s accident insurance institutions.
Up-to-date accident report forms are available on the website of the Bavarian Social Accident Insurance Institution (KUVB)