Private health insurance while studying at an university

If you want to take out private health insurance, you will need to apply for an exemption from statutory health insurance. You can apply to any statutory German health insurance provider (e.g. AOK or BARMER) to obtain this exemption within the first 3 months after you start your studies. It is valid for the entire study programme and cannot be reversed.

How do I get an exemption from statutory health insurance?

In order to be exempt from statutory insurance, you will need to contact a statutory health insurance provider directly, such as the AOK or BARMER. The statutory health insurance providers often have representatives working from offices at German universities. Even if you visit an office in person, you must apply for an exemption in writing. Please take your valid private health insurance certificate with you, as you will need this to obtain the exemption. German universities will only accept your private health insurance certificate in conjunction with a statutory insurance exemption certificate.  

How do I apply for health insurance?

You can apply for health insurance in person by visiting one of your chosen provider’s branches, or you can apply via the provider’s website.

Depending on the health insurance provider you choose, they may only be able to provide advice in German or, to a limited extent, in English. Most private health insurance providers give you the option of applying for insurance in various languages. Their customer service teams will also speak a number of languages.

If you decide to apply for private health insurance, remember the following points:

  • You will need to apply for an exemption from statutory health insurance within the first three months of your university course
  • German universities will only accept your private health insurance cover in conjunction with an exemption certificate
  • You can obtain an exemption from any of Germany’s statutory health insurance providers, such as AOK or BARMER
  • Tip: You can only take out private insurance if you earn no more than 450 € per month. If you earn more than 450 €, private insurance is no longer possible and you must take out statutory insurance. So-called working student contracts are an exception to this rule. As a working student, you can earn more than 450 € and still remain privately insured.

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