Why You Don’t Need Health Insurance In Germany

In most countries around the world, you need to have health insurance to be able to work legally, but this isn’t true in Germany. You don’t need to take out German statutory health insurance if you’re planning on staying in the country for less than six months, but what about if you want to move here permanently? In this guide, we will explore how you can live in Germany without taking out German statutory health insurance.

Health insurance in Germany can be expensive, with prices rising every year. If you are coming to live in Germany for an extended period of time and will not be taking out health insurance, you may be required to prove this by showing your Gesundheitszeugnis E-105, or Gesundheitszeugnis E-106, depending on which region of Germany you live in.

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  • Translation of Health Insurance Certificate
  • How to Get a Health Insurance Certificate (German)
  • The Meaning of Mitversicherungsverhältnis
  • How Much Does it Cost?
  • Where can I get One?
  • Is There Any Other Way?

Translation of Health Insurance Certificate

This document proving that you are not required to take out German statutory health insurance is issued by the statutory health insurance providers in Germany. There are two types of certificate: a one-year certificate and a three-year certificate. If you plan on staying in Germany for less than one year, then it’s best to obtain a one-year health insurance certificate. If you plan on staying longer, then it’s recommended that you get a three-year health insurance certificate, as it will save money over time.
The following information must be included when applying for your health insurance certificate:
If you’re an EU citizen who plans on living in Germany for more than six months, then your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will cover your medical costs during your stay.

How to Get a Health Insurance Certificate (German)

If you are staying in Germany for more than six months, you need health insurance. However, if you are from an EU or EEA country (Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland), or if you come from a safe country of origin (to be decided by statutory health insurance providers), then you can apply for a certificate that states that you don’t need to take out statutory health insurance in Germany.

The Meaning of Mitversicherungsverhältnis

Mitversicherungsverhältnis is a German word, which refers to your health insurance. To understand what it means, it is important to know that in Germany, there are three types of health insurance. These include public health insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung), private health insurance (Private Krankenversicherung), and foreign citizen’s health insurance (Ausländerkrankenversicherung). The first two types will be explained below

How Much Does it Cost?

The good news is that getting German health insurance isn’t too complicated. For U.S. citizens living in Germany, it costs around $600 per year for basic coverage (that covers 70 percent of your medical expenses). If you want to cover 100 percent of your health care costs, you can expect to pay around $1,000 a year. That’s a far cry from what many Americans pay in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses each month—and it’s not even close to what you’d pay if you had to buy private health insurance back home.

Where can I get One?

If you are an EU citizen or a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland and planning to stay in Germany for less than six months, you don’t need health insurance. If staying longer (you can apply for further leave at German immigration authorities), you need to purchase health insurance to cover your time here. Citizens from other countries should check with their embassy whether they are entitled to any health care under reciprocal agreements between their country and Germany. Citizens from outside Europe will need private health insurance as it is not covered by public health care. The same applies if you want to study here: if your studies last more than three months, you will be required to take out private health insurance as part of enrolling in a university course.

Is There Any Other Way?

Although you can’t get around it—getting health insurance in Germany is a hassle. Luckily, a special rule in German law makes it possible to not take out health insurance at all if you come from a country with a reciprocal health care agreement. This document is called an EU-Karte and exempts you from taking out statutory health insurance if your home country has such an agreement.


It’s not uncommon to visit another country and come away confused by the bureaucracy involved in some things that seem simple back home, like finding out how to obtain health insurance abroad. Fortunately, you don’t need health insurance in Germany because you have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which gives you access to medical care at a reduced cost or free of charge if you get sick or hurt in Germany or another European Economic Area (EEA) country.


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