The German healthcare system is known as one of the most competitive in the world. The entire country maintains high-quality medical equipment and physicians, including in less urban areas. The healthcare system is organized according to two principles: public healthcare, which is compulsory for any employee earning less than gross €50,850/year * (optional for people who earn more) and private healthcare, intended for people earning more than €50,850 for at least three years, as well as free-lance workers and civil servants. No medical questionnaire is required to subscribe to public healthcare insurance. You will be enrolled directly with the public health insurance fund that you chose by your employer. If you take out private healthcare insurance, please note that this choice is almost permanent as there are many constraints to go back to public healthcare insurance.
Visiting a doctor in Germany
Primary care physicians Upon your enrollment, you must choose a practitioner for the entire duration of the quarter and you will not be able to choose a new one after that. Though most German physicians speak good English, we recommend that you contact the embassy of your country to find out which physicians speak your language. Please note that some physicians ONLY accept patients who are covered by private healthcare insurance. It is important that you check this information before going to a medical office. Attention: doctors’ offices are rarely open on Wednesday and Friday afternoon.
GPs If you are covered by public healthcare insurance, you do not have to pay for your consultations (directly paid by the health insurance fund to the physician).
Specialist doctors If you are covered by public healthcare insurance, you need to see your primary care physician first before going to a specialist. This step is not required if you are covered by private healthcare insurance. You may have to wait a long time before getting an appointment (several weeks). Public and private healthcare plans do not cover all medical specialties: we advise you to check with your health insurance fund before requesting certain types of consultations. If a specialty is not covered by your insurance plan, we recommend that you find a “regular” doctor who also provides medical services for the specialty in question: in that case, the consultation will be reimbursed.
Being admitted to hospital in Germany
Hospitals provide high-quality medical care as each facility (public, private or university) is committed to quality administration and care. Except for certain private hospitals, they are available to anyone who has healthcare insurance. The cost of hospital care can be quite high, which is why it is important to check the level of your coverage before going to the hospital. A €10-deductible must be paid every quarter and the daily hospital charges cost the same amount.
In case of emergency: call 112 to send an ambulance.
Buying medication in Germany
Prescription drugs are covered. However, a deductible applies, amounting to 10% of the total price, which must be comprised between €5 and €10. Over-the-counter drugs are not reimbursed by any public or private healthcare insurance.
Get your health insurance for Germany
MSH can help you design the best international health insurance plan to suit your needs.
Going for less than a year? We have the right health insurance plan to cover you for 1 to 12 months, whether it's for a personal project, an apprenticeship, a working holiday or any other reason.
Going for a year or more? Explore our comprehensive and highly flexible health insurance solutions to protect you and your family while you're abroad.
Rachel lives in Togo and has been with MSH since 2002. After routine surgery, she fell into a coma that lasted 2 months. Her hospitalization cost more than 200,000 euros - but it was all covered by MSH, without her having to get involved. Thanks to the reactivity of the team and their smooth handling of the situation, Rachel's family were able to avoid any extra stress - as was Rachel when she woke up.
Laure and Robert moved to Singapore in 2014 for work - but they ended up starting a family there too! She told MSH that she was pregnant and was amazed by all the support she got. First she received a practical guide on pregnancy (what to do at each stage, medical exams etc.) and then a member of the team called her to explain all her guarantees personally and advise her on the best place to give birth. The day her daughter was born, a gift pack arrived with a growth chart and a baby toy, with all good wishes from MSH. And now there's another one on the way...
Petra was very worried about the surgery she'd been prescribed following an accident at home. Before making her decision, she wanted a second opinion. Thanks to her private health insurance, which included the Second Medical Opinion guarantee, she quickly saw another doctor and got all the answers to her questions. The second doctor agreed that surgery was necessary and Petra went to hospital feeling reassured and confident.