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Health Service

Germany - Health Service

Germany provides health services of a very high quality, with a full range of services available. It is very unlikely that you will ever be required to wait for medical treatment in Germany and hospital infection rates within the country are low.

If you are a European Union citizen and you are visiting Germany temporarily you can use your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) to get access to Germany’s state health system. This will allow you to receive medical treatment at a reduced cost or for free – essentially you will be paying the equivalent of what a German national would pay. Foreigners from other countries may need to ensure they have sufficient travel insurance to cover any medical costs.

If you are planning to stay in Germany permanently, in most cases your employer will register you with a health insurance company (krakenkasse). It is advisable to check with your employer that they have done this for you, or if you are self-employed you will need to register yourself. In Germany you must register for state health insurance and may also apply for private health insurance. The following are the biggest and most popular health insurance companies in Germany:

A comprehensive health management service. (Consult website for contact details of regional offices)

Private health insurance for employees and the self-employed.
Tel: +49 89 207002930
Email: krakenversicherung@allianz.de

A large, efficient and innovative insurer.
Tel: +44 (0)800 333 0060

A traditional health insurance company with more than 230 years of experience.
Tel: +49 040 325 325 555

Techniker Krankenkasse
Compulsory or voluntary health insurance services.
Tel: +49 40 85 50 60 70
Email: service@tk.de

Health insurance in Germany is normally paid 50% by your employer and 50% by yourself (taken from your salary). The rates are set by the German government but for state healthcare you normally pay approximately 15% of your monthly salary. If you earn more than 4350 Euros per month you may be able to de-register from state health insurance and only pay for private health insurance.

Most medical services, including dental treatment, hospital treatment and prescriptions are free for children under 18 years of age. If you are a pensioner of British origin living in Germany you may be eligible for state healthcare paid for by the UK.

When visiting a doctor in Germany you must show your health insurance card, which will be given to you by your health insurance company. If you require a prescription it is likely you will need to pay upfront and then be reimbursed by your insurance company. You will normally pay 10% of the cost of the prescription, between a minimum of 5 Euros and maximum of 10 Euros. For non-emergency hospital treatment you will need to be referred by a doctor. There is a fixed cost for hospital treatment which is 10 Euros per day up to a maximum of 28 days in a year.

For medical emergencies in Germany you should dial 112 which is a free emergency helpline. Most medical professionals will be able to speak some English, although this is not guaranteed.

German citizens are generally very healthy, with a life expectancy of 77 years in men and 83 years in women. Cardiovascular disease and cancer are the biggest threats to health in Germany due in part to an increasingly overweight population. Smoking and tobacco use in Germany is moderate and tobacco related deaths are lower than the average for other high-income countries. Different federal states within Germany have different laws on smoking, however most states are moving towards a ban on smoking in public places, if they’ve not already done so. The majority of states are very strict on minors using tobacco products, and to use cigarette machines in Germany you will have to insert either a German driving licence or a bank card. Penalties for breaking smoking-related laws can vary – you can be fined anywhere between 500 Euros and 5000 Euros.

English language counselling services and counselling services designed specifically for expats are widely available throughout Germany. Details of individual qualified counsellors can be found easily online and in directories.

If you are travelling to an area of Germany that is over 2500 metres above sea level, you should be prepared for the chance of altitude sickness and should ensure that you do not ascend too quickly but allow time for acclimatisation.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners


Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

AXA - Global Healthcare

As the global healthcare specialists for AXA, the world’s number one insurance brand, we can help you get fast access to expert medical care, whenever and wherever you need it. All our plans include evacuation and repatriation, a second medical opinion service and extra support from a dedicated case manager if you’re diagnosed with cancer. You’ll also have 24/7 support from our caring multilingual team - we’ll always remember you’re a person, not a case number.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.