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Health insurance in Germany, what it covers and how to use it

All employees in Germany have health insurance – either under the statutory health insurance system or as a member of a private health insurance.


This health insurance covers the cost of medical treatment if one becomes sick.

The following are covered by the statutory health insurance system
– outpatient medical treatment, for example in a physician’s office
– dental care
– medication, remedies and medical devices
– inpatient medical treatment, for example in a hospital
– medically necessary rehabilitation
– services during pregnancy and childbirth

In case your spouse is unemployed, he/she may be covered under your statutory health insurance policy at no extra charge to you. The same holds true for your children.

Your health insurance policy also automatically includes long-term care insurance which is activated if, for example, you need nursing care because of a serious illness that prevents you from caring for yourself.

Each person who becomes a member of a statutory health insurance receives an electronic health insurance card documenting their membership.

The card includes a photo and an electronic record of your name, date of birth, address, policy number and insurance status.

This card must be submitted whenever one needs to see their physician.

It offers protection throughout the EU. The health insurance card is valid in all 27 EU countries as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The health insurance card gives the holder access to medical treatment in the above countries should he/she become ill while on holiday or a business trip.

You are however advised to contact your health insurance to find out what to do in an emergency before travelling abroad.

This article has been prepared using information provided by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).