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If you enter Germany on a visa, you will have to prove that you have health insurance cover – even as a scholarship holder. The inhabitants of Germany are insured by either a statutory (89%) or private (11%) health insurance fund. Health insurance funds pay the costs of medical treatment, medicines, hospital stays and check-ups. The contributions to the health insurance fund are paid by employees and employers. Employees (up to a certain income), trainees, students, pensioners, etc. are obliged to have compulsory statutory health insurance. If you are not subject to this statutory obligation – for example, because you exceed the relevant income threshold – you can insure yourself with a private health insurance fund or under certain circumstances apply for voluntary cover with a statutory health insurance fund. This means that foreign researchers are automatically insured if they have a contract of employment. Those who do not must either insure themselves (usually with private health insurance) or prove – for example, if they come from an EU country – that they have insurance cover. In any event, you should check with your employer or scholarship provider to determine whether your existing health insurance cover is sufficient.
Information about the German health insurance system is available at
or at the website of the Federal Ministry of Health:
www.bmg.bund.de/krankenversicherung (in German only)