Health Insurance

How can I join a health insurance scheme?

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Once you have been issued a residence permit, you need to join a health insurance scheme. Individuals who reside in Germany, including all German citizens, are obliged to have health insurance. Your health insurance provider, in principle, covers the costs of doctors' visits, hospitalisations, and (often partly) medications. In some cases, the health insurance scheme may take over the full expenses of your medicines.

If your asylum procedure is ongoing or in case you have a "Duldung" or another temporary residence document, you can find the information you need in the chapter "Health Care for Refugees". There, you can also read about the health-related options you can benefit from, in case you do not have any papers.

What do I need to know?

Which health insurance scheme should I choose?

How do I register at a health insurance company?

What is a family insurance (“Familienversicherung”)?

Who pays the costs of health insurance services?

Which costs are not covered by statutory health insurance schemes?

Do I have to pay for my medication separately?

Do insurance companies also cover the costs of psychiatric treatments?

Can I switch to another health insurance scheme?

Where can I complain in case of a problem?


Some of the doctors only admit patients who have private health insurances. These patients pay the costs of their treatments directly to the doctor. As a member of a statutory health insurance scheme, you need to look for a doctor who treats patients who are covered by statutory health insurance or "Kassenpatienten".

You can search for a doctor nearby on the website of the German Medical Association (“Bundesärztekammer”). After you select your state, you will be redirected to another page where you can search for a doctor who speaks your language. If you cannot find such a doctor nearby, you can bring along an interpreter during your visit.