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Private health insurance for students

Important in the PKV for students

  • Family insurance as a cheap alternative
    Under certain circumstances, students can take advantage of the parents’ insurance. For example, the regular income may not exceed 405 euros and the age may not exceed 25 years.
  • Private health insurance: decision to study
    Until the third month after enrollment can be resorted to a private health insurance. This decision is then binding at least until the end of the study.
  • compulsory insurance
    For students at state-recognized universities is compulsory insurance. For matriculated students of a Berufsakademie, however, this does not apply.

With the beginning of the study, many young people have to take care of the “bureaucratic things” of life for the first time – including health insurance. Because in principle, students who have enrolled at a state or state-approved university in Germany, health insurance. However, this obligation is not valid for all students, there are also various options for health insurance for students to choose from. FinanceScout24 shows what options exist and what you should look out for.

Compulsory insurance for students

As already mentioned, students at German universities are in principle subject to health insurance – without insurance, enrollment is not possible. This duty applies to virtually all students; only persons who are covered by family insurance and students from non-accredited universities are exempted from compulsory insurance.

No compulsory insurance at the Berufsakademie

If you are enrolled at a Berufsakademie, the compulsory insurance does not apply to you, as in the SGB student health insurance is only intended for students at universities. However, since you are not considered a regular employee, you can only insure yourself voluntarily – both in the statutory as well as in a private health insurance.

If you have started a dual study program, you have been considered as “employed by vocational training” in terms of health insurance since 2012 and therefore can not insure yourself through student health insurance.

The leave semester and parental leave have no influence on the compulsory insurance, as well as the semester abroad if you continue to be enrolled at a German university during your stay abroad. The benefits of the health insurance may be limited during a semester abroad, however, so that in this case a supplementary insurance is often recommended.

However, if you study abroad, additional insurance is not required as the European Health Insurance Card, which is located on the back of your regular health insurance card, will allow you to receive regular medical care within the EU.

Since the origin in the compulsory insurance for students does not matter, a health insurance for foreign students is required – but they do not necessarily insure in Germany. If a social security agreement exists between Germany and the country of origin, a statutory health insurance for students from the country of origin is also recognized. This rule applies in particular to students from the EU area.

End and extension of compulsory insurance

The compulsory insurance ends at the age of 30 or when the 14th semester is reached. Important here is the distinction between semester and semester. For example, if you start your studies and change your subject after two semesters, you do not count these first two semesters for the maximum duration of 14 semesters. There are also several exceptional cases in which the maximum duration of studies or the age limit can be increased. However, according to a decision of the Federal Social Court, the compulsory insurance may be extended to a maximum of 37 years by these exceptions.

Reasons for an extension include:

  • Illness (at least 3 months), disability, pregnancy, childcare
  • Non-admission to the chosen program in the selection procedure
  • Service obligation as a time soldier
  • Voluntary social or ecological year, voluntary military service
  • Failure to pass the final exam for the first time
  • Cooperation in university committees

If you would rather privately insure yourself as a student, it is also possible to get rid of the compulsory insurance. This is permissible for up to three months after enrollment and is considered a decision for the entire course of study – so if you want to insure yourself privately, bear in mind that you must do so at least for the duration of your studies. In addition, under certain circumstances, it is not readily possible after graduation to change back to the statutory health insurance.

In order to be exempted from compulsory insurance, it is sufficient to send a letter to the health insurance company, as well as proof of any other health insurance.

Aid and PKV for students

Private health insurance as a student is an interesting option, especially for children of beneficiaries, especially as privately insured parents do not have the option of taking out family insurance cover.

However, you should bear in mind that the allowance is linked to the parental entitlement of the parents – and this usually lapses when the child reaches the age of 25. If you are still studying at this age, you will no longer receive subsidies and will have to take out regular private health insurance, which will entail significantly higher costs.

Insurance options for students

Basically, as a student, you have three options for health insurance. These are:

  1. family insurance
  2. Student health insurance
  3. Voluntary insurance

There are certain requirements for family insurance and student health insurance, and you can only use them until certain times.

The family insurance

In the case of family insurance, children or spouses are covered by the parents or their partners free of charge. This of course makes them the most interesting option, but here are also quite strict rules, so not every undergraduate is the family insurance.

If you want to insure yourself through the parents, either both parents have to be legally insured or one parent legally and one private, whereby the private insured may not earn more than the legally insured or as a monthly gross 4,350 euros gross. In addition, as a co-insured person, you must not be older than 25 years – if you have performed military or civil service, you may continue to be in the family insurance beyond the age of 25, depending on your length of service.

In addition, your regular monthly income may not exceed 405 euros. The only exception is a mini-job, over which you can earn up to 450 euros per month. Important: BAföG grants and child support payments are not considered income here. For the insurance of the spouse, the same conditions apply to a large extent, but the age limit does not apply here.

Here are all the important things about family insurance:

  • At least one parent or spouse must be legally insured
  • Children must not be older than 25 years
  • Maximum regular monthly income: 405 Euro (450 Euro at Minijob)
  • BAföG and alimony payments are not considered income

In principle, family insurance is only possible via the statutory health insurance, but there is a rather similar option for privately insured persons entitled to benefits. Since the children of beneficiaries are also entitled to a subsidy, you can usually benefit from cheap residual cost insurance covering the costs that are not covered by the aid.

However, as the benefit is only granted to children up to the age of 25, this option may become significantly more expensive later in life.

The student health insurance

If you are unable or no longer to protect yourself through family insurance, student health insurance is open to you. They are then insured by law, but pay only a very small contribution. Although the contribution rate of 14.6 percent applies here as well, in student health insurance you only pay 70 percent of this contribution rate. The basis for assessment is the maximum BAföG rate of 597 euros. This results in a monthly contribution of 61.01 euros. However, you must pay in full for the health insurance-related additional contribution, but due to the rather low assessment limit, this is only of minor importance.

Here is an overview of the additional contributions of some health insurances:

health insurance Additional contribution in percent Additional contribution in Euro
AOK 0.3 to 0.9 1.79 to 5.37
Barmer 0.9 5.37
DAK 0.9 5.37
hkk 0.4 2.39
Salus BKK 0.5 2.98
technician 0.8 4.78

If you receive BAföG grants, membership in student health insurance will increase your BAföG requirement.

The student health insurance is open to you up to the age of 30 or up to the 14th semester – ie until the end of compulsory insurance. With certain exceptions (illness, disability, pregnancy, Voluntary Social or Ecological Year, military or civilian service), this period may be extended, but not beyond the age of 37 years.

Income limits do not apply to student health insurance, unlike family insurance, but the weekly working hours during the semester are limited to 20 hours. During the semester break, however, you may also work full-time as a member of student health insurance.

A uniform tariff, which corresponds to the student health insurance, does not exist in private health insurance. However, many insurers offer special rates for students. In order to be able to use these, however, you must be exempted from compulsory insurance, so that you are bound to your entire studies to the private health insurance.

Therefore, you should be very thoroughly informed about the contributions and benefits and compare different offers before you opt for this path.

The voluntary insurance

If you can no longer afford to take out student health insurance, you have the option of voluntarily insuring yourself in GKV for up to three months after the end of compulsory insurance. You then benefit from a reduced transitional rate for six months with a contribution rate of 10.22 percent – plus the additional contribution. The lower income limit was 945 euros, so you pay a minimum contribution of 96.58 euros plus an additional contribution of about 5 to 10 euros.

After the end of the transitional period you will be a regular member of the GKV. Again, the lower income limit of 945 euros applies, but you now pay the full contribution rate of 14.6 percent and the additional contribution, so that there is a minimum contribution of 132.30 euros plus additional contribution.

At the latest from this point on, private health insurance can be a sensible alternative to voluntary insurance, since you sometimes have to pay significantly lower contributions here. However, you should bear in mind that PKV requires a health check and that previous illnesses can lead to risk premiums. So weigh very carefully which of the two variants is cheaper for you.