Healthcare and Insurances
Having health insurance is compulsory in Germany – both for you and your family – and is also required for visa and residence permits applications. There is a social security system in place in Germany, which includes health insurance, pension schemes, unemployment benefit, accident and long-term care insurance. Whether this is accessible to you depends on a number of factors including nationality, country of residence, and whether you have a contract for gainful employment or not. Alternatively, there are private health insurance providers, some of which cater to scholarship holders specifically.
If you are an EU or EEA national and insured through statutory health insurance in your home country, you can either get statutory insurance in Germany or get reimbursed by your EU/EEA health insurance for medical treatment given in Germany, depending on the length of your stay. For short stays your EHIC, or European Health Insurance Card, will be sufficient to be treated in Germany. However, please be aware that the EHIC is only valid for
» necessary medical treatment and services, not for
» trips abroad specifically for the purpose of treatment, or
» costs incurred in transporting an invalid home.
If you are planning on staying Germany for longer periods of time, please ask your domestic health insurance provider for 'Form S1', which will entitle you to register in the German health insurance scheme. For further information please visit the EURAXESS Germany website.
Please be aware that as an employee you are subject to statutory health insurance in Germany. The cost for statutory health insurance depends on your wages and on your health insurance provider. Please contact us for further information.
Third Country Nationals
As a third country national it is particularly important to check what requirements there are regarding health insurance coverage. Please be aware that travel insurance is usually not sufficient. Particularly if you apply for a residence permit, you will need to prove adequate insurance cover.
If you have an employment contract (i.e. gainful employment) with the University of Siegen, you will be subject to statutory health insurance and coverage begins with the starting date of your contract.
The cost for statutory health insurance depends on your wages and on your health insurance provider. Please contact us for further information.
For stays without an employment contract, please check whether your domestic insurance provider covers medical and hospital costs when in Germany. If you hold a scholarship, health insurance might already be included in the scholarship. In both cases, you would need written proof of coverage.
Should neither of the above-mentioned options be available to you, you will need to take out private health insurance in Germany.
Please be aware that if you have pre-existing illnesses, many private insurances will not cover expenses for treatment or medication. Therefore, before traveling to Germany you should check with your private insurance provider and, if necessary, organise all your medication and similar in advance to take with you to Germany.
Medical Care in Siegen
In Germany it is common to have a Hausarzt [lit. house doctor], a general practitioner/family doctor who you always go to, rather than switching between different places. When looking for a Hausarzt, it is, therefore, important to find someone you feel comfortable with. If you are looking for a doctor who speaks a certain language, you can use this search engine and enter your post code ['Ihr Standort'] and language(s) ['Sprachen'] of choice. Then, please call to check whether they are taking on new patients so you can register with them. However, you can, of course, always switch to another Hausarzt if you are unhappy where you are.
Should you need to see a specialist, please be aware that for some you will need a referral [Überweisung] from your Hausarzt. Please check in advance if this is the case. You can also find specialists through the above-mentioned by choosing a specialist area in the section 'Fachgebiet/Schwerpunkt' [field of expertise/of focus], or through a simple online search or on Jameda.
Please find a list of hospitals in Siegen here.
Should you be struggling with your mental health, you can get help quickly if need be. While places for psychologists and psychiatrists are scarce and sought after, everyone has the right to a first session in emergencies. Please note that mental health and self-care is becoming more and more important and discussed in Germany, that prejudice is being reduced, and that there is no shame in needing help! The University of Siegen itself has a psychotherapeutic center and you can also find mental health specialists through the above-metioned links.
In Germany, some medicine can be bought in general shops, whereas most are either apothekenpflichtig or rezeptpflichtig. This means that they can be bought in pharmacies only – this includes painkillers – and some additionally need to have been prescribed by a doctor, for example antibiotics. You can find pharmacies near you by entering your postcode here.
As other shops, pharmacies are also closed on Sundays. However, pharmacies rotate in offering an emergency service on Sundays and public holidays. Please see here to find an emergency service near you.
For further information or support, please feel free to contact us.