When you apply for a work permit in Germany one of the requirements is a continuous sufficient healthcare insurance. Once you start working, you will either be eligible for regular private or public healthcare insurance, however, for the period until actually start working, you will also need to be covered. Usually, proof of insurance coverage is required as a part of your initial application documents, and at this point in time you will not qualify for German healthcare insurance.
There are certain particular requirements this interim coverage must comply with:
- It must be specifically stated that the coverage includes your stay in the Schengen area, respectively if yours does not, it must specifically state Germany.
- It must provide at least 30,000 EUR (or the equivalent in your country’s currency) in coverage. In case the plan is based on significant deductibles, the officer may request that you provide proof of sufficient funds.
- The following benefits must be provided: emergency medical evacuation, emergency medical expenses in a hospital, emergency medical treatment, and repatriation in case of death or illness.
- Ideally, the applicant chooses an insurer registered in his country of residence.
- Insurance coverage can also be purchased by your host or another organization. It must clearly state who the policy holder and beneficiary are. The host or other third party shall purchase the coverage in his country of residence.
- The recovery of a sum insured may be regarded as guaranteed if the company has an establishment in any Schengen country, or if a cooperation agreement with an insurance company of a Schengen State consists, by which the claims are secured.
- The insurer can be requested to sign a form confirming the benefits required (Annex 6). This form outlines what the plan coverage is, confirms the insured is covered and provide other information about the plan that you have purchased.
- Since the insurance coverage is usually part of the application documents it must be available when handing in the application papers.
The above is the maximum requirements we have experienced, however, requirements are handled slightly different by the diverse German embassies around the globe. Thus, checking with the embassy whether your insurance would be accepted as sufficient is most recommended.
- In some countries, this type of insurance, (coverage of required benefits) is not common and you may need to purchase several plans. This may result in difficulties, however, as your insurers will not be able to sign the form as mentioned under topic 7.
- If medical conditions exist it may be difficult to find an insurer covering them at reasonable cost. It is advisable to start the evaluation early in the process
- Sometimes insurers do not mention a general amount of coverage, but split between the risks. Whether or not this will be accepted lies in the discretion of the officer reviewing your application. He will judge whether he believes the weighing of the individual risks is problematic. Again, it is wise to talk to your embassy and try to find out in advance.
- In some policies, the insurer only reimburses the cost of medical treatment once the applicant is back in his home country. Such conditions are regularly declined as ‘sufficient’ and you should carefully read your insurers small print.
- Additional to the visa period you are applying for (normally a 90 day visa prior to your work permit approval) there is a grace period of 15 days. Your insurance should cover the 90 days plus the 15 day grace period.
- Whilst the embassies are encouraged to produce lists of accepted insurers, such lists are not generally accessible. It remains a tedious task to find appropriate coverage.
Source: Visumhandbuch 2016, Auswärtiges Amt
Some regular German healthcare insurere offer to take you on as a member already before you are registered in Germany. If you manage to get this subsequent coverage (i.e. starting on your first work day, or starting on your first day in Germany (which means you may have to pay the whole premium yourself), you will not need the travel insurance to cover for 90+ days but only for the short period of actual travel until registration in Germany.
For the embassy, it is only important to see that there is always protection, hence the travel insurance should be bought until the date the regular German insurance kicks in.
Also good to know: the starting date for the regular German healthcare insurance keeps shifting if you tell them. If your visa process takes longer than anticipated you can inform them and they will only charge at the then later time. Just kepp them always up to date.
The below two insurances are regularly accepted by embassies as being sufficient. Prices were below 2 EUR/day when we last checked.