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What are the requirements for healthcare insurance? Is it possible to use travel insurance?

In Germany, health insurance (Krankenversicherung) is mandatory for fellows and accompanying family members. Medical treatment in the event of a serious illness or accident in Germany must be covered. In the case of pre-existing illnesses, you should equip yourself with all the necessary medication in your own country because, as a rule, such conditions are not covered by insurance in Germany, and patients must pay these expenses themselves. It is advisable to contact your insurance provider before entering Germany, so that any problems can be dealt with in advance and to make sure you are covered by insurance from the very first day. In order to issue a residence permit, the local authorities require proof that you are covered by medical insurance.

First of all, check whether or not your insurance at home will cover medical and hospital expenses during your stay in Germany. Your insurance company must then confirm in writing that your insurance is valid in Germany. Please note that you need to provide significant documentation if you are planning to use your insurance coverage from home. Please bring an official letter on letterhead (no emails!) with a detailed list of everything that your plan covers. If you have insurance cards, please bring these as well.

If you are coming from the USA, local authorities have recently told us (September 2018) that the only US coverage that they accept is Blue Cross/Blue Shield. If you do not have this coverage, you may be required to buy extra travel-related policies. If you are covered by another company with an international plan, just bring all the documentation (perhaps even a more specific letter that details the international coverage) and hopefully the local authorities will accept this as well. 

If your insurance cover is not adequate, you will have to take out an additional insurance policy. This also applies to travel insurance. In Germany, there are both private and public health insurance companies. Fellows are only eligible for private insurance coverage. Fellows requiring health insurance will find essential information here: http://www.h-weissenbach.de/produkte.php or http://www.ishcp.de/, or http://www.mawista.com/en/.