This website is intended for researchers. For students, we recommend the we4you arrival website.


Every person who stays in Germany has the obligation to insure himself against an illness. There are two different options for this in Germany: statutory health insurance (GKV) and private health insurance (PKV). The decision as to which form of health insurance you choose must be made immediately after your arrival in Germany. Please weigh up your decision carefully - it is not possible to switch from private to statutory health insurance without further ado.

The statutory health insurance funds

The statutory health insurance funds are funds of solidarity. All members receive the same benefits, but must pay a different monthly contribution, which depends on their income. Every wage earner in Germany is obliged to join one of the statutory health insurance funds if his income is at least 520.01 € per month but not higher than 4.837,50 € / month ("assessment ceiling"). People with no income, including students, are eligible to join the scheme for a small contribution if they have previously been insured for 12 months without interruption with a statutory health insurance fund or have become liable to pay insurance. Unfortunately, only students in bachelor's or master's studies are subject to compulsory insurance. If a person is a member of the statutory health insurance, then their children and spouse are also covered by this health insurance free of charge - even if they do not earn any money themselves. Conversely, a doctoral student can also be insured free of charge with his/her working husband/wife.

Special regulations apply to doctoral students and guest researchers from EU countries. The statutory health insurance of these countries also applies in Germany and is evidenced by a special certificate (E 128), unless the European Health Insurance Card has already been issued.

If you accept a job as a research assistant, lecturer or professor in Germany and are thus directly employed by the TU Ilmenau, you are compulsorily insured in a German statutory health insurance fund of your choice and do not need to worry about anything else before your arrival in Ilmenau.


The private health insurances

Persons who cannot (or do not want to) be included in the statutory health insurance must insure themselves with a private insurance company (PKV). The rates here are very different and vary depending on age, risk of illness and maximum duration of insurance. Private health insurances always apply only to the person who has taken them out. Spouses and children need their own health insurance. At the Academic Service Center, you can ask representatives of various statutory health insurance companies for information. In this way, you can find the right health insurance for your circumstances with the best conditions for you. We advise you: If you have the opportunity to join a statutory health insurance fund (GKV) immediately after entering Germany, take advantage of this opportunity. It can be difficult or impossible to change from a private health insurance to a statutory health insurance later on.


Recognition of foreign health insurance Most likely you are insured in your home country. However, your insurance may not cover all costs in Germany. Find out exactly which benefits you are entitled to in Germany before you enter the country. If you do not have insurance cover at home, you will still have to take out insurance in Germany.

Private health insurance from other countries may also be accepted in Germany under certain circumstances. You should clarify this with your insurance company. If your private insurance is recognised in Germany, please have it checked by a representative of a statutory health insurance in Germany and get an exemption from the GKV there, if this is the case.