No matter if you come to Germany on the basis of a work contract or a scholarship: Health Insurance ("Krankenversicherung") is mandatory for all researchers and the family members accompanying them.
Health insurance is not for free. Every family member who is dependent gets a health insurance through the main person in the same family health insurance. In the statutory insurances without cost, in the private ones your family members are charged extra.
Please find more information on the Euraxess portal.
If you still have coverage in a previous E.U.-country then you can transfer almost all services and benefits by providing a S1-form to a statutory health insurance provider in Germany. You can get an S1-form from your local insurance provider. Here you will find some information on the S1-form. In this case you are not allowed to get a second health insurance in Germany. This is also the case, if your country hast a social insurance treats with Germany. More information about the S1-form you can get here. In that case you are not allowed to obtain a second health insurance.
If you stay only up to three months in Bielefeld and don't have serious health problems, then a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) would be sufficient. It provides an "emergency" coverage and is not recommended, if you stay longer.
In addition to the statutory insurances that you have to take out, we recommend the following insurances:
We recommend buying a travel health insurance from your country for the first month after arrival, so that you have no gap of health insurance. Travel health insurances though won't be accepted as equivalent to a German or E.U. statutory health insurance and will not serve you for issuing your residence permit or getting enrolled at Bielefeld University.
Statutory accident insurance does not cover private accidents.
Depending on your country of origin and type of research activity, the statutory accident insurance from your own country may not be valid for the duration of your stay in Germany.
Under certain circumstances, you might not qualify for German statutory accident insurance, for example if you are not an employee, but a fellowship holder.
In order to close these gaps between private and occupational accident insurance coverage, we recommend that you obtain private accident insurance in Germany or your own country. As a matter of principle, obtaining private accident insurance is the researcher's own responsibility. A research institution or the organisation granting a fellowship may opt to provide accident insurance for the researcher.
When obtaining private accident insurance, please pay special attention to the following aspects:
- coverage of accidents in Germany
- coverage of accidents while travelling to your own country or third countries
- coverage valid for the specific type and duration of your research stay (use caution with traditional travel insurance!)
- coverage of work accidents if they are not covered by statutory accident insurance
- coverage of accidents that might occur under the specific circumstances or your research activity (e.g. lab accidents)
- exclusions of liability, e.g. for dangerous activities or sports
If you injure somebody or damage somebody's property, it is your responsibility to pay compensation for the caused damage. Thus it is common practice to carry out a third-party liability insurance for any unintentional damages or accidents caused by you or a member of your family, including children and pets. Although this insurance is not compulsory, it is held by a majority of the German population. It is easily affordable, ranging from around 6-10 Euro per month.
Please contact the Welcome Centre if you are interested. We will then provide you with a list of insurance providers in Bielefeld.