Posted 01 November 2004 - 07:45 PM
Can You Afford to Fall Sick?
Anyone falling ill in Germany has relatively little, other than the ailment, to worry about. Students, no matter where they're from, are all insured with public health insurance companies. That costs less than 50 euro a month and is well worth it. Any doctors visits, hospital stays and treatment are free of charge.
Proof of health insurance has to be presented at the admissions office before registering for classes. No health insurance means no registration.
Foreign students must take out health insurance here in Germany. Any public health insurance company can give you more information and all the necessary application forms. In certain German states it's sufficient if foreign students furnish proof of health insurance cover taken in their home countries. The offices for international affairs at the individual universities will also be able to supply you with more information. Some examples of insurance companies are the Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse, Techniker Krankenkasse, and Barmer Ersatzkasse.Students who are under 30, or have not yet completed their 14th semester, pay a very low premium for health insurance, because they fall under the rates usually applicable to lower income groups.
Students at colleges of preparatory studies, guest researchers, anyone taking part in language courses and students who are older than 30 do not qualify for public health insurance. They have to get private health insurance. Nevertheless, they still have to supply proof to the Foreigners Affairs Office that they have adequate health coverage in order to attain a residence permit.
The German Students Services (Deutsches Studentenwerk) has an agreement with a private insurance company that allows persons in the above named group to receive private health coverage for under 50 euro a month. The Studentenwerk has more information.
Got a Headache? Medical Care:
Visitors to Germany are unfortunately not immune to aches and pains. But don’t worry, there are plenty of doctors around—both specialists and general practitioners. Your friends and colleagues can recommend a doctor who’s right for you, or you can look in the yellow pages, where you’ll find listings of doctors of all types. Still, in the end, doctors are a bit like auto mechanics; it takes time to find a good one.
By their nature, illnesses are somewhat “egotistical.” They strike when and where they please. If possible, call your doctor early on when you feel yourself getting ill. Ideally, a day before you’d like an appointment. Still, you can see almost any general practitioner without an appointment, if you go during his office hours.
Costs and Opening Hours:
If you’re privately insured, you cover your medical expenses yourself. Then your insurance company will reimburse you. Since it’s not at all uncommon for you to fall ill outside of your doctor’s office hours, on weekends, evenings and holidays there are special emergency medical services. The local newspaper will have information on what doctors are on duty at these odd times. Pharmacies also have information about doctors on duty in the area. Their answering machines will have the relevant addresses and phone numbers. When pharmacies are closed, addresses of “emergency pharmacies”—those which are open--are listed in the window or on the door.
Hospitals aren’t cheap. If the decision is up to you whether or not to go into the hospital, you should first talk with your insurance company. Due to the expense and other formalities, it might be easier to visit a hospital in your home country. In case of emergencies, dialing 110 or 112 on your phone will put you in touch with an emergency physician. You can dial these numbers free of charge from any telephone booth.
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Posted 02 November 2004 - 08:47 AM
Posted 05 November 2004 - 11:44 AM
Posted 20 March 2005 - 10:17 AM
Posted 22 March 2005 - 09:37 AM
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Posted 07 April 2005 - 02:26 PM
Ahhh forgot to add something...Students who are under 30, or have not yet completed their 14th semester..... pay a very low premium for health insurance, because they fall under the rates usually applicable to lower income groups.
Edited by MatrixRose, 07 April 2005 - 02:32 PM.
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