Unfortunately, signing up for health insurance as a PhD student or researcher in Germany is not always straightforward. There are a number of scenarios to take into account.

This article is only for people moving to Germany from the EU. If you're moving from outside the EU, please see our other article.

If you're under 30 years old...

  • Without an income or stipend: If you are not earning an income or stipend from your university, then signing up for health insurance is simple. You would sign up for public health insurance like a regular university student. In this case, you can take advantage of the student insurance offer which is €104/month.

  • With an employment contract: If you're employed by your university (e.g. for part-time work or as a teaching assistant) then you can generally sign up as a salaried employee. In this case, your university or research institution will act as your employer and pay for half of your monthly healthcare costs. If, however, you are earning less than €450/month, then you cannot sign up for public health insurance. In this case, expat health insurance is the right option for you.

  • With a stipend: This case is particularly difficult. You unfortunately cannot take advantage of the student offer and you also are not considered an employee. In this case, we recommend expat health insurance.

If you're over 30 years old...

  • Without an income or stipend: If you're over 30, you are no longer eligible for the student offer. Since you are from outside the EU, you're generally also not eligible to register for public health insurance. In this case, we recommend expat health insurance. If you complete your studies and get a full-time job in Germany, then you can easily switch into the public health insurance system.

  • With an employment contract: If you're employed by your university (e.g. for part-time work or as a teaching assistant) then you can generally sign up as a salaried employee. In this case, your university or research institution will act as your employer and pay for half of your monthly healthcare costs. If, however, you are earning less than €450/month, then you cannot sign up for public health insurance. In this case, expat health insurance is the right option for you.


We're here to help

If you have any questions at all, or your specific situation is not listed above, please feel free to drop us a line at: help@feather-insurance.com.

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