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health insurance in Germany

Barmer – Your partner in health insurance

It's easy to become a member

  1. Fill out the application form to sign up
    It takes just a few minutes. No German required.
  2. Receive health insurance card
    It usually takes a few days to approve your application and send out your insurance card. Don't worry, we will take care of all the bureaucracy for you and get back to you if we have any questions.
  3. Visit doctor
    Bring your health insurance card with you to the doctor. Everything is billed directly to Barmer.
BARMER-App Screenshot der Appstartseite

Sign up now

Why Barmer is the right choice

Ein Vater macht Liegestütze im Wohnzimmer mit seinem Sohn auf dem Rücken
Full medical coverage
With Barmer you fully benefit from the German public health insurance system. Do you have family? Then your kids and spouse are insured for free.
Medical consultation via app
Talk to English-speaking doctors via the Teledoktor-App. Receive medical advice, sick notes or prescriptions. Also available in the evening, on weekends and public holidays.
English telephone support 24/7
Need help? Call at any time for our English Service Hotline.+49 202 568 333 0060
Fast and easy application
Leave the bureaucracy to us: Once you submit your documents, we'll take care of everything for you!

Get insured now. It’s fast and easy.

Who can benefit from Barmer health insurance?

  • Students
  • Employees
  • Minijobbers
  • Postdocs and researchers
  • Freelancers and self employed
  • Apprentices

Health insurance in Germany is mandatory for everyone and offers highest quality healthcare. Learn more in our Guide to Germany and our helpful Checklists.

Need more help? Call our 24/7 English Service Hotline 0800 333 0060*


3 easy steps to sign up

Fill out the application form.

We take care of the bureaucracy.

That's all. Welcome to Barmer.

Sign up now

Choose Barmer with confidence, just like 8.6 million others, and enjoy best healthcare services and products for a healthy, modern lifestyle

  • Full medical coverage for you and your family
    Including dental care, treatment by specialists, prescription medication, vaccinations as well as pregnancy and birth support.
  • Free preventive medical checkups
    For examinations and screenings, such as our free comprehensive “Check-up” for the early detection of health risks, disease and exposure.
  • Emergency cover
    For necessary emergency treatments in the EU and EEA.
Eltern tragen ihre kleinen Kinder auf den Schultern.
  • Digital Doctor Finder tool
    Easily find a doctor who speaks English or any other language.
  • Digital sick note
    If you’re sick and unable to work, your employer can request the medically certified period of sick leave electronically from Barmer. All you have to do is inform your employer about your sick leave.
  • Barmer-App
    Collect bonus points, receive appointment reminders, schedule preventive checkups, and much more. Currently available in German. English coming soon.
Ein Familienvater hält sein Handy in der Hand, auf dem der Startbildschirm der Teledoktor-App zu sehen ist.
  • ​€200 extra budget for expectant parents
    To spend on services like additional tests, dental cleaning, osteopathy or midwife on-call service.
  • Rewards of €150
    Earn points and receive instant cash rewards for using fitness apps, health courses, sports clubs, gyms, children's courses, or getting preventive check-ups.
  • Free online courses
    Become fitter and healthier Whenever and wherever you want with the online courses from CyberHealth.
Eine Frau steht im Wohnzimmer auf einer Matte und macht eine Yogaübung.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Barmer

Cover and treatments

Yes. Barmer covers you for all medically necessary healthcare services and treatments. This includes healthcare at doctors, specialists, approved therapists, hospitals, basic dental care, prescription medication and more. If you need healthcare, there is always a service or treatment available to you. 
Yes. Your spouse and dependent children can be co-insured free of charge under certain preconditions. One precondition is that each co-insured family member does not earn over 505 euro a month (with minijob 538 euro). Age limits also apply to your children. You’ll also need to fill out an annual questionnaire to keep the family insurance active and inform us whenever the family’s situation changes. It’s best to contact Barmer directly for further information on family insurance so that we can advise you according to your family situation.
Yes. If you’re insured with Barmer, you’ll receive many additional benefits that are not normally provided under public health insurance. These include access to leading treatments, faster appointments with specialists, free medical advice via telephone as well as modern, digital apps and online services. For more information on how to get the most out of your health insurance, visit our webpage Barmer Benefits, call our English Service Hotline or visit us in person at a Barmer service point. We are always happy to assist you.

Healthy teeth are priceless. Barmer covers statutory costs for dental treatments and checkups, and offers you additional benefits.

If you wish to receive higher quality medical services, you must pay for them yourself. This applies, for example, to dental crowns made of precious metal or metal ceramics.

In the phase of preparation for prosthetics, please ask your dentist what additional services or materials you are willing to pay for yourself. Before starting the treatment, the dentist will prepare a plan according to which the treatment will take place and calculate its cost. We will provide you with information and decide on the amount of the fixed fee.

Barmer offers numerous services and programs to prevent diseases from developing, to detect them at an early stage or to prevent consequential health issues.

We offer numerous free screening examinations for the whole family. For example, the health checkup, early cancer detection or preventive dental care. Vaccinations offer you further protection - we cover the costs for most of them.

Yes, when the prescription is pink or yellow. Barmer covers all medication that doctors prescribe as medically necessary. Prescriptions come in the colours pink, blue, green and sometimes yellow. The colour determines who will pay for the medication and how long the prescription is valid. Pink prescriptions are covered by public health insurance and are mostly valid for 28 days. Yellow prescriptions are covered, too, but are only valid for 7 days. Green and blue prescriptions are not covered. In Germany, statutory co-payments between 5 and 10 euro per package are charged for medication on pink or yellow prescriptions.

Prescriptions and pharmacies in Germany

Yes. Barmer covers the full costs for all officially recommended vaccinations in Germany. In addition, Barmer also reimburses 100% of the costs for travel vaccinations that are not normally covered under public health insurance. This way, you’ll have even more money to enjoy for your vacation. As a Barmer member, you can find out what travel vaccinations are recommended by calling our free Barmer Teledoktor on 0800 333 560.

Yes. You can receive psychotherapy easily and free of charge via your e-health card, but your therapist needs to be registered within the public health insurance system.

The Barmer Doctor Finder is a good place to start when looking for an approved psychotherapist in your area – especially one who speaks your preferred language.

On the website of the Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung (National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians), you can also search for psychotherapists in your area. You can find all approved psychotherapists under the heading “Tipps zur Online-Arztsuche: So finden Sie Ihren Arzt oder Psychotherapeuten”. Please note that this website is only available in German.

You can also receive telephone support to find a psychotherapist by calling the special appointment service hotline of the Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung. You can reach this service at the nationwide number 116117 or at Agents on this special hotline will try to support you in English, but the menu choices given at the beginning of the call are only in German.

Join Barmer

It only takes around 5 minutes to apply.
After you register your permanent address. Your new electronic health insurance card should arrive a few weeks after Barmer receives confirmation of your permanent address. If you don’t have an address, we can give you a temporary certificate to show the doctor, which works just like the e-health card.

It’s easy. We organize it for you. When you join Barmer, we will apply for your Social Security Number (Sozialversicherungsausweis) and send it to your postal address. So you don’t have to do anything.

Join Barmer now

Your personal ID for medical services. The e-health card displays or stores all necessary information about your health insurance and emergency data – so that you can be treated easily and safely. At the doctor’s practice or hospital, the e-health card is scanned and all necessary medical services are billed directly to Barmer.

The electronic health insurance card

Your personal online service centre. With the Barmer-App and Meine Barmer, you can easily manage your health insurance online – quickly and securely from wherever you are in the world. You can access the Meine Barmer online service centre directly from the Barmer website – or via the Barmer-App from a mobile device. As a registered user of our online service centre, you can:

  • Fill out and download applications and certificates digitally
  • Update personal data
  • Receive reminder services for preventive medical checkups and vaccinations
  • Use your personal online mailbox for secure, digital communication with us
  • Submit sick notes and keep track of sickness benefit payments
  • Stay informed about the processing status of your maternity pay
  • Enjoy attractive online courses and apps for your health
  • Access many other digital services and apps for Barmer members

Would you like to know more? Simply contact us for further support. 

At Barmer, the contribution rate for employees is currently 16.1%. This is a combination of the standard statutory contribution rate of 14.6% and the additional individual contribution rate of 1.5%. The contributions are shared 50/50 between employer and employee. In other words, you only pay 8.05% of your gross salary for the security and benefits of public health insurance.

For students in Germany, it’s not possible to get public health insurance alone – long-term care insurance is mandatory as well, and both contributions are combined. All students pay the same reduced rate for these insurances.

Students are required to pay a monthly contribution of €122.78 (under the age of 23) or €127.65 (from the age of 23). Students with children receive a reduction on their long-term care contribution rate of 0.25% per child (from two to five children under the age of 25).

Health insurance:Long-term care insurance: Additional individual contribution rate
€82.99€27.61* respectively €32.48**€12.18

* under the age of 23 without children
** from the age of 23 without children

Yes. Students under 30 years of age who study at a state-approved university or college in Germany are subject to mandatory public health insurance and long-term care insurance. In some cases, an exemption is possible, but you’ll need to think carefully about the consequences before making your decision. It’s always best to contact Barmer directly for further advice on this important topic.

Yes. As a student, you can work alongside your studies – but there are various restrictions. The underlying rule is that your main occupation remains that of a student.

Students from the EU/EEA can be employed alongside their studies – as either a “working student” (Werkstudent) or in a so-called “Mini-Job”. Working students can generally work up to 20 hours a week on average. It’s possible to work more than 20 hours a week during weekends and study breaks, but only for a maximum of 26 weeks per year. It doesn’t matter how much money you earn as a working student, as long as the time restrictions are maintained. If your work time exceeds these limits, your main occupation is no longer a student – and you’ll be insured as an employee.

When you start working alongside your studies, you’ll need to take out mandatory student health insurance with a German health insurance provider like Barmer. As soon as you plan to start your job, please contact us so that we can provide you with all the necessary documents.

Non-EU/EEA students can be employed alongside their studies – as either a “working student” (Werkstudent) or in a so-called “Mini-Job” – if the residence permit allows for this. When you apply for a residence permit, speak with the immigration authorities about working alongside your studies so you know exactly what work permits and time restrictions apply to you.

Yes. However, you will need a valid university work contract or a certificate of study or prior European public health insurance. If you are planning to come to Germany beforehand, you will need to obtain incoming travel health insurance. Your relocation company can provide assistance in this matter. Are you not sure if we can cover you? Call our English Service Hotline on 0800 333 0060* (and +49 202 568 333 0060* from abroad). Or write us an email.

See a doctor

It’s easy. The Barmer Doctor Finder helps you to find doctors anywhere in Germany.

No. As a Barmer member, you don’t need to pay anything when you visit a doctor who is registered within the public health insurance system. Everything that is medically necessary is billed directly to Barmer via your e-health card. If you choose an additional treatment that is not covered under public healthcare, some extra costs may arise, but your doctor will inform you in advance. This way, you can decide what is best for you. An example is dental fillings: A special high-end material may require an additional cost – but the standard quality material is always free. In some cases, however, small co-payments are required for healthcare services.

The electronic health insurance card

Yes. You can visit some medical specialists without a referral – but in Germany, your GP, gynecologist, dentist or pediatrician are still the recommended first points of contact to coordinate all your future healthcare needs.
In most cases, yes. In Germany, a doctor will refer you for hospital treatment, but you are free to choose which public hospital you are treated in. In an emergency, paramedics will decide if you need to be treated at a hospital or not.
Call the practice. The doctor’s staff will advise you on the best time to visit. Some doctors’ practices in Germany have an open consultation time called a Sprechstunde, where you can visit the doctor without an appointment. However, most doctors work on an appointment only schedule. For your convenience, some doctors also offer appointments via an online booking system.
112. If you require first aid in the case of an emergency, you can reach paramedics, an ambulance or the fire brigade on the toll-free number 112 from everywhere in Europe. You can reach emergency police assistance on the number 110.

Need more help?

For further information simply call our English Service Hotline on 0800 333 0060* (and +49 202 568 333 0060* from abroad). Or write us an email.

Ein Telefonhörer