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Healthcare in Germany

Healthcare in Germany

Health insurance is essentially a mandatory insurance for everyone in Germany.  Find out more about healthcare in Germany!

Healthcare in Germany

With a few exceptions, everyone that comes to Germany from a foreign country can register with a health insurance company. In many cases, for example when you find a new job or receive unemployment benefit, your employer or the Federal Employment Office registers you automatically with a health insurance company.

Everyone, who has health insurance, receives an electronic health card as a membership card. The card includes personal details and a photo of the card holder. Every time you visit the doctor, you have to present your health insurance card.

Visit to the doctor

Your main contacts for medical treatment in Germany are the licensed general practioners and specialists. Health insurance companies, like AOK Niedersachsen, bear the costs for medical and dental treatment.

Hospital treatment

If you have to be treated in a hospital, all authorised hospitals in the vicinity of your place of residence are open to you. The health insurance company takes over the costs for medical treatment, nursing, accomodation and hospital care.

The AOK Niedersachsen is available for its customers in 121 service and business centres or on their website www.aok-niedersachsen.de. It is a reliable partner for advising you in all questions regarding health insurance and provides exclusive services, as well as individual offers. If you have any questions, please contact your nearest AOK service centre.

AOK Portal

Medicines

If you need a medicine, the doctor will issue a prescription for it. You can hand in the prescription in the pharmacy and you will receive the prescribed medication. The AOK Niedersachsen – like other health insurance companies – bears a large part of the costs.

Sickness insurance

If you can no longer work due to an illness, your employer will continue to pay your salary during the first six weeks of illness. After that you receive sickness insurance from your health insurance company.

Bank Account

Opening a Bank Account

You will need to open a bank account when you arrive. There are many different financial institutions, so do compare the costs and services offered. If you are a student, some banks will allow you to open an account without fees if you show your student card or university registration.

In order to open a bank account, you will need to show a valid passport or identity card and your residence permit (and possibly also your registration documents).

A few days after opening your bank account, you will receive by post a cash card that will allow you to make electronic payments (in supermarkets, cafes, shops, etc.). You will be able to check the status of your bank account online (payments, expenses, money transfers)

Accommodations

Shared accommodation (WG)

This type of accommodation is very common, especially among students and young professionals. Most of them rent an apartment with more than one bedroom and share the rent cost. The kitchen and bathroom facilities are shared. The Wohngemeinschaft (WG) is one of the cheapest accommodation options and moreover a good opportunity to meet new people and practice speaking German with local people.

There are many websites which list rooms to rent, here are some of the most popular:

WG-gesucht

Studenten-wg

If you prefer to live with students in a hall of residence, you can find more information here:

Studentenwerke

Apartments

Although this option is much more expensive than renting a room, some people prefer living alone or with their partner. If you are planning to rent an entire apartment, these websites could help you:

Immobilienscout24

Immonet

Okroommate.com

The Wohnungsgenossenschaft

The Wohnungsgenosseschaft are accommodation cooperatives that offer more economical prices. Each city has an accommodation cooperative where you can inform yourself about the access requirements.

Hostels

If you need to book a hostel while looking for accommodation, here are some alternatives that could help you in the meantime:

Airbnb

Hostelworld

 

Problems with your landlord?

Then these two websites will inform you on how to proceed. Some services have to be paid for but it is worth having professional assistance:

iv-mieterschutz

Mieterbund

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