National Contact Point for cross-border healthcare

You are here:

Advantages and disadvantages of the cost reimbursement methods when being treated as if you had statutory or private health insurance in case of unplanned treatment in Germany

If you need medical treatment during a temporary stay in Germany, you can take up the benefits using your European Health Insurance Card (as if you had statutory health insurance in Germany), or privately, for which you will have to pay in advance. We will show you below what the advantages and disadvantages of the various procedures for you are and what you need to bear in mind.

EC Regulation No 883/2004 (treatment as if you had statutory health insurance in Germany)

Advantages Disadvantages
You may receive benefits beyond the range of benefits available in your country which are however covered by the range of benefits in Germany. The German list of benefits may contain fewer benefits than that of your home country.
As a rule, you will only incur costs in the amount of the co-payments provided for in Germany. The German legal system may provide for co-payments which do not exist in your home country or which would be lower there. The healthcare provider in Germany furthermore decides whether the treatment which you would like to undergo is medically necessary, taking the length of your stay into account.
Costs are settled directly between the healthcare provider and the assisting German health insurance fund which you have selected. You may only consult healthcare providers with a contract, that is only doctors, dentists and hospitals which have been registered by the competent Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians or Dentists (-> Glossary) to treat persons with statutory health insurance. Your entitlement is limited to benefits which are included in the statutory list of benefits in Germany.
In cases of medical malpractice, you will be treated like a person insured with statutory insurance in Germany. If your healthcare insurer in your home country is entitled to support you in cases of malpractice, this possibility does not apply in case of malpractice in Germany.
There are no translation costs for invoices. Were the European Health Insurance Card not to be accepted, so that you subsequently apply to the healthcare insurer in your home country for a reimbursement, you might have to pay any shortfall towards the German insurance fund rate yourself.

Directive 2011/24/EU (treatment as if you had private health insurance in Germany)

Advantages Disadvantages
You may also consult private healthcare providers (e.g. private doctors and hospitals). The costs may exceed the amount that is reimbursed by the healthcare insurer in your home country.
The benefits you may receive are not restricted to what is available to persons with statutory health insurance in Germany. You will thus be able to also receive benefits that are covered by the statutory range of benefits in your home country, but not in Germany. You will initially have to pay the costs yourself, and will only subsequently receive a reimbursement of at least a part of the costs.
There is no need to have the costs authorised in many cases. The invoice may have to be translated at your expense if it was not drawn up in your country’s language.
If no prior authorisation is required, healthcare can be taken up quickly. Unless otherwise agreed by contract, liability and warranty claims are exclusively governed by the German legislation, and you need to pursue them before the German courts.
  There may be language difficulties. It may be necessary to arrange for a translation of the results of prior examinations from your home country, for instance parts of your medical records and – after the treatment – also the results of your foreign medical files, at your own expense.

Documents and Links



Pennefeldsweg 12 c
53177 Bonn

+49 228 9530-802, +49 228 9530-608/, +49 228 9530-800 (Monday to Thursday 8 a.m to 4.30 p.m, Friday 8.a.m. to 3 p.m)

Online contact form

Privacy Policy for enquiries to EU-PATIENTEN.DE

Finding healthcare providers

You will find here a list of links to search engines available on the Internet, with explanations

Regional sources of information

You are living in a border region and you are searching for further regional information sources. Click here for an overview of institutions that could be helpful.

National information media

You will find more national information available here if you want to find out what treatment is available for specific diseases, or if you need further information on the topic of health.


Information on treatment in Germany at a glance

We use cookies

We use cookies to make the use of our website more convenient for you. We also wish to better understand your user behaviour so that we can continually improve contents and functions. Please therefore agree to the use of the following cookies. You can find more information on the data we store in our Privacy Policy.

Cookies are small text files that a website stores on the computers of our visitors to make individual functions and web applications such as search functions and forms more user-friendly. Cookies are usually stored in the browser cache of the computer.

Our webpages distinguish between necessary cookies, without which the website would not function, and statistics cookies that help us to better understand the user behaviour of our visitors and continuously improve our website. According to the law, we can store necessary cookies on your computer. We need your consent for all other cookies.

You can change or revoke your consent to accept cookies at any time on our website. You can find out more about this in our Privacy Policy.

Necessary cookies ensure that our webpages function correctly. They are required, for example, for navigation, the search function and for individual forms. The following cookies are stored on your computer when you visit our website:

BIGipServer (GKV-Spitzenverband)
This cookie stores information on the server via which the webpage is visited.
Expiry: After closing the browser window/tab

creaseFont (GKV-Spizenverband)
This cookie stores the preferred font size. This cookie is only set if the visitor has chosen a font size other than the standard font size for this website.
Expiry: 60 days

JSESSIONID (GKV-Spitzenverband)
This cookie stores an anonymous ID which is required for certain functions during your visit to our website.
Expiry: After closing the browser window/tab

openSessionHintLayer (GKV-Spitzenverband)
This cookie stores information that the help/support layer has been displayed and clicked.
Expiry: After closing the browser window/tab

These cookies store information on the user behaviour of the visitors of our website. The information stored provides us with data on the reach of our website and the user behaviour of our visitors. This allows us to continually improve our website.

All information is collected and evaluated anonymously. To do so, we use the open source software Matomo, which is installed on our servers. You can read more about this in our Privacy Policy.

_pk_ses (GKV-Spitzenverband / Matomo)
Expiry: 30 minutes

_pk_id (GKV-Spitzenverband / Matomo)
Expiry: 13 months