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Who pays for unplanned treatment in Germany?

If you are in Germany temporarily and need to undergo medical treatment due to health problems, we will explain below what you need to take into account so that your healthcare insurer pays all or most of the costs.

The information below relates to those cases in which you have statutory insurance in another Member State of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland and unexpectedly need to undergo medical treatment during a temporary stay in Germany. They also apply to people with chronic diseases and to expectant mothers. You will find further information on this group of individuals at the appropriate title.

The various cost reimbursement procedures

The different cost reimbursement procedures set out below are available if you need medical assistance during a temporary stay in Germany:

  • a) You present a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to a doctor who is entitled to provide treatment in the healthcare system there. This enables you to show that you wish to be treated as a patient who has statutory health insurance in Germany and that the healthcare insurer in your home country will meet the cost. You will find more information on this in the document and link box below.
  • b) If you would like to take up a benefit in Germany for which your healthcare insurer would also pay in your own country under the same conditions, you can initially pay the costs incurred yourself and be treated as if you had private health insurance in Germany. You can subsequently apply for a reimbursement. You will find more information on this in the document and link box below.

These two methods differ in terms of the

  • legal basis,
  • preconditions for your entitlement to treatment,
  • payment methods applied by the healthcare provider,
  • methods for a reimbursement, and
  • co-payments, as well as with regard to several other aspects.

In the first case, at a), your entitlements to treatment are derived directly from the European Regulations on the coordination of social security systems (Regulations (EC) 883/2004 and 987/2009). In the second case, at b), they are derived from the national implementing provisions of your country contained in Directive 2011/24/EU.

We would like to give you an overview for both methods and to point to the differences, as well as to the advantages and disadvantages (see the document and link box below). You should nonetheless always seek the advice of your healthcare insurer in person before deciding between the two methods.

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

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