The German public health insurance system is valid within 27-EU countries (plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) but provides limited coverage. If you need emergency medical care while traveling to another EU country and are covered by the state-regulated insurance plan, you will be required to pay the medical costs yourself and then submit all the receipts to your German insurance provider. But you will only be reimbursed for the amount that the German system would have paid for the treatment – sometimes only a fraction of the actual costs.
If you wish to be covered for medical expenses within the EU, or if you plan to travel to non-EU countries, you should purchase a travel insurance policy before your departure – if you are an ADAC member you will find they have good offers.
Sick Pay Insurance
Should you fall ill while in Germany, your employer will usually pay six weeks’ full salary; after that, the government scheme health insurer (Krankenkasse) pays a percentage of your income, up to approximately 2.887,50 per month as statutory sick pay (Krankengeld) for up to 78 weeks. If you earn more than this, it would be worth considering the purchase of supplemental sick pay insurance, which is available at reasonable rates. This is particularly important if your fixed living costs are higher than the 2.887,50 euros. If you purchase private medical insurance, you should also consider purchasing adequate sick pay insurance. Please note that neither sick pay insurance nor the government scheme covers permanent disability.