Health Insurance Information for Tourists Travelling to Germany
Germany is a wonderful place to visit, especially when you consider the numerous sceneries and places to visit. Emergencies nonetheless may come knocking on the door during your travel in Germany that is why getting a visitor medical insurance coverage is necessary.
Getting medical coverage as a tourist in Germany should not however be a problem as the process is well established, fast, and easy. Furthermore, Germany is credited with offering the best medical services in Europe. Here is what you should know and do.
For members from the European Economic Area
If you are a citizen of one of the EU member states, you are exempted from having to get health insurance under one condition; you have to provide your European Healthcare Insurance Card.
This card allows all people emanating from countries in Europe, making up the EEA to get free medical care as long as they are in Germany and any other of these states. It covers treatment for illnesses and injuries, which happen during the touristsí stay in Germany. It also covers pre-existing medical conditions, including chronic diseases. It also guarantees routine maternity care.
Switzerland, albeit not a member of the EEA, has agreements with the member countries, giving citizens from Switzerland the same privileges in Germany and all other member states of the EEA. Other countries included in this agreement include Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.
This card, however does not provide coverage for costs incurred when transporting you to another country to get further medical care. Dental care is also excluded. It will also not work if it is realized that the reason of your visit as a traveler to Germany is indeed a disguise to get medical services.
It is also free only for emergencies, and health care needs, which are not deemed emergencies have to be paid for. Furthermore, to get these services free, you have to report to a state run medical institution. You have to pay if you opt for private clinics and hospitals.
Private health insurance for tourists
If you are a traveler to Germany from overseas countries, which are not members of the European Union, you have to get private health insurance. This too should not be a problem, but there are some things, which you absolutely must know.
One thing you should be aware of is that most private health insurance policies do not provide coverage for medical conditions and pre-existing diseases as well. It would thus be wise to consult your doctor before travelling or carry ample medication. You can also try to find one of the few insurers willing to provide coverage for this. You should also know that the level of medical care a private health insurance policy guarantees varies. As such, make sure to read and understand the terms provided in the policy.
Another very important fact to know so that you are not caught off guard is that most health insurance policies carry what is known as an excess. As such, you are required to always pay a proportion of a claim. In cases where the treatment is minor, you may be required to pay more money than what does the services cost.
It would also be wise to keep all the receipts of medical services offered to you while in Germany. This is because most insurance firms expect their clients to pay for the medical services they receive and then claim reimbursement when they get back to their home countries. The receipts will thus be proof of the money you spent during your stay. The process of reimbursement may however take some time, so do not get worried when things do not seem to be forthcoming.
What to expect
The quality of medical care visitors get in Germany is as high as most people describe it, so worrying about how well you will be taken care of should not bother you. Furthermore, most of the doctors at German speak fluent English, so it should be easy to communicate and understand each other.
In addition, unless you are the victim of an accident and/or need urgent medical attention, you have to get a referral from a doctor to be admitted to a hospital in Germany. You will also have to pay the daily rates for the first two weeks of admission after which you can claim your money back when you get better.