National Contact Point for cross-border healthcare
National Contact Point for cross-border healthcare

Who pays for planned treatment in Germany?

Even if you have health insurance in another EU country, you can still undergo planned medical treatment in Germany. Whether your healthcare insurer contributes towards the treatment costs incurred in Germany however depends on certain preconditions.

There are no waiting lists in Germany, so that you can be treated in Germany at any time. All you have to do is find a medical professional who offers the treatment which you are seeking. Your healthcare insurer however only has to contribute towards the costs if it is legally obliged to do so. The following information will tell you when this is the case.

Two ways to reach the goal

If you are planning on undergoing treatment in Germany, you have two basic ways to do so:

  • a) Obtain prior authorisation from your healthcare insurer. The insurer will issue a form E 112 or S2 for the planned treatment. This enables you to show that you wish to be treated as a patient who has statutory health insurance in Germany and that your healthcare insurer 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 initially pay the costs incurred yourself and are treated as if you had private health insurance in Germany. You can subsequently apply to your healthcare insurer 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 respective implementing provisions of the individual EU States 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. You should nonetheless always seek the advice of your healthcare insurer in person before deciding between the two methods.

Documents and Links

Assumption of costs in case of planned treatment as if you had statutory health insurance in Germany (form E 112 or S2) What benefits can I receive in Germany? What do I have to clarify with my healthcare insurer prior to undergoing treatment in Germany? What do I do once I am in Germany? Might I have to pay all or only a part of the treatment costs myself? We will be answering these questions below. Treatment as a patient with private health insurance in Germany If you wish to take up a benefit for which your health insurance fund would also pay in your home country under the same conditions in Germany, you will be treated as if you had private health insurance. You will initially have to meet the costs incurred yourself and then apply for a reimbursement. Advantages and disadvantages of the cost reimbursement methods in case of planned treatment as if you had statutory or private health insurance in Germany Both variants entail advantages and disadvantages. You will find an overview below of the areas in which these are to be found as a rule. We will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

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.

Checklists

Information on treatment in Germany at a glance