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Toolbox for Cross-Border Healthcare

The toolbox of the European Commission contains relevant information on the legal framework of cross-border healthcare - including checklists for patients, Patient Organisations and healthcare providers.

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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



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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