There are many myths and questions surrounding the topic of "health insurance abroad" and, unfortunately, there are always misunderstandings. A detailed overview of the topic helps to understand who should take out which form of international insurance, why and at what time.
What is international health insurance and why should I take it out??
International health insurance is the most important of all insurances when it comes to a stay abroad. It does not matter whether the stay abroad lasts only a few hours or many years. As soon as you are outside of Germany, or want to or have to resort to medical help outside of Germany, your German health insurance will no longer cover you. In order to be protected abroad, travel health insurance is essential, because only with this insurance will you be reimbursed for the costs of medical treatment.
Depending on the case, the cost of medical treatment can quickly become immeasurable. For example, imaging procedures or surgeries cost a lot of money, which under certain circumstances can drive you into financial ruin. A single day in hospital in the USA, for example, costs the equivalent of around 6.000 euros and a medically necessary return transport to Germany from Turkey strikes with about 22.000 euros. From the USA, repatriation even costs around 60.000 euros, and from Australia the costs in complicated cases can quickly reach 70.000 to 80.000 euros. In order to be protected from having to bear these high costs yourself and to be able to concentrate solely on recovery and not on the financial aspect in an emergency, it helps to take out an international health insurance policy.
Statistics, by the way, prove the need for health insurance abroad:
As a study by ELVIA with 1.According to the results of the survey conducted by the German Institute for International Health Insurance (DIHK), 34.6 % of all respondents became ill while on vacation.
However, this was still less than the respondents had previously estimated:
- 71.2 % expected to fall ill during the vacation beforehand
- 45.1 % feared having an accident on vacation
According to the ELVIA study, 65.2% of all people surveyed take out an annual international health insurance policy. 25.7 % opt for an individual policy.
One in three people falls ill while on vacation, which, compared to lost luggage (15.1%) or being involved in an accident (14.1%), speaks volumes and is a clear argument for taking out travel health insurance abroad.
Do I also need health insurance for a stay in Europe or only for other continents??
Many people think: I have nevertheless my European health insurance card, for my Italy or Spain vacation I need then nevertheless no additional travel health insurance more.
But this idea is wrong. While it is true that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) covers medical treatment abroad in Europe, this only applies to public institutions. In private practices or clinics, the EHIC can not be used, these treatment costs must then be paid out of pocket.
The European Health Insurance Card is valid in all EU countries and additionally in Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia.
The EHIC is printed on the back of every German health insurance card and replaces the foreign health insurance certificate that used to be necessary. All relevant cardholder data is stored on the card. The cardholder can present the EHIC in case of illness or accident and will then be treated medically. He must pay in advance for the services, the costs are then covered by the statutory health insurance in Germany.
Important to know: Only services that prove to be medically necessary during the stay in another European country are actually paid for by the insurance company. A certain amount of aftercare or similar is not covered and this is where the shortcoming of the EHIC becomes apparent: It does not include return transport to the home country. This must be paid out of pocket. In order to nevertheless cover this return transport, it is advisable to take out a foreign travel health insurance policy.
What applies to privately insured persons?
If you are privately insured, you should check your insurance contract for the validity of the tariff abroad. With most insurances the protection in Europe is limited to one month, some private insurances also protect up to three months abroad. Important also here: As a rule, repatriation is not included. It is therefore advisable for privately insured persons to take out international health insurance, especially when traveling outside Europe.
When should I take out travel health insurance abroad?
An international health insurance should be taken out before departure. Strictly speaking, it is sufficient to take out the insurance one day before departure. In the meantime, it is common to conclude the contract via the Internet, which is uncomplicated. There is also the possibility of taking out the insurance when you are already on the road, but here the insurance companies have built in waiting periods (if they offer the possibility of insurance from the road at all) to protect themselves from the assumption of benefits for diseases that occurred while traveling, which should still be covered quickly.
If you don't want to buy your health insurance on the Internet, you can do it in travel agencies or directly from the insurer. By telephone you can arrange for the insurance documents to be sent to you, which you can then go through and sign at home at your leisure. Alternatively, you can also go to a branch office or to an insurance broker and get advice. However, do not blindly trust the broker – they will receive a commission for taking out your insurance and their recommendation may vary depending on the commission level. So make sure you can trust the broker, get a recommendation from someone you know and then, above all, check the insurance contract thoroughly before signing it.
Health insurance via credit card: What you have to consider
If you have a credit card that already includes international travel protection, you should check it thoroughly. Often, this is only basic protection, which can be incomplete in some cases and often does not include repatriation from abroad, for example. In addition, the international health insurance via the credit card is only valid if the trip was also booked via the credit card. In any case, check the tariff thoroughly before booking the trip and take out additional insurance if necessary – simply relying on it would be negligent.
What do I have to consider when taking out travel health insurance??
Before you take out an international health insurance policy, you need to consider all sorts of aspects and especially compare them. Although many tariffs are quite similar, they differ strikingly in some points, such as the topic of return transport. Also the included benefits are not always the same and are sometimes only covered up to a certain amount or not at all. Make sure that your insurance covers the following treatments and services in addition to the basic benefits such as treatment of illnesses or care after accidents:
- Assistance after sports accidents
- Temporary dentures
- Prescribed aids such as crutches or a wheelchair
- Accommodation of parents in the hospital if the child falls ill
In addition, the following aspects are important criteria and already determine quite a lot of general conditions of the insurance that comes into question for you:
USA and Canada
Depending on where you plan to travel, this filter is one of the first things you should set when searching for the right health insurance plan. A brief explanation: Treatment costs in the USA and Canada are significantly higher than in all other countries of the world. Insurance companies therefore offer a policy that covers these two countries more expensively than without the U.S. and Canada. Prices are between 30 and 50 % higher, depending on the provider, if the insurance cover is to apply in these two countries as well.
If your trip does not go to the USA or Canada, you can choose a tariff without these two countries and save a lot of money. If you are traveling to North America, you cannot avoid taking out the appropriate tariff, as it could ruin you financially if you have to pay for treatment costs in these countries out of your own pocket.
The deductible is an important aspect in the topic of international health insurance. Some insurances provide that insured persons pay a certain part of the costs for each treatment (usually between 50 and 100 Euro) and the insurance premium is lower in return. It is best to choose a tariff without a deductible so that you really do not have any costs in the event of a claim. Although the insurance is then a little more expensive from the ground up, but you do not have the hassle if it really comes to an insured event due to illness or accident.
Usually you have to pay for treatment abroad out of your own pocket first and then you receive an invoice that you can submit to your insurance company. So you have to pay in advance and then you get the money refunded by the insurance company. Since these costs can soar to dizzying heights depending on the extent of treatment, there are now insurance companies that offer a type of credit card that can be loaded to pay for medical treatments.
The pioneer of this offer is ELVIA Auslandskrankenversicherung with its Real Time emergency card. If an emergency occurs and you need to pay for medical treatment abroad, you can charge the credit card with the required amount via a phone number and in this way you do not have to pay in advance. Especially in case of higher sums, as they are due for example for operations, this procedure is very customer-friendly.
Annual policy or single policy?
International health insurance can be purchased for a specific trip or for an entire year. If you already know that you won't be taking any trips this year other than one, you can take out an individual policy that protects you for the duration of the trip. This can even be billed on a daily basis and, if necessary, extended if the trip lasts longer than expected. However, you should definitely discuss the possible extension with the insurance company beforehand, as not everyone offers this option.
Individual policies are usually a little cheaper than an annual policy, but are often no longer worthwhile after the second trip per year – then the annual policy is cheaper. The advantage of the single policy is, if it really only remains with the one trip abroad in this year, you do not have to think about canceling the insurance again.
An annual policy is automatically renewed for a year if it is not cancelled beforehand, but it also has a clear advantage: you don't have to worry about your insurance on any trip. Even if it is only a weekend trip to a European neighboring country, they are always well protected and even the return transport is covered in case of emergency. You have your insurance, which runs for one year, automatically renews year after year and you don't have to think about it again and again to sign individual contracts.
Medically necessary repatriation vs. medically reasonable return transport
Repatriation is the item that is often the most expensive factor for overseas health insurance companies. There must be enough berth in an airplane, there must be a doctor or paramedic on board, possibly even a separate ambulance jet must take over the return transport. The costs quickly go into the mid five-digit range – but only rarely arise, because the case "medically necessary repatriation" also occurs only rarely. A return transport is only medically necessary if no effective treatment can take place in the vacation country. This is not the case in many countries, as there are solutions for most illnesses and the consequences of accidents, even in areas of the world with poor medical care.
Medically reasonable, on the other hand, means that repatriation is covered even if the prospects of recovery at home are better than in the vacation country. Factors for this are the familiar environment and not speaking the native language of the vacation country. In this case, the patient has a large say in the return transport and has a much greater chance of being treated at home, provided he is fit for transport.
A good tariff includes this aspect and is offered for example by Hanse Merkur or ERGO Versicherung.
Which travel health insurance is the right one for me??
Health insurance for children and families
If you have children and want to travel with them, it is worth considering a family tariff. These are usually cheaper than if all family members are insured individually. With most insurance policies, family members are protected even if they are traveling alone. If you travel without your children or if your children go on a school trip or student exchange abroad, all family members are still covered independently of each other.
Many insurers also reimburse the costs for the care of the children if the parents fall ill and can no longer be with their children due to a hospital stay or a serious illness. If the children fall ill and have to be hospitalized and the parents do not want to leave their charges alone, these costs are usually reimbursed as well. In the course of concluding a family contract it is worthwhile in any case to compare different tariffs and above all to calculate whether a family tariff for all is more favorable than if an individual insurance is taken out for everyone.
Health insurance for seniors
Most insurers have age limits built in and those who exceed them will have to pay more for their overseas travel insurance than younger people. Depending on the provider, these limits lie between the 65. and 75. Year of life. There are even insurers who no longer insure persons older than 75 or 80 years of age. Vulnerability to illness and emergencies increases at this age and insurance companies want to protect themselves from the treatment costs incurred.
Health insurance for students, work and travelers, au pairs or interns abroad
Young people going abroad for extended periods of time need long-term travel coverage. Many insurance companies offer special rates for students, work and travelers, au pairs or interns abroad, which are usually somewhat cheaper than for older people. The insurance companies assume that young people are less susceptible to illnesses and can then offer their tariff for these age groups at a lower price. Plans for work and travelers, students or interns usually have an upper age limit, but it varies widely depending on the provider. Some insurers set the limit at 34 years, others not until 55. It is important to make sure that all necessary benefits are covered in the long-term insurance, i.e. dental visits and medical aids as well as repatriation are covered without a deductible.
In addition, it is decisive whether the stay abroad is longer than 12 months or not. If you are going to be away for longer than 12 months or if you do not know exactly yet, you should make sure that the insurance coverage does not end after this period of time. It is also important that the insurance period can be extended, if necessary, if the originally planned period is exceeded. Many insurers do not provide for an extension in their tariffs, so it is advisable in case of doubt to take out a tariff with a longer term and if the return takes place earlier, the overpaid premiums will be refunded. Since the USA and Canada are popular countries for an au pair activity and also for Work and Travel, it is important to make sure that the chosen insurance tariff covers these two countries as well.
Travel health insurance for people with disabilities
People with disabilities can also take out travel health insurance abroad, but they have to accept a restriction. This is how the insurance company closes the chronic or. The illness causing the disability is not present and no related treatment would be covered by the insurance. An exception is if a pre-existing chronic condition worsens, in which case you are again eligible for coverage.
If you have an accident while on vacation that is not due to your disability, or if you suddenly suffer from ailments that are unrelated to your disability, you can take advantage of the benefits of health insurance abroad just like anyone else.
Travel health insurance for athletes
Professional sportsmen suffer from the topic of travel health insurance because they are not insured while practicing their sport abroad. They can take out international insurance for all other illnesses or non-sport related accidents, but if something happens to them while they are practicing their profession, i.e. sport, they have to pay for the treatments themselves.
But even travelers who want to practice sports privately at their vacation destination should read the insurance conditions thoroughly. For example, there are insurers who exclude certain types of sports. If something happens to you while you are practicing one of these sports, you will have to pay for the treatment yourself.
travel health insurance during pregnancy
Pregnant women should take special care when choosing their travel health insurance. After all, it can happen at any time that an investigation is necessary during the trip or even that the baby announces itself on the way. If you don't have insurance, but give birth in a hospital and are also subsequently treated, you will have to expect very high costs. Many international health insurance plans do not cover preventive examinations, but there are some that do.
Women who are pregnant should definitely choose one of these tariffs, which covers all medically necessary treatments in connection with the pregnancy. The costs for premature births or miscarriages and for childbirth should also be covered by travel health insurance. In addition, not only should the mother be medically cared for, but also the treatments of the newborn baby should be paid for by the insurance company. If it comes to a medically necessary abortion, these costs should also be covered.
Pregnant women should have their doctor confirm that they are fit to travel before they leave. Who leaves already as a problem case, must count on the fact that the insurance does not pay in case of emergency, if something should be with mother or child during the vacation. Usually the tariffs for pregnant women are not basic tariffs, but are called Premium or Comfort tariff. These are more expensive, but should definitely be chosen to be on the safe side. If you already have an annual insurance policy, you should check the tariff you already have in case of pregnancy and increase it if necessary. It is very likely that this special protection is not included in the policy already taken out, as most policies are basic tariffs. Even in an already existing insurance through a credit card, the benefits for pregnant women are very likely not covered with.
Health insurance for expats
If you move abroad as an expat and then start working in another country, you are usually insured through your German employer. As a rule, the companies take care of taking out insurance for their employees, with which the expat is then well protected. This point should definitely be clarified with the boss before moving to the new country. If the company does not cover the costs, you will have to take care of your insurance yourself. After all, you don't want to be stuck with the treatment costs in the event of an emergency.
Here, too, you have the option of taking out a tariff for up to one year or for up to five years, depending on how long you will be staying abroad. Should you then return to your home country earlier, the premiums can be reimbursed here as well. Make sure that preventive medical examinations are also covered in the chosen tariff, after all, you do not want to do without good health protection during your time abroad.
Even if your employer has taken out an insurance policy for you, you should insist on checking it thoroughly for benefits. If necessary, you should also take out additional cover yourself, as the topic of repatriation in particular should be given special consideration.
Health insurance for expatriates
Emigrants have to think very carefully about their insurance coverage abroad. Especially if no insurance is provided by the employer in the new country, it is essential to take out an internationally valid insurance in Germany. Even if you have the possibility to take out an insurance in your new home country – in many countries of the world the medical care is worse than in Germany, which is why it is better to have your own, comprehensive protection for all cases.
Health insurance for visitors
Not only for yourself, but also for your visitors from abroad you can take out an international health insurance policy. This has the advantage for your guests that they don't have to worry about anything and can simply enjoy their stay carefree. The cost of insurance for visitors varies depending on the length and included services, with most insurances a daily billing is possible for shorter visits of up to 10 or 14 days.
Should you take in an au pair for a longer period of time, for example, you must keep in mind that the insurance should also cover the entire period of time. Often the insurances for visitors can also be extended, but this should be checked in advance in the insurance conditions. The insurances for visitors are called "Incoming"-insurances and also the prices start at 1,10 € per day respectively at 38,50 € per month for longer stays.
Costs for an international health insurance
The cost of international health insurance varies depending on the provider, age of the insured, duration of the trip, benefits and much more. It is therefore difficult to quote flat-rate prices. In principle, however, the following applies:
Annual policy: A basic annual policy for up to six weeks of travel is available for as little as 8 euros. Depending on the provider and personal requirements (z.B. in the case of families or insurance for senior citizens) increase up to 50 euros.
Long-term travel protection: For long-term travelers of up to five years, there are many different rates that start at 30 euros a month and go up to 200 euros a year in price. Here it is quite decisive which additional services are to be insured, for example preventive medical examinations, dental costs, prenatal care etc. Especially for long journeys of one year or more it is advisable to choose an all-round cover. After all, you don't want to miss out on preventive care or a visit to the dentist when you're on the road.
Insurance for emigrants: If you have no intention of returning to Germany, you can take out cover for an unlimited period of time. These policies cost between 70 and 500 euros a month – again, it's the individual factors and needs that count.
Health insurance abroad in the test
Comparing health insurances is the be-all and end-all and no insurance policy should be taken out without first obtaining thorough information. Finally, in an emergency, it's as much about getting good medical care as it is about getting full coverage, and that's what you should strive for. After all, it is already stressful enough to have to go to the doctor or to the hospital on vacation, when you were looking forward to carefree, relaxed days beforehand.
In order to find out which health insurance is the best, various criteria must first be considered again. Finally, there are some crucial differences. As already mentioned, there are tariffs with worldwide validity, i.e. including the USA and Canada, and tariffs without worldwide validity. There are rates for young people, for older people, for expats, for long-term travelers and for pregnant women.
Assuming that most travelers take out a normal basic insurance policy for their vacation, there are some insurance policies that perform better than others. Stiftung Warentest published a travel health insurance test on this in April 2017, after examining 88 tariffs. All insurances that were examined were annual policies, which can be used to insure several individual trips per year of up to a maximum duration of eight weeks.
Test winners among the insurances for individuals are the offers of DKV and Ergo Direkt. Wurzburger's TravelSecure insurance was also rated "Very Good. Other very good offers for individuals are provided by Concordia, Hallesche and Hanse Merkur Versicherung. All these rates cost between 7.50 euros and 25 euros per year.
Among the insurances for families, DKV, Ergo Direkt and TravelSecure Versicherung also received top marks. The price range for these rates is from 18.60 euros to 40 euros per year.
FAQ – The most frequently asked questions about health insurance for travel abroad
You have finished your trip earlier than planned. Get your premiums back now?
Most insurances offer reimbursement of overpaid premiums if you can prove that you actually returned earlier than planned. This can be arranged, for example, by presenting an airline ticket proving that you completed your trip earlier.
What notice period do I have for my annual policy??
Since the annual policy is automatically renewed if it is not cancelled, you must actively think about cancelling it when you no longer need your insurance. Depending on the insurance company, the notice period is between four weeks and three months. A good insurance is usually recognized by a short cancellation period of one month, but this is of course not the only criterion that makes a good tariff.
Do I have to take out travel health insurance immediately after booking my trip??
No! As a rule, after booking a trip on the Internet, you will be offered insurance packages immediately, sometimes even in parallel with the conclusion. Avoid these offers and take your time to check different rates and companies and to compare different offers. You have until the day before your departure to take out the insurance, so you should not be pressured by additional offers during travel booking.
Is a travel insurance package worthwhile?
Often international health insurance is offered directly in combination with travel cancellation insurance, luggage insurance and travel interruption insurance. Although these offers often seem tempting at first glance, as they are somewhat cheaper than if all insurance policies are taken out individually, they are often inferior in the scope of benefits and accordingly incomplete.
If your intensive examination of all insurances shows that the individual policies form a sufficient and comprehensive protection, then you can calmly take out a package. However, it is more advisable to take out the insurance policies individually and to check each one thoroughly. Especially when it comes to international insurance, there are so many subtleties to consider, which also vary from person to person, that it becomes difficult to find a company that offers the optimal insurance tailored to you for each insurance policy.
How long does an international health insurance actually protect me??
How long a foreign health insurance during a trip is valid, varies. There are many very good annual policies that cover a trip duration of six to eight weeks at a time. This protection is then valid for any number of trips per year. Many tariffs even cover additional days or weeks, at least until a sick person is able to be transported again.
If you need more than six or eight weeks of health coverage, there are two options. Either you insure individual days additionally, which are then billed with a per-day flat rate. Or you can take out a long-term international health insurance policy, which is then valid for up to one year or even up to five years, depending on the tariff. With a long-term insurance for one year, you usually pay the premiums for the entire period in one go and then receive a refund of overpaid premiums if your trip does not last 12 months.
Does the international insurance also apply to business trips??
Whether a tariff also applies to business trips or covers purely private purposes varies from provider to provider. Some explicitly state in the insurance conditions that the tariff only covers private vacation trips. Other providers also cover professional travel for a short period of time, usually 10 to 14 days. Weigh up how important this point is for you and whether you need to travel at all in your job and then adjust your insurance accordingly if necessary.
When do international health insurance policies not pay?
Although each company and each tariff has its own rules, when services are covered and some pay for treatments that are not even in the insurance contract of others, there are some standard cases where all foreign health insurance does not pay:
- If the purpose of the trip is medical treatment, i.e. you are going abroad for an operation, then the costs for this treatment will not be covered by insurance.
- If it is already determined before departure that a certain treatment must be carried out abroad, the costs for this are also not covered.
- If illnesses or accidents are caused intentionally, the insurance does not pay either.
- Withdrawal treatments are also not provided for in the policies of the insurance companies.
- Psychological treatments are not covered by a large part of the international health insurances. Some long-term travel insurances offer a cost coverage for this, but this is usually capped at a certain amount and is an exception.
- If political unrest or even war events in a country are foreseeable or even an active participation in them is planned, no foreign insurance pays.
- Rehabilitation measures such as a cure or a stay in a sanatorium are also not covered by international health insurance.
- If you need long-term care, it won't pay for accommodations.
- The costs for dentures, which must be made again, are not taken over just like for orthodontics.
- In the case of treatment by relatives, the insurance companies also do not cover any costs except for the cost of material resources.
- Strengthening and nutritional supplements are also not provided for in the benefit catalogs.
Do I always need a receipt for the assumption of the treatment costs??
Yes! Without an invoice or receipt, no insurance company will reimburse the costs. Therefore, always and without exception – even in woods and meadows practices – get a bill. In addition to the amount paid, this should also list the diagnosis or the treatment carried out and be signed by a doctor and stamped if possible.
Only a few euros insurance premium but the full cost coverage in case of emergency – how profitable is it for the insurance company?
Health insurance abroad is usually quite cheap, especially in relation to health insurance in Germany. The reason for this is simple: The statutory health insurance in Germany is based on a social system, which means that many pay into a large pot and from which all necessary treatments are then financed. With a private foreign health insurance one pays its premium only for itself and not still for the others also.
As the statistics showed at the beginning, only just under 35% of all travelers become ill – so many insurance policies are taken out without any benefits being claimed. And even if a service is used, it is not always horrendously expensive. For the fewest, a return transport and a complicated operation actually have to be paid for; most cases are minor injuries or illnesses for which a visit to the doctor and one or two medications are sufficient.
For the insurance company, a mixed calculation results from the expected income from all insurance premiums and from the expected treatment costs for which they have to pay. Mathematicians and risk managers calculate these rates and statistics on the basis of which the prices for an insurance are made.
Can I take out an international health insurance online??
Online conclusion is possible without any problems. The premium can then be paid with most providers even directly via PayPal, bank transfer or credit card and is then usually still valid from the same day – provided that the conclusion is made from Germany. This is the reason why an international travel insurance can be taken out even one day before the start of the trip.
Can a foreign health insurance also be concluded from abroad?
As a rule, travel health insurance is only effective if the departure from Germany has taken place or the contract was concluded in Germany. Some insurance companies offer tariffs that can also be taken out from abroad. These are however clearly more expensive! Also, these insurances often have a waiting period to protect themselves from covering the costs of acute treatments. Also pre-existing conditions that already existed at the start of the trip are excluded from the insurance, as well as a possible need for treatment of an illness that was already determined before departure.
Does the travel health insurance pay the costs for a spontaneously booked flight in case of illness??
If you get sick on vacation and you decide that you would rather be treated at home, you should not rely on the reimbursement of costs of the foreign travel health insurance when booking a spontaneous flight. Of course, it is possible that you are not so ill that you can still fly without problems – but the health insurance does not cover the costs for the flight booked by yourself.
Repatriation is only paid for by the insurance company if it is medically necessary or medically advisable and is organized by them. For this, a previous treatment in the vacation country must have taken place, in which the treating doctors come to the conclusion that a return transport is just necessary or useful. If you take care of your return flight yourself, you must also bear the costs yourself.
Your international health insurance does not want to pay for your treatment abroad. Is there an arbitration board?
Yes! If there are problems with the assumption of costs, you can turn to an ombudsman of the private health and nursing insurance. These help with arbitration and their services are free of charge. The ombudsman then makes a non-binding recommendation as to how the problem that has arisen could be solved, and usually the parties then come to an out-of-court agreement. However, the insured can still sue if they disagree with the recommendation. Many insurance companies cooperate with the procedures of the ombudsman, but not all of them. An alternative to the ombudsman is the General Consumer Arbitration Board (Allgemeine Verbraucher-Schlichtungsstelle). There, however, the participation in the arbitration procedure is voluntary for both parties and can be either excluded by the insurer from the outset or then rejected in the specific case.
Is the conclusion of a travel health insurance only possible, if at the same time an insurance protection exists in Germany during the journey?
If you are going abroad for a longer period of time, you have the possibility to deregister from the German statutory health insurance. This option exists from a stay abroad of three months and has the advantage that during this time no premiums have to be paid in Germany. In order to be able to deregister, it is usually sufficient to have a certificate from the long-term health insurance abroad or to deregister from Germany. So it is not a requirement to be insured in Germany in parallel with the travel health insurance. A prerequisite for deregistration is rather to be able to show a foreign insurance. It is only important that the travel health insurance is taken out from Germany and usually you are still insured in Germany at this time.
There are providers of international health insurance that also cover short stays in Germany, in case a visit home is planned during the long-term trip. As soon as you are back in Germany from your trip, you must register with the health insurance company in order to be comprehensively protected again. In addition, health insurance is mandatory in Germany. Especially if you had a compulsory insurance before, your old insurance company has to accept you again.
If you had voluntary insurance before, you can choose a fund after the trip, but it does not have to take you in if you come back sick. In case of doubt it can happen that you have to insure yourself privately. For voluntarily insured persons, it is therefore advisable to take out a qualifying insurance policy for the period of the trip, which guarantees re-entry into the insurance scheme. The cost of an account varies between 30 and 60 euros, depending on the insurance company and your personal situation.
Privately insured persons can usually also take out a qualifying period for their insurance and can then be fully insured again following their trip. It is not advisable to cancel a private insurance because of a trip abroad. Finally, it may be that in a renewed application after return, the premiums are set higher, because you are now older than when you took out the insurance or other pre-existing conditions have been added, which make the premium more expensive.