How to Sign Up for Student Health Insurance (and What Not to Do!)
woman with hand on head looking exasperated

How to Sign Up for Student Health Insurance (and What Not to Do!)

Roberto moved to Munich from Spain in the summer of 2018. Before moving, Roberto enrolled at a University in Munich for a Biochemistry program that would begin in the fall. Shortly after arriving in Germany, Roberto visited an insurance agent who sold him Mawista incoming insurance for 68 euros per month. The agent assured Roberto that this coverage would be inexpensive and sufficient enough for his time in University. Not thinking twice about it, Roberto signed up for Mawista.

Fast forward several months and Roberto has just learned that his classmate is paying 90 euros a month for full public health insurance. Thinking that he too would like full public insurance, Roberto goes to visit a local TK office to sign up. Unfortunately, he’s five months too late. The agent explains to him that in order to get the student offer, Roberto needed to sign up for TK on the day that his studies began. In order to sign up now he must back pay all of his would-be TK payments starting from the first day of his University enrollment. In other words, Roberto now needs to pay over 450 euros for the five months of coverage that he missed!

At first, Roberto is dismayed—but then he becomes angry at the first insurance agent who did not tell him this. After doing some research online and learning that his best option is to backpay, he sloughs it off, bites the bullet and ultimately pays the back pay charges.


Spanish guy moves to Germany to go to uni, gets covered with incoming insurance and then 5 months later tries to switch to public insurance. Instead, has to backpay 450 euros for the 5 months of payments that he missed since the beginning of his studies 🙁

  • If you are planning to be enrolled in a German university, always be sure to sign up for public health insurance before your studies begin.
  • Don’t see a broker for insurance options if you are student! There is no reason to ever go with private insurance as a university student. You should always take advantage of the incredibly low public health insurance rates.
  • In some cases, like Roberto’s, you’re better off back paying your expenses than choosing full private insurance. Why? While private might seem enticing, it can get vastly more expensive than public health insurance over time.
  • If you’re a student with private or incoming insurance, try your best to switch to private within 6 months of your first date of enrollment. After six months, switching (even with backpaying) might not be possible.
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