Around the topic "foreign health insurance" many myths and questions and unfortunately also again and again misunderstandings entwine themselves. A detailed overview of the subject helps to understand who should take out which form of foreign 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 or need medical help outside of germany, your german health insurance will no longer cover you. To be protected abroad, a travel health insurance is indispensable, because only with this insurance you get the costs for medical treatment reimbursed.
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 can possibly drive you into financial ruin. For example, a single day in the hospital in the U.S. Costs the equivalent of about 6.000 euros and a medically necessary return transport to germany from turkey strikes with about 22.000 euros. Return transport from the USA even costs around 60.000 euros, from australia the costs in complicated cases quickly reach 70.000 to 80.000 euro. To be protected from having to bear these high costs yourself and to focus solely on recovery and not on the financial aspect in an emergency, it helps to take out an international insurance policy.
By the way, statistics prove the necessity of an international health insurance:
As a study of the ELVIA with 1.000 respondents, 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 their vacation in advance
- 45.1% feared having an accident on vacation
According to the ELVIA study, 65.2 % of all respondents take out an annual travel 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 for itself and is a clear argument in favor of taking out travel health insurance.
Do I also need an international health insurance for a stay in europe or only for other continents??
Many people think: I have my european health insurance card, for my vacation in italy or spain I do not need an additional travel health insurance.
But this idea is wrong. It is true that the european health insurance card (EHIC) also covers medical treatment in other european countries, but this only applies to public institutions. In private practices or clinics the EHIC cannot be used, these treatment costs must then be paid out of one's own 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, which was necessary in the past. All relevant data of the cardholder are stored on the card. The cardholder can present the EHIC in the event of illness or accident and will then receive medical treatment. The patient must pay in advance for the services, and 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 from own pocket. In order to nevertheless secure this repatriation, the conclusion of an international health insurance is recommended.
What applies to privately insured persons?
If you are privately insured, you should check your insurance contract for validity of the tariff abroad. With most insurances the protection is limited in europe to one month, some private insurances protect also 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 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. It is now common to take out insurance over the internet, which is easy to do. Although there is also the possibility to take out the insurance when you are already on the road, here the insurance companies have built in waiting periods (if they offer the possibility of an insurance from the road at all) to protect themselves from the assumption of benefits for illnesses that occurred while traveling, which should still be covered quickly.
If you don't want to take out your health insurance over the internet, you have the chance to do so both in travel agencies and directly through the insurer itself. 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 go to a branch office or an insurance broker for advice. Do not trust the broker blindly – he receives a commission for the conclusion of your insurance and his recommendation may vary depending on the amount of the commission. 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 you sign it.
Health insurance via credit card: what you need to know
If you have a credit card that already includes international travel protection, you should definitely check it thoroughly. Often this is only a basic protection, which can be partly incomplete and often does not include, for example, the return transport from abroad. 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, above all, make comparisons. Although many tariffs are quite similar, they differ strikingly in some points, such as the issue of repatriation. 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 plan 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
- Hospitalization of parents if the child falls ill
In addition, the following aspects are important criteria and already determine many general conditions of the insurance, which comes into question for you:
USA and canada
Depending on where your trip is going, this filter is one of the first things you should set when looking for the right health insurance rate. Brief explanation: the costs of treatment in the USA and canada are significantly higher than in all other countries of the world. Insurance companies therefore offer a policy covering these two countries more expensive than without USA and canada. Prices are between 30 and 50 % higher, depending on the provider, if the insurance cover is also to apply in these two countries.
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 travel to north america, you cannot avoid taking out the appropriate tariff, as it could ruin you financially to have to pay for treatment costs in these countries out of your own pocket.
The deductible is an important aspect when it comes to international health insurance. Some insurances provide that insured persons pay a certain part of the costs for each treatment themselves (usually between 50 and 100 euros) and for this the insurance premium is lower. It is best to choose a tariff without a deductible, so that you really do not incur 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 receive an invoice that you can submit to your insurance company. You have to pay in advance and will be reimbursed by the insurance company. Since these costs can rise to dizzying heights depending on the scope of treatment, there are now also 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 international health insurance with its real time emergency card. If an emergency arises and you have to pay for medical treatment abroad, you can charge the credit card with the required amount via a telephone number and thus do not have to pay in advance. Especially for higher sums, such as those due for operations, this procedure is very customer-friendly.
Annual policy or individual policy?
A foreign health insurance can be concluded either only for a certain journey or immediately for a whole year. If you already know that you will not take another trip this year, you can take out a single policy that covers 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. The possible extension should be discussed with the insurance company beforehand, because not every insurance company offers this option.
Individual policies are usually a little cheaper than annual insurance, but are often no longer worthwhile after the second trip per year – then the annual insurance 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 one year if it is not cancelled beforehand, but it also has a clear advantage: you do not have to worry about your insurance on any trip. Even if it is only a weekend trip to a neighboring european country, you are well protected at all times and the return transport is also covered in case of emergency. You have your insurance, which runs for a year, automatically renews year after year, and you don't have to worry about it again and again taking out individual policies.
Medically necessary return transport vs. Medically necessary repatriation
The return transport is often the most expensive factor for the international health insurances. 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 arise only rarely, 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, since there are solutions for most illnesses and accident consequences even in medically worse supplied areas of the world.
Medically reasonable, on the other hand, means that return transport is covered even if the prospects of recovery in the home country are better than in the vacation country. Factors for this are familiar surroundings and not speaking the native language of the vacation country. In this case, the patient has a large say in the repatriation and has a much greater chance of being treated at home, if he is able to be transported.
A good tariff includes this aspect and is offered, for example, by hanse merkur or ERGO versicherung.
Which travel health insurance is right for me??
International health insurance for children and families
If you have children and want to travel with them, it is worth considering taking out a family plan. These are usually cheaper than insuring all family members individually. With most insurances, family members are also protected if they travel alone. If you travel without your children or 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 of caring for the children if the parents fall ill and can no longer be with their children due to hospitalization or 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 also reimbursed. In the course of the conclusion of a family contract it is worthwhile in any case to compare different tariffs and above all also to calculate whether a family tariff for all is more favorable than if an individual insurance is taken out for everybody.
Health insurance for seniors
Most insurers have age limits built in and those who exceed them have to pay more for their travel insurance abroad than younger people. Depending on the provider, these limits are between 65. And 75. Age. There are even insurers who no longer insure people who are older than 75 or 80 years. The susceptibility to illness and emergencies increases at this age and the 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 who are going abroad for a longer period of time need long-term travel cover. Many insurance companies offer special rates for students work and travelers, au pairs or interns abroad, which are usually slightly cheaper than for older people. Insurance companies assume that young people are less prone to illness and can then offer their rates at a lower price for these age groups. The rates for work and travelers, students or interns usually have an upper age limit, but this varies greatly depending on the provider. Some insurers set the limit at 34 years, others only at 55 years. 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.
Furthermore, it is decisive whether the stay abroad is longer than 12 months or not. Those who are going to be away for longer than 12 months or do not know for sure yet, 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 selected insurance tariff covers these two countries as well.
Travel health insurance for people with disabilities
Also humans with handicap can lock a foreign travel health insurance, must however a restriction accept. Thus, the insurance excludes the chronic or. The disability-causing illness from and no related treatment would be covered by insurance. An exception is if a pre-existing chronic condition worsens, in which case you will again be 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 unrelated to the disability, you can make use of the benefits of the overseas health insurance just like anyone else.
Travel health insurance for athletes
Professional athletes suffer with regard to the topic of travel health insurance because they are not insured when practicing their sport abroad. You can take out a foreign insurance for all other illnesses or sport-independent accidents, but if something happens to you during the exercise of your profession, i.E. The sport, you have to pay for the treatments yourself.
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 on vacation doing one of these sports, you will have to pay for the treatment yourself.
International health insurance during pregnancy
Pregnant women should be especially careful when choosing their travel health insurance. After all, it can happen at any time that during the trip an examination is necessary or that even the baby announces itself on the way. Who then has no insurance, but gives birth in the hospital and is also subsequently cared for, must expect very high costs. Many health insurance plans do not cover preventive medical checkups, 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 the delivery should also be covered by travel health insurance. In addition, not only the mother should be medically cared for, but also the treatments of the newborn baby should be paid for by the insurance company. If there is a medically necessary termination of pregnancy, these costs should also be covered.
Pregnant women should have their doctor confirm that they are fit to travel before departure. Who leaves already as a problem case, must count on the fact that the insurance does not pay then in case of emergency, if something should be with mother or child during the vacation. Most tariffs for pregnant women are not basic tariffs, but are called premium or comfort tariff. These are more expensive, but should be chosen to be on the safe side. Who already has an annual insurance, should check the already existing tariff 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 if you already have a credit card insurance, it is very likely that the benefits for pregnant women are not covered.
Travel 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, companies take care of insuring 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 have to take care of your insurance yourself. After all, you do not want to be stuck with the treatment costs in case 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 its benefits. If necessary, you should also take out additional protection yourself, because the topic of return transport to your home country should again be given special consideration.
Health insurance for expatriates
Emigrants have to think especially hard about their insurance coverage abroad. Especially if your employer does not provide any insurance in the new country, you should definitely take out an internationally valid insurance in germany. Even if there is the possibility to take out an insurance in the new home country – in many countries of the world the medical care is worse than in germany, so 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. This has the advantage for your guests that they do not have to worry about anything and can simply enjoy their stay without worries. The costs for an insurance for visitors vary depending on the length and included benefits, with most insurances a daily settlement is possible for shorter visits of up to 10 or 14 days.
If you take in an au pair for a longer period of time, you have to keep in mind that the insurance should be valid for the whole period of time. Often, insurance policies 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, the age of the insured, the duration of the trip, the benefits and much more. Therefore, it is difficult to name all-inclusive prices. Basically, however, the following applies:
Annual policy: A basic annual policy for up to six weeks travel time is available for as little as 8 euros. Depending on the provider and personal requirements (e.B. For families or an insurance for seniors) the costs increase up to 50 euro.
Long-term travel protection: for long-term travelers up to five years, there are many different rates that start at €30 a month and go up to €200 a year. Here it is very important which additional services should be insured, for example preventive medical examinations, dental costs, prenatal care, etc. Particularly for long trips 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 visits to the dentist when you're on the road.
Insurance for emigrants: who has no intention to return to germany, can take out a temporally unlimited protection. These policies cost between €70 and €500 per month – again, it's the individual factors and needs that count.
Health insurance abroad in the test
Comparing health insurance plans is the name of the game, and no insurance policy should be purchased without thoroughly gathering information first. After all, in an emergency, it's as much about good medical care as it is about full coverage, and that's what you should aim for. After all, it's already stressful enough to have to go to the doctor or hospital at all on vacation, when you were looking forward to carefree, relaxing days beforehand.
To find out which health insurance is the best, you first need to consider several criteria 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 score better than others. Stiftung warentest published a travel health insurance test on this in april 2017, after examining 88 rates. All insurances which were examined were annual policies, over which several individual journeys can be insured in the year of a duration of up to maximally eight weeks.
The test winners among the insurances for individuals are the offers of DKV and ergo direkt. Wurzburger's travelsecure insurance was also rated "very good. Concordia, hallesche and hanse merkur insurance have other very good offers for individuals ready. All these tariffs cost between 7.50 euros and 25 euros per year.
Among the insurances for families, DKV, ergo direkt and travelsecure versicherung also received the top marks. The price range for these tariffs 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 insurance companies offer refunds 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 have completed your trip early.
What is the cancellation period 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 policy. The notice period is between four weeks and three months, depending on the insurance company. 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 need to purchase travel medical insurance immediately after booking the trip?
No! As a rule, after booking a trip on the internet, you will be offered insurance packages right away, sometimes even in parallel with the conclusion of the trip. Beat these offers and rather take enough time to extensively check different rates and companies and compare different offers. You have until the day before you leave to purchase insurance, so don't be pressured by add-on offers during the travel booking process.
Is a travel insurance package worthwhile?
Often travel 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 insurances 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 quietly take out a package. However, it is more advisable to take out the insurances individually and to check each one thoroughly. Especially when it comes to international insurance, there are so many subtleties to take into account, 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 an international health insurance is valid during a trip, varies. There are many very good annual policies that cover a trip of six to eight weeks at a time. This protection is then valid for any number of trips per year. Many plans cover even more days or weeks, at least until a sick person is fit to be transported again.
If you need more than six or eight weeks of coverage, you have two options. Either you insure individual days additionally, which are then settled with a per day lump sum. Or they take out long-term international health insurance, which is then valid for up to one year or even up to five years, depending on the tariff. With 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 professional travel?
Whether a plan applies to business travel 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 business trips 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 insurance policies not pay?
While each company and plan has its own rules for when benefits are covered, and some pay for treatments that aren't even in the policy for others, there are some standard cases where all international health insurance policies won't pay:
- If the purpose of the trip is medical treatment, i.E. You are going abroad for an operation, the costs for this treatment will not be covered by the 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 covered in the policies of the insurance companies.
- Psychological treatment is not covered by the majority of health insurances abroad. Some long-term travel insurances offer 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 it is planned, no foreign insurance will pay.
- Rehabilitation measures such as a cure or a stay in a sanatorium are also not covered by international health insurance.
- In case of need of care, accommodation is not paid for.
- The costs for dentures, which have to be newly made, are not covered as well as for orthodontics.
- In the case of treatment by relatives, the insurance companies also do not cover any costs except for the costs for material resources.
- Strengthening and nutritional supplements are also not included in the benefit catalogs.
Do I always need a receipt for the reimbursement of treatment costs?
Yes! No insurance company will reimburse the costs without an invoice or receipt. Therefore, you should always and without exception – even in forest and meadow practices – get an invoice. In addition to the amount paid, this should also list the diagnosis or the treatment carried out and be signed and, if possible, stamped by a doctor.
Only a few euros in insurance premiums but full coverage of costs in the event of an emergency – how does that pay off for the insurance company??
International health insurance 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 people pay into a large pot and from which all necessary treatments are then financed. With a private health insurance abroad you pay your premium only for yourself and not for the others with.
As the statistics showed at the beginning, only just under 35% of all travelers become ill – so many insurance policies are taken out without a benefit being claimed. And even if a benefit is claimed, it is not always horrendously expensive. For the fewest, a repatriation and a complicated operation must actually be paid, in most cases it is a minor injury or illness, for which a visit to the doctor and one or two medications are sufficient.
For the insurance company, this means a mixed calculation of the expected income from all insurance premiums and the expected treatment costs they have to pay for. Mathematicians and risk managers calculate these rates and statistics on the basis of which the prices for insurance are made.
Can I take out international health insurance online??
An online conclusion is possible without problems. The premium can be paid with most providers even directly via paypal, bank transfer or credit card and is then usually still valid from the same day – if 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 only takes effect if the departure is from germany or the purchase was made in germany. Some insurance companies offer rates 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 having to pay for 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 international 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 health insurance when booking a spontaneous flight. While it is of course possible that you are not so ill that you can still fly without any problems – the health insurance will not cover the cost of the flight you have booked yourself.
A repatriation is paid by the insurance only if it is medically necessary or medically useful 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 own return flight, you will have to pay for it 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 cost coverage, you can contact an ombudsman for private health and long-term care insurance. They help with mediation 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 as a rule the parties then come to an out-of-court agreement. However, the insured can still sue if he does not agree with the recommendation. Many insurance companies cooperate with the ombudsman's procedures, but not all of them. An alternative to the ombudsman is the general consumer arbitration board (allgemeine verbraucher-schlichtungsstelle). There, however, participation in the arbitration process is voluntary for both parties and can be either excluded from the outset by the insurer or then refused in the specific case.
Is the conclusion of a travel health insurance only possible, if at the same time also during the journey an insurance protection exists in germany?
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 is available for stays abroad of three months or longer and has the advantage that no premiums have to be paid in germany during this time. In order to be able to deregister, the certificate of the long-term health insurance abroad or the deregistration from germany is usually sufficient. So it is not a requirement to be insured in germany in parallel with travel health insurance. A prerequisite for deregistration is rather to be able to show an insurance abroad. 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 firmly 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 there was a compulsory insurance before, your old insurance company has to accept you again.
If you had a voluntary insurance before, you can choose a fund after the trip, but it does not have to accept you if you come back sick. In case of doubt, you may have to take out private insurance. For those insured on a voluntary basis, it is therefore advisable to take out a anwartschaft, which guarantees re-entry into the insurance scheme, for the period of the trip. A claim costs 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 is possible that when you apply again after your return, the premiums will be higher because you are now older than when you took out the insurance or because you have other pre-existing conditions that make the premium more expensive.