Health insurance


Of course, we hope that your HWK Fellowship will be a wonderful and productive time, unclouded by any health problems; however, we would like to be prepared and help you to prepare for any eventuality. Therefore, each HWK Fellow (and accompanying family members) must possess health insurance that conforms to the usual standard in Germany for the entire duration of the Fellowship. This is also part of the regulations for immigration. Insurance coverage must be documented by means of a copy of the insurance policy or a statement from the insurance broker.

Fellows arriving from abroad should check well in advance whether or not their health insurance is valid for their period of stay at the HWK and then confirm this with the HWK by producing relevant documentation.

If you do not have health insurance or your insurance does not cover Germany, you can either look for an insurance yourself, e.g. based on recommendations from your host or from people who spent some time in Germany, or just research the current situation on the insurance market. Alternatively, you can get health insurance through a company that collaborates with the HWK and with other organizations (like the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation). The Hanse Merkur Insurance offers special insurance plans for foreign scientists. Please click here for an overview of their insurance plans (health insurance and accident/liability insurance).

Important: Please note that the Hanse Merkur and most other insurances for those who are not employed with a German contract of labor will not cover chronic conditions. For example, make sure to take a large enough supply of medication for chronic conditions with you because a prescription of those would have to be paid out of pocket, and very high costs may result! (Please also note that it is illegal to ship medication that is also available in Germany, or to have it carried from abroad by a person who is not carrying it for their own treatment!)

You can access their information on terms and conditions and their application form from their internet pages or download the material below - please make sure that you use the most current forms and check the insurance web page in case of doubt!

Access through the insurance internet pages: Before you fill the forms, please make sure to read their flyer on benefits and conditions (on that page, click on the link "Health Insurance - Costs and Benefits (Word)"). If you would like to get your health insurance from them, please download the application form here (click on the link "Health Insurance - Application Form (Word)"). Please fill the form and print it and sign it. Make sure that you enter "Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK), Lehmkuhlenbusch 4, 27753 Delmenhorst" as your address in Germany (lower left) - this is necessary to get the special contract conditions for Humboldt-Fellows as described in the flyer mentioned above.


Please note that this system only works with a German bank account! If you do not have a German bank account number (and are not planning to open an account in Germany during your Fellowship), please get in touch with the administrative assistant of your research area: in this case, you will receive the HWK account information to enter into the form, and the amount for your insurance will be deducted from your stipend.
Please send the original application form with your signature by regular mail to the address shown in the top left corner of the form. If you also get liability/ accident insurance from the same company, the respective form for that insurance can be included in the same mailing.

After any doctor's office visit or stay in the hospital, you will get a bill from the doctor. Please pay all bills out of pocket first and then send them to the insurance company (see address on the flyer; section on reimbursement of bills and claims) for reimbursement. If there is anything you do not understand or if you need help, please contact the administrative assistant of your research area or get in touch with the insurance: you can reach them by email at info[at]

Here are additional sources of information on the German health insurance system (with additional tips for the situation of fellowships without a work contract and for EU citizens).

Please click here for information on medical emergencies.

Please click here for more general information on health care.



Updated 2021-03-30