Getting medical treatment in another Member State

Information about Rights & Duties of #Spending time abroad

Information about Rights & Duties

Getting medical treatment in another Member State

Dual system

In Germany, both statutory healthcare insurance and fully private health and nursing care insurance policies are available. Moreover, certain service providers (e.g. doctors and hospitals) only treat private patients.

Most people (over 87%) have statutory insurance, and most service providers treat both patients with statutory insurance and patients with private insurance.

For more information about the German healthcare insurance system, click on the link below to access the website of the German National Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare.

Treatment in Germany

If you travel to Germany specifically to receive treatment, you essentially have two options for obtaining that treatment.

Treatment with form S2 or E112

You must request these forms from your healthcare insurer in your country of origin before the start of each treatment (e.g. for outpatient and inpatient treatment, provision of medicines and therapeutic appliances). You will only be able to receive treatment in Germany if your healthcare insurer has issued the form authorising you to receive the relevant services before treatment starts. You will only be entitled to receive the treatment specifically mentioned on the form and to use the services and providers available to individuals with statutory health insurance in Germany. To find out in which cases it is left to the discretion of your healthcare insurer whether or not to issue this form and in which cases they are obliged to do so, click on the link S2/E112 procedure in the next section. Here you will also find more detailed information about the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure.

Usually, you will need to have the form converted by a statutory health insurance institute in Germany (see link in next section) into a German treatment voucher or corresponding cost assumption declaration before you start treatment. In the case of inpatient treatment in particular, many hospitals are willing to carry out this task on your behalf. It is advisable to clarify this with your service provider before treatment starts.

Treatment under the Patient Mobility Directive

If your healthcare insurer is not prepared to issue an S2 or E112 form or withdraws the form because the treating institution in Germany does not have a contract with a statutory health insurance institute, you can instead obtain treatment under the Patient Mobility Directive. This procedure is only possible if the service in question is also provided in your country of origin.

It requires you to apply for assumption of the costs by your healthcare insurer up to the amount that would be charged for this treatment in your country of origin. This must be done before you receive treatment in Germany. If you obtain authorisation in advance, you can receive treatment in Germany as a private patient. You will initially have to cover the cost of the treatment yourself. The invoice can then be submitted to your healthcare insurer for reimbursement. You will have to pay any differences in costs. It is best to obtain an estimate of the costs from the treating institution before receiving treatment and to ask your healthcare insurer how much you can expect to be reimbursed. Then you will know whether you will have to pay any outstanding balances and how much these are likely to amount to. For more information about this procedure, click on the link Procedure in accordance with the Patient Mobility Directive in the next section. Here you will also find more detailed information about the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure

Responsible for the content
National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds, German Liaison Office for Health Insurance Abroad (DVKA)

National Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare EU-PATIENTEN.DE

Last update or date of publication
11.08.2020