If you become ill while in Germany, present your European Health Insurance Card to the treatment provider. You need to choose one of the sickness funds to pay the costs of your treatment. You can freely choose any fund which has an agreement with the statutory health insurance system of Germany.
If you are required to pay full price at a place of treatment, save the receipts and contact one of the sickness funds. Germany also has completely private healthcare providers who do not have contracts with the statutory health insurance system. If you seek treatment from the private sector, you will be liable for all the costs of treatment. In this case you can apply for reimbursement retrospectively from Kela on form SV 128.
Contact a doctor (Arzt/Ärztin) who has an agreement with a sickness fund (Vertragsarzt or Kassenarzt). The contact information for the doctors is available from a webservice EU-Patienten.de.
Show your European Health Insurance Card and your identity card at the doctor’s practice. The receptionist will usually ask you how long you have been staying in Germany and ensure that you have not travelled into the country in order to receive healthcare. You must also choose the sickness fund from which the doctor will charge your treatment costs.
You can see a specialist (Facharzt/Fachärtzin) usually without a referral from a general practitioner. Treatment is free of charge when you present a referral and the receipt for the general practitioner’s fee (paid during the same quarter) when visiting a specialist.
You can see a dentist (Zahnarzt/Zahnärztin) without a referral. The payment procedure is similar to that of a general practitioner.
When collecting your prescribed medicines from a pharmacy (Apotheke), show the prescription, your European Health Insurance Card and your identity card. For specific medicines, you will only need to pay a deductible of 10 % of the total cost (however, a minimum of € 5 and a maximum of € 10 per medicine applies). Many common analgesics and cough medicines are not reimbursed. Cold medicines are also usually not reimbursed. The reimbursement for medicines is calculated on the basis of reference prices. Reimbursed medicines are usually free for patients under the age of 18.
Pharmacies are usually open on weekdays between 9:00 and 18:30 and on Saturdays between 9:00 and 13:00 or 16:00. At other times, medicines are available from the on-duty pharmacies (Apotheken-Notdienst). The contact information for the on-duty pharmacies is available in the windows of all pharmacies. The list of on-duty pharmacies is also available online (aponet.de) and in the local newspapers.
A doctor’s referral is usually required for hospital care. Please also contact your chosen sickness fund in advance in order to receive reimbursement. In an emergency, you can go straight to a hospital that has a care agreement (zugelassenes Krankenhaus). At the reception, show your European Health Insurance Card and your identity card. If you need to go to a hospital without a doctor’s referral, ask the hospital to contact one of the sickness funds. For hospital care, you will pay a deductible of € 10 per day (at most 28 days per calendar year). All of the hospital healthcare services that are required for treating an illness are covered. However, you are liable for any additional services (such as the costs for private rooms). Hospital treatment is free for patients under the age of 18.
A doctor must confirm that transport using a medical vehicle was necessary due to the patient’s state of health. You must show your valid European Health Insurance Card to the doctor.
If your illness requires you to use special transport when returning to Finland, you will be liable for the travel costs in their entirety.
If you are required to pay full price
If you are required to pay full price for public healthcare treatment that should have been covered by the European Health Insurance Card, you can apply for reimbursement retrospectively. You can apply for reimbursement either from the health insurance institution of the destination country or from Kela on form SV 128.
If you wish to seek treatment in Germany in a self-directed manner, you can look for a suitable service provider by using the search engine on the website of the German contact point. The search engine allows you to look for doctors, dentists, hospitals, physiotherapists and other treatment providers by location or treatment type.
Practices related to treatment
You can usually see a specialist directly. A referral from a general practitioner operating in Finland or Germany is not required. However, it is a good idea to make an appointment in advance and to discuss, if possible, the treatment with the specialist or the other medical staff before travelling to Germany.
Before travelling to Germany for receiving treatment, you should also contact the place of treatment and ask about the patient documents that you should have with you. By bringing the necessary documents with you, you can avoid having the same examination being performed again in Germany.
Costs of treatment
You can compare the costs of private doctor and dentist services in the doctor fee table (GOÄ -Gebührenordnung für Ärzte) and the dentist fee table (Gebührenordnung für Zahnärzte, GOZ).
The costs for hospital care are available in the DRG catalogue.
The prices are indicative. You may also be charged a higher amount if the treatment you receive is more demanding than listed in the price lists. You can receive the best estimate for the price of the treatment by contacting the provider in advance to enquire about the costs.
Quality and safety of treatment
Germany has in place common standards concerning quality of treatment and patient safety. Information concerning the quality of treatment provided in Germany is available on the following websites, among others: dkg.promato.de and GKV-Spitzenverband .