With national states of emergency being declared throughout Europe and common household staples flying off the shelves at an alarming rate, you’re probably (understandably) concerned about how to deal with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). And if you’re an expat living outside your home country, there may be additional layers of worry: Does your insurance cover testing and treatment for COVID-19? And can you find English-language support if you don’t speak German?
In this post, we’ll answer some common questions we’ve been getting from customers and link you to English-language resources throughout Germany.
Do the Krankenkassen (public health funds) cover the cost of COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment?
If you’re insured by a public health fund like TK or AOK, testing will be covered if it is deemed medically necessary by a doctor. Most major cities have a hotline number (see below) you should call if you’re displaying common cold or flu symptoms and believe you may be infected. The Krankenkassen will cover COVID-19 tests if they are deemed medically necessary, as well as any hospitalization or treatment resulting from a positive diagnosis.
Does my expat health insurance policy cover the cost of COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment?
If you’re insured with Popsure’s expat health plan, you will be covered for testing and any necessary hospitalizations or emergency treatment.
Should I go to my Hausarzt (primary care doctor) to get tested?
This seems to depend on where in Germany you are, but the German Ministry of Health has advised people NOT to go to their doctor or to a hospital straight away if they are displaying symptoms.
Most major cities have a hotline you should call; if no hotline is available for your region, you should call your doctor (again, please do not go to the doctor’s office) to discuss next steps. Doctors generally do not have COVID-19 tests available, and the tests are only administered under very specific conditions.
Please be aware that many of the hotlines are currently overwhelmed with calls and it may take you awhile to get through. The best advice we have is to just keep calling back until you reach somebody.
Does my liability insurance cover damages caused if someone catches COVID-19 from me (or vice versa)?
According to German law, personal liability insurance does not cover damages related to infection with sickness or disease.
Where should I call to report symptoms?
We’ve included hotlines for some major cities below:
Berlin: (030) 9028 2828
Read more about Berlin’s hotline and dedicated COVID-19 testing centers.
UPDATE 16 March: This Tagesspiegel article (in English) gives an excellent overview of the current state of COVID-19 services in Berlin.
Cologne: 116117 (national Patient Service Hotline number)
Read the City of Cologne’s COVID-19 advisory.
Frankfurt am Main: (0800) 555 4666
Unfortunately there’s no English-language page yet available, but click here to find the German-language information for Frankfurt (and the state of Hessen).
Hamburg: (040) 428 284 000
Read more about Hamburg’s guidelines for COVID-19 testing and treatment here.
Leipzig: (0341) 123 6852
Read Uni Leipzig’s COVID-19 advisory.
Munich: (089) 233 47819
Read guidelines from the Technical University of Munich here.
Still have questions?
Your health is our number one concern, so please stay safe and follow the guidelines in your region. For any questions about your coverage, one of our policy experts will be happy to answer your questions over chat or email.
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