Outpatient care

If you need to visit a hospital for an examination, treatment, or surgery, you will be classed as either an outpatient or an inpatient. But what do these terms mean?

Patient classifications

Examples of outpatient care

Outpatient examinations and treatments are usually non-invasive or minimally invasive and involve little to no recovery time. Outpatient care is typically provided in the outpatient clinics of hospitals or in separate, specialist facilities.

Examples of outpatient examinations and treatments include:

Outpatient care and health insurance

As you probably know, health insurance is mandatory for everyone living in Germany (Versicherungspflicht). However, the insurance system you choose will determine both the level of care you receive and how you pay for it.

Public health insurance

In the public (or statutory) health insurance system, you will not pay any bills when you receive outpatient care. Instead, publicly insured people pay contributions of around €10 towards prescriptions and treatments, plus 10% of costs. However, because the public insurance system is based on the principle of cost-effectiveness, not all treatments and services are covered.

Private health insurance

In the private health insurance system, you need to check with your insurance provider before going ahead with outpatient treatment. They will inform you if the treatment is covered by your policy. Private insurers often cover more treatments and services than public insurers – they also benefit from access to specialist doctors without the need for a referral.

At ottonova, you can use our convenient Concierge service to speak in English to an advisor and check we can cover your treatment. 


The process to get your finalized contract typically takes from an hour to 14 days. It depends on the individual case. You first have to submit an application for a tariff (including answers regarding your health status). After we checked your application you will receive your final contract.

If you have questions, feel free to book a non-binding consultation. Our sales team is happy to assist you during that process.

If you are eligible for private health insurance and you are in Germany on a visa or a limited permit, we can offer you the Expat Tariff up to five years.

Under the private health insurance system, every family member needs their own individual policy, and the cost (premium) is calculated based on each person's health and age when they enroll. Because of this, children's premiums are typically quite affordable. To insure your children in private health insurance can have a lot of advantages. Read more in our article about private health insurance for families!

ottonova for Expats

Saving on health insurance and still getting the best coverage isn’t possible? With signing in for ottonova you can make it happen!

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