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

  • Outpatient: If you are treated as an outpatient (ambulanter Patient/ambulante Patientin), you will attend your appointment at the hospital for an examination, treatment, or minor surgery before going home the same day.
  • Inpatient: If you are an inpatient (stationärer Patient/stationäre Patientin), you will be admitted to hospital and assigned a bed and a room. You will stay overnight and perhaps longer to prepare for and recover from surgery or an illness.

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:

  • X-rays
  • Injections
  • Wound dressings
  • Colonoscopies
  • Minor surgeries

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. 


Can I have the insurance today?

The process to get your finalized contract with us typically takes around two weeks. Tariffs in private health insurance in Germany are based on the age when you enter the system and your health status.

Am I eligible for the Expat Tariff/ PKV tariff? Am I an expat in your definition?

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.

Is my family included?

In private health insurance we do not offer a family tariff. However, you can insure family members with you as your dependents.

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