Five unexpected things covered by private health insurance in Germany

All health insurances in Germany, both private and public, are required to provide a certain level of cover. This includes the things you’d expect like prescription drugs, hospital in-patient care and an employee sick note; however, plenty of additional treatments often require extra payment.

Five unexpected things covered by private health insurance in Germany
LED therapy. Photo: Nikodah/Despositphotos

With ottonova private health insurance for expats earning €62,250+ a year coverage is much more comprehensive. It can be a real safety net while you’re living abroad – plus, you can claim certain things which may seem unusual to expats in Germany. Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect when you take out private health insurance with ottonova.

Natural healing methods

Conventional medicine isn’t always the answer; sometimes, alternative healing methods can be just what the doctor ordered. For instance, light therapy, which is among the natural healing methods covered by ottonova’s expat health insurance, has been found to be as effective as antidepressant medications for treating seasonal affective disorder. Other natural healing methods available for ottonova’s customers include heat treatments, speech therapy and massages (they really do have your back!). 


Photo: pressmaster / Depositphotos

Therapy can be pricey and, as a result, many people neglect their emotional wellbeing. When you’re covered by ottonova, you have no excuse to ignore your mental health. Depending on your tariff, you’ll be reimbursed up to 90 percent for each session of psychotherapy, a form of talk therapy which helps people to cope with emotional difficulties. There’s also no yearly session limit, in contrast to many other insurance providers.

Travel insurance

When you live overseas and are planning on taking a trip somewhere else, it’s important to check that you have the correct travel insurance. It’s reassuring to know that ottonova private health insurance covers you throughout Europe and for between 2-6 months outside of Europe, depending on your tariff. So all that’s left for you to worry about is what to pack in your suitcase.

Laser eye surgery

Vision correction surgery, also known as refractive and laser eye surgery, refers to any surgical procedure used to correct vision problems. Anyone who has struggled with their sight knows how life changing this surgery can be, but it’s also a big investment – unless it’s included in your private health insurance plan (which most often it isn’t). With ottonova, you can get between €250-€1,500 reimbursement per eye depending on your tariff and how long you’ve been insured.  

Photo: robertprzbysz / Depositphotos

Fertility treatments

Struggling to conceive is stressful enough without worrying about how to pay for fertility treatments. Infertility care is often not considered an essential benefit under many health insurance plans but with ottonova’s First Class and Business Class tariffs you can claim up to €3000 during the first three months of treatment, after which you can undergo unlimited treatment. 

As an added extra, all ottonova customers have access to the insurer’s Concierge team. The English-speaking team can be reached via phone or the app to answer any health-related questions you have. They can even schedule doctor’s appointments for you, either in person or via video call which allows you to speak to a professional 365 days a year.

Click here to find out more about ottonova’s private health insurance for expats in Germany.

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by ottonova.

For members


How to make the most of Germany’s long summer days

In Germany the sun sets late and rises early in the summer months. The Local's reporters share their favourite activities for taking advantage of the long hours of daylight.

How to make the most of Germany's long summer days

Germany doesn’t quite get to see the “midnight sun” – how’s it going up there Norway? – but it is located far enough north to enjoy rather long days during the late spring and summer seasons.

The summer solstice, called Sommersonnenwende in German, marks the longest day and also the beginning of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere.

In the town of Flensburg, which is near Germany’s northern border with Denmark, the sun sets at 10:06 pm and rises at 4:41 on the summer solstice, amounting to approximately 17 hours and 24 minutes of daylight.

Central and southern German cities get a little less daylight, but still enjoy late night sunsets and early morning sun rises. Berlin, for example, gets 16 hours and 50 minutes of daylight on the solstice. Munich gets just over 16 hours of light on the longest day.

Especially for people who moved to Germany from more southerly latitudes, watching the sunset at 10 pm or noticing the sky lighten at four in the morning can be a surreal experience.

But of course the flip side of long days in the summer are long nights in the winter, giving you all the more reason to take advantage of all the light while you can.

Here’s a few things to do with your extra daylight hours during the German summer:

Add outdoor sports to your ‘Feierabend’ routine

Germans place a high value on work-life balance, and this is perhaps best seen in the importance placed on the Feierabend, or your after-work time.

READ ALSO: Why every country should get on board with the German Feierabend

During the winter having a dinner date, or more simply a Feierabendbierchen, are the main after-work activities that come to mind. But during Germany’s long summer days, you still have plenty of daylight left to go skating in the park, or enjoy a bicycle tour of the city, even if you work until 6 pm or later.

sunset jog

Jogging, biking and other sports are all possible after work during Germany’s long summer days. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Peter Kneffel

Some people really take advantage of the extended light – using that extra time for physical activities that they might not otherwise get to do during work days. It’s not uncommon to see people stand-up paddle boarding on the river, or rock climbing, late into the evening in the summer.

Go for an early morning stroll

Germany’s early morning sunrises can be a bit of a controversial topic.

For the early birds, they offer an opportunity to get ahead of the day before your work day or other obligations begin. For the night owls who currently lack shutters, they can be an unwelcome wake-up call.

But with the sky lightening as early as 4:30 am, whether you’ve freshly woken up, or are heading home after a long night out, you may want to consider taking advantage of a unique opportunity for a morning walk. 

Especially for those who tend to sleep in, an early stroll can allow you to see the world anew – complete with birdsongs in the air and the smell of freshly baked bread wafting out of local bakeries.

Enjoy some of Germany’s summer events and festivals

The summer season is a good one for outdoor events and festivals in Germany, and especially in June and July, attendees can add a catching a late evening sunset to a fest day’s itinerary.

There are a number of festivals worth checking out in June in Germany, including some events scheduled for the longest day itself, such as this solstice celebration in Conneforde or Fête de la Musique in Berlin.

A couple others worth mentioning are the Tollwood Summer Festival in Munich or the Rose and Light performance night in Frankfurt’s Palm Garden.

Stay tuned for a list of July events we’ll be sharing soon.

Catch a film at an open air cinema

Germany loves open air cinemas – it’s home to hundreds of them – and a mid-summer eve is really the best time to experience one.

To find an outdoor theatre near you, try searching for ‘Freiluftkino’ + your city name. 

But be sure to keep languages in mind while looking over screening programs. If you don’t yet have the German skills to enjoy a movie auf Deutsche, you’ll want to look out for films marked OV (original version), OmU (original version with German subtitles) or OmeU (orginal version with English subtitles). 

an open air cinema

Spectators watch a film at the open-air cinema in Oranienburg Castle Park at dusk. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jens Kalaene

Watch (or play) some football

This year, you have the added option of watching Euro 2024 football games – often late into the evening – until July 14th.

Of course watching football is something you can always enjoy in the comfort of your own home. But this year you can join in the real-world frenzy that is the UEFA Euros Championship outside at one of the official fan zones, or otherwise at your favourite beer garden, späti or sports bar with outdoor seating.

This has the added benefit of allowing you to watch the game, while also taking in a the summer breeze.

And if watching Die Mannschaft score a couple goals is particularly inspiring, you might still have enough light to head to your local park and kick a ball around after.

Take a wild dip in refreshing waters

Summer in Germany is often accompanied by at least a few heatwaves: a string of hot, sticky days when temperatures soar and it’s tempting to just stay indoors.

In warm weather, though, there’s nothing quite like venturing out to a picturesque lake or a beach along Germany’s rugged coastline and taking a wild dip.

Though you can’t expect temperatures as warm as the Mediterranean sea, that’s part of the charm: bathing in cool, refreshing waters is the ideal medicine for lethargy during those sweltering summer afternoons. 

There are a range of studies that show that outdoor swimming is good for the soul – not to mention great for your health. From releasing mood-enhancing endorphins to boosting immunity and improving cardiovascular health, it’s no wonder wild swimming is known as one of the best natural highs around. 

READ ALSO: ‘Go early and stay late’ – Your tips for making the most of Germany’s lakes

With reporting by Imogen Goodman