Can I start the process of registering with a Krankenkasse (German statutory health insurance fund) before I have a German address?

From krankenkassen.de:

EU-Bürger, die in Deutschland als Arbeitnehmer angestellt werden, sollten sich rechtzeitig vor Arbeitsbeginn um eine Mitgliedschaft in einer Krankenkasse kümmern.

Translated in English:

EU citizens, that are employed in Germany, shall take care of membership of a statutory health insurance fund in time before the start of employment.

My future employer has stated essentially the same.

The form on krankenkassen.de does allow for people moving from abroad (example), where I can fill in that I need to join because I was formerly insured abroad. But the form appears to require a German address. I know my future employer and their address, but I don't have a German address yet (and wasn't planning on having one until some days before I start working, and not a long-term address until a while after I start working). Is not having a (permanent) German address (=registration with Meldebehörde) an obstacle for the registration with a Krankenkasse?


1 Answer 1


Yes, this is possible.

At first, I tried to apply online through the website of the Krankenkasse, and concluded it wasn't possible, as the online application form did not allow for a foreign address, and would not let me proceed without answering questions that I cannot yet (such as tax number). However, I was able to submit an interest application through https://www.krankenkassen.de/. The Krankenkasse of my choice sent me a paper application form through the mail, that I filled as well as I could with my UK address, leaving parts I could not answer empty. I had expected to be declined (“we need your Steueridentifikationsnummer”), but it did work: a few weeks later, I received a welcome letter along with a Mitgliedsbescheinigung, meaning evidence of membership, along with instructions, a confirmation that they had informed my future employer, and a request to return a photo. Yet another couple of weeks later, I received the Sozialversicherungsausweis, the evidence of membership of social insurance / retirement insurance, which is apparently an automatic consequence of applying for the Krankenkasse for the first time as a foreigner.

A minor nuisance is that I could not use the pre-paid envelope sent by the Krankenkasse as those only work domestically. The forms are clearly intended for use within Germany, but are handled by humans who are able to process applications from people who have not yet arrived in Germany.

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