Moving to Germany. Help?

I am a type 1 diabetic and I finished my undergrad in India and I am going to attend University of Würzburg for a semester as part of Erasmus Mundus program starting this October. I’m not very familiar with German healthcare system, so I would greatly appreciate if someone could help me out. So, the questions:

  1. Is it true that all public insurance are about the same? I’m wondering whether I should buy TK or AOK.
  2. I am currently on MDI (Novorapid + Lantus) and my last A1c was 5.6%. I always wanted to get a pump, is it possible to get one in Germany with the insurance coverage?
  3. Are CGMs covered? Can I get one (considering I have good A1c)?
  4. After the semester in Germany, I have to move to Sweden for the next semester. Now, the problem is, the Swedish healthcare is different and I can only get the government health coverage if I have a residence permit for over a year (which I won’t). So I am not really covered there. Can I keep and use my German insurance after I move to Sweden?

Thank you.

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@Holger is from Germany, he might be able to help you. I don’t know if we have any other active members from Germany.


Contact the college sooner, rather than later. Perhaps they can put you in contact with a student who is type 1 and you can ask questions. The college should have a nurses office that you might also contact. I would start stockpiling insulin and supplies for Sweden. Can anyone mail you insulin from home, in case of an emergency?
“Public health insurance is available for students who do not exceeded 14 semesters of study and are not older than 30 years. The cost (without children) is approximately 80 Euro per month. The cost is the same at all insurance companies.”

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Yes, my parents can mail me insulin. But I’m not really sure how to do it. Those packages usually go through extreme temperatures during shipping. Wouldn’t the insulin go bad if shipped that way?

I was worried about that too. You have to check with the person who is shipping it. I would run an experiment with that before you really needed the insulin. My dad once send my insulin around the world to me. He used FedEx or UPS, from America to China. They shipped it in styrofoam. It worked.
FedEx. I don’t know if you have FedEx in India.

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We do have FedEx in India. How many days did the shipping take?

I got mine in overnight delivery. Real fast. Good to use if there is an emergency. I got on a plane without my insulin. I am very stupid, LOL. It can be expensive, though. I think he spent $100 US. My classmate from Saudi Arabia brings a semesters worth of insulin from home because it is MUCH cheaper there.

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I just checked. Turns out the place where I’m supposed to live in Sweden is not serviceable by FedEx.

I’m not so sure about that. In the Netherlands I’ve never heard of a campus nurse or nurse’s office and German universities are quite similar to Dutch universities, I think.
The University of Würzburg has a Student Disability Service that lists diabetes as an example of a disability. I don’t know what kind of services they offer.


Sweden or Germany?
In Germany,most of the medium to larger universities have arrangements with local
Krankenhausen. This is due to the larger population brought in by the university and the local Krankenhaus is better equipped to deal with Studenten than turning them loose on local Ärzte.

So check with Universität Würzburg about their arrangement. I know this because my best friend was a head Krankenschwester in Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Bremen.

Also, regarding shipping via FedEx. I grew up in that industry. You can do it, but will need a letter stating it is for personal use only. It should be shipped in a styrofoam container with enough ice packs to last the journey plus 5 additional days (just in case)

However… I think that you will find the price of Insulin in Deutschland to be much lower cost than shipping via FedEx or DHL.

I lived in Naarden, and learned through friends that the Dutch universities do the same as the
Duitse universiteiten, they have arrangements with the local ziekenhuizen. Apparently they will parcel out students requiring chronic care to local specialists.

Getting insulin during my stay in Germany is not really a problem. I will have insurance coverage there and I can buy insulin in Germany easily.
The problem is with Sweden. I will have to move there after a semester in Germany. Since I’m not staying for more than a year in Sweden, I won’t have their public healthcare coverage.
In Sweden, I’ll have to stay near Institutet för rymdfysik in Kiruna. FedEx lists that location as unserviceable. Do you think it’s still possible to ship it there?

I talked to them. They weren’t able to answer any specific questions but they said that I am entitled to the same healthcare as the German nationals during my study period at Germany. They wanted me to contact the Swedish University to find out about the Sweden situation. I did, and they told me that I’ll have to look for an alternate insurance coverage during my stay there.

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I checked and it is a normal DHL delivery location. Cost from Mumbai to Kiruna for 1kg 20cmx20mx16cm is US$155

I used to get all of my Insulin in the Netherlands, even when I lived in the UK. So you might consider getting a script to get your insulin in Germany before you go to Sweden. Personal drugs are easy to move between those two countries. Just need a short letter from a physician.

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I doubt whether that’s true. I can’t find anything about such arrangements.

I studied in Germany from 1984 to 1990, so my information is seriously out of date. However, at least in the good old days before neoliberalism brought capitalist cruelties into every social service, everyone at a German university was automatically eligible for the same insurance all Germans had. You had to go before every semester to the Allgemeine Orts Krankenkasse to pay the standard insurance fee, and then you got a certificate of insurance which you had to show to the university to prove you were insured so you could go on to be inscribed in your program of studies. Now, however, there are both public and private insurance markets, and private health insurance in Germany operates as viciously as it does in the United States.

I had hoped to return to a course of study in Germany later in life, but when I found out that students over the age of 46 were not eligible for public insurance, I figured that with my type 1 diabetes I might be uninsurable. I asked a lot of questions of various agencies, but never got a clear answer on what would happen to me.

Have you contacted the embassy? Indian embassy in Stockholm

Thank you. I’ll try asking the physician.

It is similar now. Except the age limit is now 30. There are private health insurance that cover T1D but they charge you higher premiums.

No. What kind of help do you think the embassy can offer?