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Travel costs

The health insurance companies cover the costs of journeys to inpatient hospital treatment, rescue trips and patient transport.

There is also an entitlement to travel for outpatient treatment as well as pre- and post-hospital treatment, including outpatient surgery, if inpatient treatment is avoided or shortened or if it is not feasible.

Otherwise, the health insurance companies will only cover the travel costs for outpatient treatment in exceptional cases determined by the Federal Joint Committee (e.g. dialysis treatments, chemotherapy, limited mobility, certain level of care).

Process flow

Please check with your health insurance company.

Competent authority

The responsibility lies with your health insurance company.


Ambulance transport can be prescribed if it is medically necessary in connection with a service provided by the statutory health insurance fund. This includes:

  • Trips to the hospital for inpatient treatment,
  • Journeys to pre- or post-hospital treatment,
  • Journeys to an outpatient operation that replaces inpatient treatment,
  • Ambulance rides.

Journeys in connection with outpatient treatment may be prescribed in the following exceptional cases, in some cases subject to the approval of the health insurance fund:

  • Ambulance transport of persons in need of care and severely disabled, namely persons with a recognised severe disability (mark "aG", "Bl" or "H") or persons in need of care with care level 3 in the event of permanent mobility impairment and with care level 4 or 5.
    • Approval by the health insurance company is not required if an ambulance ride is prescribed, for example by taxi or rental car.
    • However, a permit is required if the transport has to be carried out by ambulance due to the required medical care or professional positioning of the patient.
  • If there is an illness that requires high-frequency treatment over a long period of time and this treatment or the course of the disease leading to this treatment affects the patient in such a way that transport is essential to avoid harm to life and limb. This applies, for example, to journeys to dialysis or radiotherapy or chemotherapy for cancer patients.
  • Patients whose treatment does not correspond to the above-mentioned case studies can apply for approval and examination of their individual case by the health insurance company.

Which documents are required?

  • Medical prescription for ambulance transport
  • Journeys in connection with outpatient treatment sometimes require approval by the health insurance company

What are the fees?

Insured persons have to pay 10 percent of the fare themselves as a statutory co-payment, a minimum of 5 euros and a maximum of 10 euros per journey, but never more than the actual costs incurred. These co-payments must also be made for children and young people.

In the case of journeys in connection with inpatient treatment, insured persons pay a co-payment for the first and last journey. This also applies to journeys in connection with outpatient surgeries replacing the ward.

If you have little or no income, you can be exempted from the co-payment upon request. Please contact your health insurance company for this.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?


Applications / forms

Please check with your health insurance company or your attending physician.


If the health insurance company rejects the benefit, you can file an objection against it. If the objection is not remedied, you can take legal action against it before the Social Court.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Gender Equality

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)