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Travel costs

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

There is also an entitlement to travel for outpatient treatment as well as pre- and post-inpatient hospital treatment, including outpatient surgery, if this avoids or shortens inpatient treatment or if it cannot be carried out.

Otherwise, the health insurance companies only cover the travel costs for outpatient treatment in exceptional cases determined by the Federal Joint Committee (e.g. dialysis treatments, chemotherapy, mobility restriction, 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,
  • trips to pre- or post-hospital treatment in hospital,
  • trips to an outpatient operation that replaces inpatient treatment,
  • Rescue trips.

Journeys in connection with outpatient treatment can be prescribed – in some cases subject to the approval of the health insurance company – in the following exceptional cases:

  • 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 case of permanent mobility impairment and with care level 4 or 5.
    • Approval by the health insurance company is not required if an ambulance trip is prescribed, for example with a 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 a disease that requires high-frequency treatment over a longer 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 damage to life and limb. This applies, for example, to trips to dialysis or radiotherapy or chemotherapy for cancer patients.
  • Patients whose treatment does not correspond to the case studies mentioned 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 the approval of the health insurance company

What are the fees?

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

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 operations that replace wards.

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

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?


Applications / forms

Please inquire 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 appeal against it to the Social Court.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Equality

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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