Experience with Mawista health insurance –
For anyone who might come across this thread in a search, I had an extremely bad experience with Mawista (specifically Mawista Science) and do not recommend it to anyone who will be in Germany for more than a couple of months or who doesn’t know exactly how long they will be here. It is travel insurance and so is absolutely unsuitable for postdocs, despite what they claim. Here was my experience:
1. Upon discovering I needed an operation, I phoned and asked what to do. I was told I could just take my insurance documents with me to the hospital. This was a flat-out lie. Luckily I got worried a bit later and had a German speaker phone for me – she was told that I needed to send certain documents to Mawista, including stuff from the doctor which she had never had to supply to an insurance company before. I then had to wait about three weeks until the week before the surgery, after repeated phone calls, I got authorisation to have the operation. This added considerable stress to the process and was extremely unpleasant, but I thought I was now done.
2. I was worried about the operation being approved at all, because if you read the small print it says any operation which can be “delayed” is not covered, and it seemed like there was a lot of wiggle room for Mawista there. It also had multiple references to trips to the “home country” for treatment, but this is not an option for postdocs who do not have a “home country” where they will have a second insurance.
3. Finally I had the operation, and thought everything was ok. A month later I received a phone call from the hospital saying that Mawista had not paid because they were saying they needed the Arztbrief, which the hospital could only release to me. Mawista had never mentioned this requirement to me. The hospital sent it to me and I sent it to Mawista, and they finally paid after delaying doing so for about two months.
4. At around the same time, my original contract with Mawista was coming to an end. I hadn’t realised when I took the insurance that Mawista is travel insurance, and therefore they can refuse to extend your policy. This makes it useless for anyone who doesn’t know in advance exactly how long they will be in Germany, since if you suddenly cost them money they can refuse to give you cover, as they did to me. This left me trying to get private insurance with a preexisting condition. Thank goodness it is not a serious condition and I was able to get private cover. If I had transferred directly to a public insurance when I left the UK, I would have had no problem but having been on Mawista I was disqualified from doing that now (which noone warned me about when I signed up).
5. Take a look at Mawista’s facebook page. There are only positive comments. Why? Well, when I wrote a comment about my experience, and replied to someone asking how other people’s experiences had been, my comments were deleted and I can no longer write on the page. The girl asking for other people’s experiences still has no responses. Not a good sign..
In conclusion, Mawista science is an extremely risky insurance for postdocs, who often have their contracts extended by a few months to a year, to take. It should not be marketed to people moving to Germany who are unfamiliar with how much insurance should cost. Insurance which can be cancelled if something goes wrong is not insurance. Be very very careful with Mawista.