One of Germany's most important and well-respected health insurers, Techniker Krankenkasse plays a major role in the lives of millions of Germans and international residents. Its efficiently run, comprehensive health packages link customers and doctors all over the nation.
It's also a major partner for Expatrio, so we thought we'd give TK a proper introduction. Read on to discover an insurer that could become part of everyday life during your German adventure.
About Techniker Krankenkasse
Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) is one of Germany's premier public health insurers
Far from an ordinary insurance provider, TK has been named Germany's best health insurance fund by Focus Money many times over.
This reputation is based on many things, from maintaining face-to-face relationships with customers to strong multi-lingual support, and its reliable insurance packages for workers, families, and students.
Service lies at the heart of everything they do. That focus has driven TK to the top of German health insurance rankings.
Is TK insurance private or public?
TK is one of Germany's gesetzlichen Krankenkassen, meaning that it is a public insurer. As such, the fund doesn't base its operations around maximizing profits. Instead, it is run for the public benefit, and only charges small supplementary fees to fund its operating expenses.
In accordance with German Federal Law, TK provides statutory healthcare support, including dental and medical appointments, and assistance with obtaining medication.
How can I apply for the TK Bonus Program?
Membership is available for all TK customers. With a Bonus Program, customers can then earn points for attending checkups and exercising, and these points can be converted into rewards.
TK Bonus Program
TK's customers can enjoy the benefits associated with the TK Bonus Program - the fund's innovative points scheme.
Does TK insurance cover dental treatments?
Yes, TK will cover the cost of dental checkups, and will also contribute towards the costs of fillings and caps, crowns, and denture fittings if required. There may be supplementary fees for some more complex procedures, but most simple dental work is covered.
Which vaccinations are covered by TK?
TK will cover the cost of vaccinations that are recommended by the International Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) for each separate country. This should cover the most dangerous diseases, wherever you intend to travel. Coverage will include the appointment to receive vaccinations, but may not cover all of the vaccines themselves. Supplementary fees may apply.
How can I become a TK member?
The easiest way to join TK is by signing up online. Expatrio can help you sign up fast and easily. You can visit the Expatrio Health Insurance service page to start the process today.
TK offers an online application form, with separate forms for students and workers. Everything is in English and written in easy to understand language. And the steps required to join are kept as simple as possible.
TK health card
TK is fully adapted to the needs of international customers. You can benefit from an English-speaking support and learn all the details about your insurance using the series of explanatory videos in English.
For example, like this one, where they explain everything you need to know about your TK health card.
History of Techniker Krankenkasse
TK can trace its history back to October 27, 1884, when a group of technicians and engineers gathered to create a comprehensive health insurance body.
At a time when the German state was seeking to deepen support for workers, TK sought to serve the technical experts who were powering the nation's rapidly industrializing economy. However, it didn't become a modern insurer for many decades. It took until 1927 for legal changes to convert the grant-making body into a proper occupational insurer.
From the 1950s, TK developed into a broader-based, democratically run organization, where members dictated who was in control. The fund constantly looked forward, pioneering coverage for unmarried partners and making sick pay easier to obtain.
Membership soared, hitting 1.1 million by 1984 (with 2.4 million insured). TK constantly adopted procedures ahead of the pack, making heart transplants mainstream well before other insurers. But it has still remained a very human organization, relying on an army of volunteers to liaise with members and assist with its many care centers.
In 1995, TK was a trailblazer once more, being the first insurer to create an online presence. Since 1996, it has also expanded from providing packages for technical workers, to serving all Germans - and foreign residents.
Nowadays, the innovation continues, from TK's popular apps, to the provision of acupuncture as a pain relief treatment. Wherever you look, TK sets the agenda for German health insurance, and this has been recognized by numerous industry experts.
For example, Focus Money magazine has named TK "Best German Health Insurance Provider" 17 times in a row, while the DFSI has given TK full marks in its GKV Quality Ratings.
Be sure to check out the TK app, which makes it much easier to access insurance information for non-German speakers. It's free of charge for iOs and Android.
Numbers and Facts
Some general facts about Germany's best health insurance provider
TK insures more than 10 million customers, making it Germany's largest and fastest-growing health insurer.
TK runs 200 branches, with locations all over Germany where customers can meet staff and volunteers.
TK keeps administrative costs low, averaging €103 per customer, below the GKV average of €151.
In regular polling of TK members, 96.3% report that they are satisfied with the service provided.
When members call TK, they have to wait, on average, just 24 seconds to get through to a team member.
Every year, TK spends around 7.4 billion Euros on hospital treatments, 5 billion Euros on other medical treatments, and provides 1.7 billion Euros in sick pay.
Techniker Krankenkasse on YouTube
If you want to mix health advice and science-themed entertainment, TK has the answer. The insurer plays a big role in social media, especially using the vlogs on its YouTube channel.
There are different topics like health-oriented tips, wholesome recipes, working at the TK and much more.