The TK offers excellent benefits at reasonable contributions, expert advice and great service – customised to fit your needs. (Foto: Die Techniker) The TK offers excellent benefits at reasonable contributions, expert advice and great service – customised to fit your needs. (Foto: Die Techniker)
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health insurance

Welcome to TK - the largest health insurance fund in Germany

I'm TK

Techniker Krankenkasse is not only Germany’s largest statutory health insurance fund, but also the best one - that’s the result of a test conducted by Focus Money business magazine (issue 7/2019). Whether online, by e-mail or telephone or in a face-to-face conversation - TK is at your service around the clock. And, no, we don’t just speak English, we also provide support in many other languages.

We are TK: Dmitry Burlakov from Russia

TK members from abroad share their experiences with health insurance in Germany and with TK.

"I had no trouble finding a suitable dentist in Italy"

Shortly before going on a trip to Italy, Dmitry Burlakov got a problem with his wisdom teeth. But the treatment could be continued in Italy without any problems.

"TK has been working with students for a long time. I found their offer to be very attractive."

Can I travel to Italy or not? That was the crucial question for Dmitry Burlakov when he had to see the dentist in 2018 due to problems with a wisdom tooth. The trip had been planned for a long time, but of course the 23-year-old wanted to make sure that his travel plans would not stand in the way of the upcoming dental treatment. In the end, Burlakov, who has lived in Germany since 2016 and is currently studying business informatics in Munich, was able to do both: get the dental surgery and go to Italy – also thanks to his health insurance with TK. He tells his story in the video.

Become a member of TK

New people, a new language, a new culture and new tasks – when you come to Germany for the first time you will be flooded with many impressions. The Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) will assist you with any questions about your health insurance.

Fill in the easy online application and become a member of TK, named Germany’s best health insurance fund by Focus Money business magazine.


Your advantages as a TK member

Best health insurance fund for students - Techniker Krankenkasse
  • Application process at TK completely in English

    The application process is completely in English to make it quick and easy for you to become a member. The process covers every step - from the application form to sending you the eHealth card.

  • High-tech medicine and contracts with specialists

    Techniker Krankenkasse insurees benefit from medical treatment based on state-of-the-art science. Techniker Krankenkasse focuses on a comprehensive care concept for a range of therapies and treatments - from outpatient surgery up to the treatment of chronic diseases. The individual treatment steps are better coordinated, making your treatment more efficient.

  • TK Europe Service: Treatment which can be settled using your insurance card

    Techniker Krankenkasse has special contracts with hospitals in many European countries. Just show your TK eHealth card and you will get the medical care you need.

  • Health classes

    The wide variety of TK health classes can give you a good start to a healthier life. Classes range from ‘Special fitness with exercise equipment’ to spine strengthening exercises, from balanced diet to hatha yoga.

  • Available any time

    Should you have any queries or require further information, you can contact the TK around the clock, seven days a week.

How do I benefit from changing to TK?

Changing your health insurance to TK offers you many advantages because TK provides you with a comprehensive range of benefits that are tailored to your personal situation and your individual needs, such as:

  • Application process in English
  • Free choice of specialist physicians and dentists – provided they are accredited statutory health insurance doctors
  • Treatment in licensed hospitals
  • Payment of recognised alternative medicine
  • Medical check-ups
  • Health insurance cover when travelling to other EU Member States
  • TK-TravelMediCall – for instance for information on vaccination

Employer contributions and pension contributions

For employees and apprentices, the employer pays half of the contribution rate. For retirees subject to statutory insurance, the German Statutory Pension Insurance Scheme pays half of the contributions of the statutory pension.

Who cannot be covered by non-contributory dependants’ insurance?

Dependants not eligible for non-contributory dependants‘ insurance are those whose main occupation is self-employment, who are insured by private health insurance or who are exempt from compulsory insurance because they are civil servants as well as those who are subject to compulsory insurance due to being employees.

In addition, there are income limits for non-contributory dependants’ insurance. Your dependants must not have a regular total income exceeding 445 euros (2019). However, they may earn 450 euros from a so-called mini-job.

Non-contributory dependants’ insurance for children is only available up to certain age limits. In addition, there are restrictions for children if your spouse or civil partner has private health insurance cover.

Insured in Germany and abroad

TK is your ideal health care partner - not only in Germany, but also when you travel to other European countries.

Well-covered in Germany and abroad

Whether heat stroke, a broken leg or a viral infection - anyone who falls ill on holiday or during a visit to their home country has gone through enough. It’s good to know that you don’t have to deal with insurance issues, too.

With the TK eHealth card, you are not only entitled to the best medical and hospital treatment in Germany, your eHealth card gives you optimal cover in almost all European countries as well. There are also special agreements with some non-European countries that ensure you have access to the best possible care there, too.

How exactly does it work? It’s easy: The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is located on the back of your card. As a rule, doctors can bill us directly through this card. If that is not the case, submit the invoice to us and you will receive a refund. Important: Be sure to keep all documents related to the treatment (such as prescriptions and payment receipts). The invoice should state who was treated, details about the treatment or service provided, and what costs were incurred.

In which cases is the TK eHealth card not valid? Additional insurance is required for long-distance trips. We cannot cover any costs incurred during trips to Africa, America, Australia or Asia. For business trips abroad, your employer is responsible for reimbursing the costs.

Here is a list of all countries where the TK eHealth card is valid.

Your choice of doctor

Whether you need a dentist, surgeon or dermatologist - you decide which doctor is right for you.

You decide which doctor is right for you

Toothache, a cold or maybe you just want medical advice: if you need a doctor, you choose the one you want. Have you already found your doctor? Perhaps even one who speaks your own language? Then you can make an appointment directly with the doctor’s surgery.

Perhaps a physician has been recommended to you? Or you would prefer to go to a doctor’s surgery that is conveniently located near you? Then simply make an appointment there. Or use our TK-AppointmentService and let us do it for you. The only requirement: it must be an “SHI-doctor”, i.e. a doctor who is permitted to treat patients covered by statutory health insurance.

To use the services provided by doctors or therapists, you don’t need cash or any additional paperwork, you simply need to show them your eHealth card (eHC).

Before starting treatment, however, you should check whether the doctor needs a referral for billing purposes. You may only consult certain doctors, such as radiologists, if you have a referral from your primary care physician.

Good to know

If your first choice turns out not to be the right one, you can change your doctor at any time.

In some cases – for example, before a serious surgery – it is advisable to get a second opinion from another expert. That is also easy to do. Just find a doctor you trust and make an appointment.

Find your doctor or psychologist

Search engine for medical specialists

We are TK: Fan Tan

TK members from abroad share their experiences with health insurance in Germany and with TK.

"I never had any problems in seeing a doctor and receiving treatment"

TK member Fan Tan talks about the differences between the Chinese and German healthcare systems, the easiest way to make doctor appointments, and why she chose TK for her health insurance.

In 2007, Fan Tan came to Germany from Shandong, a province in East China. The young woman attended Paderborn University, continuing her mechanical engineering studies, which she had started in China. After completing her master’s degree, she and her husband established the International Education Institute in Paderborn. At the institute, she advises Chinese students in the examination phase. In the video, Tan talks about the differences between the Chinese and German healthcare systems, the easiest way to make doctor appointments, and why she chose TK for her health insurance.

Family insurance

As a TK member, you pay one contribution and have your family members insured without extra contributions at the same time.

Everyone under the same roof

Membership with TK is particularly worthwhile for families - because family members are insured at no additional cost.
Are you new to TK and still thinking about how and where to insure your family members? No problem, its already been taken care of. Because if you are a TK member yourself (regardless of whether you are an employee or self-employed), you can insure the following relatives at no additional cost:

  • your spouse or civil partner (pursuant to the Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz [German Civil Partnership Act]
  • biological and adopted children up until their 18th birthday (if they are not employed yet, up to their 23rd birthday, or if they meet certain criteria, even up to their 25th birthday)
  • children of children covered by non-contributory dependants’ insurance
  • stepchildren and grandchildren who are primarily supported by you as the insured member
  • foster children, provided you are not employed as their caretaker.

Family members are not eligible for cover through non-contributory dependants’ insurance if they are self-employed as their main occupation, are insured by a private health insurance provider, or are exempt from compulsory statutory health insurance (for example as a civil servant). Also ineligible are family members who are themselves subject to compulsory insurance, for example due to their employee status. There are also income limits for non-contributory dependants’ insurance. Your family members may not have a regular total income exceeding 445 EUR (2019) per month. However, they are allowed to earn 450 EUR from a "mini-job".

Practical: Each family member receives their own eHealth card (eHC). This lets everyone easily and conveniently use medical services at any time. It also includes medical care provided by specialists.

We are TK: TK member Ananda S. Hosmar

TK members from abroad share their experiences with health insurance in Germany and with TK.

"And TK is offering support in getting doctor appointments"

When his wife became pregnant, she had several gynaecologist check-ups and consultation, says Ananda S. Hosmar. He appreciates that with his membership in TK his family is insured at no extra cost. And he appreciates the support TK is offering.

"My wife is pregnant. She had several gynaecologist check-ups and consultation. TK is offering support in getting doctor appointments."

Ananda Hosmar moved to Germany in August 2015 with his wife and son. He works as a functional safety manager for a major automotive supplier in Koblenz. Hosmar, who comes from South India, has already had some experience with the German healthcare system, which he talks about in the video. "When I moved to Germany, I was curious and also anxious to know the various systems like health care." Curiosity has now given way to a feeling of security. One of the reasons for this is that with his membership of TK, his family is also covered at no additional cost.

Statement of fitness for work

What is a statement of fitness for work?

If you are sick, you must inform your employer immediately and have your doctor issue you a "Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung" (statement of fitness for work). This is a confirmation from your doctor that you are unable to work due to illness. The certificate contains the expected duration of the incapacity to work, diagnoses and other information. The form can be printed on yellow or pink paper.

Where do I send my statement of fitness for work?

Please send the statement of fitness for work (Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung) to the following address (a street address is not required):
Techniker Krankenkasse
20908 Hamburg

Why do I have to submit my statement of fitness for work to TK?

If we do not receive your statement of fitness for work (Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung) within one week, you may not receive sick pay if you are ill for a longer period of time. Therefore, please always send us your statement of fitness for work immediately to the following address (a street address is not required):
Techniker Krankenkasse
20908 Hamburg

What does the diagnosis code on the state­ment of fitness for work mean?

Your doctor has noted your diagnosis in the form of a code, called the ICD diagnosis code, on the statement of fitness for work (Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung) for the health insurance fund. Diseases, illnesses and health problems are defined on a standardised basis using this internationally recognised classification system.

Check your diagnosis code on WHO website.

The abbreviation ICD stands for “International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems”.

I became ill during the first four weeks at my job with a new employer and did not receive any wages during that time. Does TK pay for the loss due to my absence?

Please call us so that we can discuss the case by phone. You can reach us on +49 40 - 460 66 14 00. We are at your service Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

TK eHealth card

Where can I use the insurance card?

The TK eHealth card lets you utilise medical services all throughout Germany. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is located on the back of your TK eHealth card. You are also well-covered with the EHIC in all EU states as well as in many other European countries and even in certain non-European territories. Countries where the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid

Additional details while being abroad

If you need medical care while abroad, the services and treatment will be provided by the doctors and hospitals in the respective foreign country.

Complementary travel insurance

In addition, we recommend taking out foreign travel insurance - inexpensive supplemental cover that provides even more benefits. Our cooperation partner, the insurance company Envivas offers private travel health insurance plans exclusively for TK members: Envivas travel health insurance

What is the TK eHealth card and why do I need it?

The TK eHealth card is your identification card when you visit a doctor. It makes it easier for you to utilise medical services in Germany and abroad. Simply present the handy chip card when you receive medical treatment by doctors, in hospitals or by approved therapists.

A tiny chip on the eHealth card stores insurance data such as your full name, date of birth, address and membership number. With the TK eHealth card, doctors and therapists can settle the fees for services with the health insurance fund.

As a security measure to protect against misuse, the TK eHealth card contains a photo for insurees aged 15 years and older and must be signed.

Our video provides more details and explains the key features of the insurance card.

The electronic health card

Most frequently asked questions

  • What is the TK contribution rate for 2020?

    In 2020, the TK contribution rate to health insurance is 15.3 per cent. It consists of the general contribution rate of 14.6 per cent and the health insurance fund’s individual supplementary contribution rate of 0.7 per cent. For employees, the employer pays half of the contribution rate.

  • How much is the contribution for students?

    As a student you do not have to pay anything for health and long-term care insurance if you are covered by your parents’, spouse’s or civil partner’s non-contributory dependants’ insurance. You must take out your own insurance if you are not (or no longer) eligible for cover through non-contributory dependants’ insurance.

    In general, you will be compulsorily insured and will pay the lowest student rate for health and long-term care insurance.

    Monthly contributions for compulsorily insured students*

    Health insurance: 81.25 €**
    Long-term care insurance without additional contribution 22.69 €
    Long-term care insurance with additional contribution*** 24.55 €

    If you are no longer eligible to be compulsorily insured as a student, for example because you have completed your 14th academic semester, your contributions will be higher.

    Monthly contributions:
    Students under the age of 23 or with children: 103.94 EUR
    Students age 23 and above without children: 105.80 EUR

    * Valid from septembre 2019 for students at universities of applied sciences and from octobre 2019 for students at universities
    ** Statutory contribution for students, comprised of 76.04 EUR plus TK-specific additional contribution rate of 5.21 EUR
    *** Starting at the age of 23, individuals who do not have children must pay an additional contribution for long-term care insurance.

  • I'm a new member. When will I receive my insurance card?

    We will send you your TK eHealth card automatically as soon as we have received your passport photo. You will receive a letter about this in good time before your membership begins which includes documents to upload your passport photo for the TK eHealth card online or to send it to TK by postal mail.

    Alternatively, you can send the passport photo together with the completed form to us by postal mail - please not by e-mail because we are not allowed to process documents sent in this way for data protection reasons:

    You will then receive your TK eHealth card by postal mail.

    Important for you to know:
    Our card production will start about two weeks before your membership begins in case we have received your passport photo and all the other necessary documents. You will then receive your card within a few days prior to the beginning of your insurance cover.

    If we still require any clarification for your insurance cover there may be delays in sending the card. In case you have not yet received a card at the beginning of your membership, please call us at +49 40 85 50 60 70.

  • How do I submit my passport photo for the insurance card?

    We will automatically send you all the necessary documents in advance; you do not need to do anything until you receive them. You can send us your passport photo quickly and conveniently online or simply by postal mail.

    We will send you a letter with two options to send us your passport photo. The same applies if you have just turned 15 years old and do not have a passport photo on your eHealth card yet.

    Please do not send copies, USB drives, or photos via e-mail
    Please send a regular, professionally printed passport photo if you send us the picture by postal mail. Please note that for security and quality reasons, we cannot use or process copies of photos, pictures you have printed out yourself, or digital passport photos that we receive via e-mail or on data carriers, e.g. on a USB flash drive.

    You only need to send us your photo once
    Your passport photo will be digitised for the purpose of creating your TK eHealth card and will remain stored in digital form at TK. It can then be reused in the event of loss or theft of your eHealth card and you will not need to submit a passport photo again.

  • Which dependants can be covered by non-contributory depen¬dants’ insurance?

    If you are insured with TK, for instance as an employee, self-employed individual or retiree, you can take out insurance for the following dependants free of charge:

    More details
    • your spouse or civil partner in accordance with the German Civil Partnership Act [Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz]
    • biological and adopted children up to a certain age limit
    • children of children covered by non-contributory dependants’ insurance
    • stepchildren and grandchildren who depend primarily on you for their livelihood and
    • foster children, unless you are caring for them in a professional capacity.

    Please fill in the Non-contributory Dependants Co-Insurance if you want to cover dependants.

Do you have any further questions?

The TK looks forward to hearing from you. Find out more about how you can be insured with Techniker Krankenkasse.
Call the TK: +49 40 - 46 06 62 300, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year or send the TK a message