Techniker Krankenkasse

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Techniker Krankenkasse
social insurance statutory health insurance
Cash register type Substitute Fund
legal form Public corporation
founding August 3, 1884
Jurisdiction GermanyGermany Germany
Seat Hamburg
Board Jens Baas (Chairman)
Board of Directors Dominik Kruchen
Dieter F. Märtens
Supervisory authority Federal Social Security Office
Insured 10.7 million
(as of August 12, 2020)
Budget volume € 41.7 billion for 2020
(as of December 20, 2019)
Offices 199 customer consultations
(as of August 12, 2020)
Employee 13,789, including 399 trainees
(as of August 12, 2020)

The Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) is a substitute fund and thus the statutory health insurance provider . It is open nationwide and with 10.7 million insured persons it is the largest German health insurance company . TK is a self-governing public corporation . She is a member of the Association of Substitute Funds (vdek). The health insurance company has been operating under the Die Techniker brand since September 2016 .



Logo of the Techniker Krankenkasse (1884)

On October 27, 1884, the registered auxiliary fund for architects, engineers and technicians was approved. It was founded on August 3, 1884 in Leipzig. The German Association of Technicians created its own health insurance fund, which is organized according to the principle of self-administration . Until the registered auxiliary fund for architects, engineers and technicians in Germany was founded , all class members were forced to “have to belong to a fund that was charged more for journeymen and day workers”. The primary goal of the relief fund, which was then based in Berlin, was to build a secure economic foundation in the founding years. The aim was to support its members in difficult phases of life.

The head office was set up at Markgrafenstrasse 94 in Berlin-Mitte. A short time later, the cash register moved to Große Praesidentstrasse in the same district.

According to the Reich Insurance Code of 1913, the mutual health insurance association for engineers, architects and technicians in Germany could no longer act as a substitute fund, but only as a grant fund. From almost 4,000 members in 1913, the number of members fell to just 908 in 1927. Attempts to change the legal requirements failed.

On May 27, 1919, the Association of Technical Employees and Officials , BUTAB for short, was established. This union ensured that professional associations with more than 10,000 members had the opportunity to convert their mutual insurance association into a substitute fund . She made an offer to the Techniker Health Insurance Association; On October 17th, the professional health insurance company for German technicians was established . By 1927 the number of members rose to 5404 people.

National Socialism

During the National Socialist era , the TK was subordinated to the interests of the National Socialists and its self-administration was dissolved. Management positions were filled with Nazi functionaries, who usually had no knowledge of the business of cash management.

The Allied bombing raids during World War II hit the cash register: In October and November 1943 four branches were bombed out. On November 22nd and 23rd, 1943, the head office at Alte Jakobstrasse 81/82 in Berlin fell victim to further bomb attacks before it was completely destroyed in March 1945. The technicians' occupational health insurance fund - that's what TK was called at the time - had acquired this building a few years earlier, in 1939.

The office building and most of the business documents were destroyed, only part of the membership file could be recovered. The card index was moved to Deutsch Krone (today: Walcz ), but was lost while fleeing from the approaching Red Army .

post war period

After the war, the victorious powers and some German experts favored replacing the occupational health system with a standardized insurance system; after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, however, this project was dropped. The Basic Law and the Social Security Adjustment Act from May and June 1949 gave the occupational health insurance funds legal security again.

It was not until April 17, 1953 that the almost 20-year forced break in self-administration at TK came to an end. The first meeting of representatives after the Second World War met in Hamburg. “After almost 20 years of tutelage, the insured had the opportunity to work according to democratic principles again”, wrote the chairman of the representative assembly Heinz von der Lieth in 1963 in the information sheet of the fund for the tenth anniversary of self-administration.

The first task of the self-administration at that time was to revise the insurance conditions . In addition, a new statute had to be drawn up in order to distinguish the activities of the board of directors, the representative assembly and the management. The meeting of representatives met at least twice a year. It decided on the insurance conditions, established the budget estimate and accepted the annual accounts. The members of the representative assembly were elected after 1953 in the four-yearly social elections. The meeting of representatives and the board of directors have merged to form the administrative board . Nothing has changed in terms of the importance of self-government. The board of directors has a similar function to the supervisory board in a stock corporation . It decides on changes to the statutes for health and long-term care insurance and the budget . This system is still in force today.

1960s until reunification

In March 1963, the management of the Berufsskrankenkasse für Techniker (BdT) called on the members to send in suggestions for a new logo under the motto "Manage the cash register yourself means designing it yourself!" The replacement for the emblem, which is no longer up-to-date, should combine the term “technology” with the abbreviation of the cash register name and it should be easy to apply neon letters on a house facade. On April 1, 1964, the new emblem was introduced: the letters TK as an abbreviation for the same alias T echniker- K entwine fund over a gear. In July 1965 it was merged with the foremen's occupational health insurance fund (substitute fund) . TK thus became a substitute fund for all technical professions. She continued her name unchanged. The merger of the two replacement funds for the technical professions was only logical: the professional tasks of engineers, technicians and foremen had become very much closer. There were hardly any differences between the occupational health risks of the two groups. After the merger, around 870 full-time employees and almost 8000 volunteers looked after the TK insured. In 1989 the hyphen was dropped and the new spelling has been Techniker Krankenkasse since then.

When business operations officially started in the new federal states on January 1, 1991, TK had 234,795 members from the new federal states. Since the number of members in West Germany had risen at the same time, the TK was soon able to accept the two millionth member. In the summer of 1991, 427 full-time and over 1000 volunteer employees were working in the new federal states.

In 1991 TK founded state representations in all federal states. This was a clear signal to the state social ministers, who wanted to regionalise social insurance in the fall of 1991, which almost inevitably would have led to the destruction of the nationwide substitute funds. When the Health Structure Act came into force in January 1993 and upgraded the role of the federal states within the health insurance system, TK had already set up its state representatives.

care insurance

The care insurance was initially only for services for home care, until July 1996 she also took over inpatient care in a nursing facility. Today, long-term care insurance also pays day-care services such as day or night care. Since January 1, 1995, long-term care insurance has been a new branch of social insurance under the umbrella of the statutory health insurance funds. It was developed as a so-called partial comprehensive insurance. This means that the insurance benefits cover part of the costs that are required for caring for a person.

In 2008 the Care Development Act came into force. Among other things, relatives can more easily look after relatives in need of care. Employees can take a limited amount of time off to care for family members. After all, the majority of people would prefer to be cared for in the familiar environment at home.

1994 to 1999

The introduction of the Risk Structure Compensation (RSA) in 1994 meant that TK became the main contributor to financial compensation alongside the company health insurance funds. In 1996, TK was the first health insurance company in Germany to go online . At the beginning of the Internet age, communication via email was the central point of the new offer.

For a long time, the Techniker Krankenkasse was an occupational health insurance company for technicians, engineers and architects. This changed fundamentally from 1996 onwards through a health reform . Since then, insured persons have been able to choose their health insurance company freely. The legislature wanted to promote competition between the health insurance companies and also create options for all workers. The goals for the insured were better service and better care at lower costs. With the free choice of health insurance, TK opened up to all professional groups. TK's identity was at stake. Therefore, the decision of the legislature at TK was initially not only accepted with approval. Although she was fundamentally positive about social innovations, she was afraid of losing her own profile as an occupational health insurance fund, among other things by accepting insured persons from other professional groups.

2000 until today

On January 1, 2000, it merged with Gärtner-Krankenkasse (around 250,000 members).

TK membership development

In the summer of 2006, the TK Scientific Institute for Benefit and Efficiency in Health Care (WINEG) was founded as a scientific institute by the Techniker Krankenkasse. The project results serve as decision-making aids for insured persons, patients and TK itself. WINEG is a sponsoring member of the German Network Evidence-Based Medicine .

On January 1, 2009, it was merged with the then deficit-working IKK-Direkt (929,000 private and corporate customers) to form Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) .

TK logo until 2015

In September 2016, the health insurance company renewed the brand. This included the brand name Die Techniker , a revised logo and a redesign of the website. The new brand identity was disseminated in the course of advertising campaigns.

In the summer of 2018, WINEG was closed as an independent institute and the scientific work including ongoing research projects was integrated into the specialist departments of TK.


TK, headquartered in Hamburg, has 199 customer consultancies, 15 regional representations and almost 14,000 employees (399 of whom are trainees) nationwide . With 8.1 million paying members and more than 2.5 million non-contributory family members , it is one of the two largest health insurers in Germany. In addition, more than 5,400 volunteers advise in companies and universities. TK's administrative processes were fundamentally changed between 2000 and 2006. The branch office model was dissolved and many areas were centralized.

Since the health reform in 2004 , the legislator has allowed cooperation between health insurance companies and private health insurance companies . The exclusive cooperation partner of TK has been Envivas Krankenversicherung AG since January 1, 2004.

The Federal Social Security Office (BAS) in Bonn is the supervisory authority responsible for monitoring the TK.



The total budget of the TC is around 41.7 billion euros in 2020, of which the TK health insurance EUR 32.4 billion, the TK-care insurance EUR 7.3 billion and almost 2.0 billion euros to the levy insurance employers.

The largest expenditure items for health insurance in 2019 were: hospital 8.4 billion euros, medical services 5.6 billion euros, pharmaceuticals 4.9 billion euros. Long-term care insurance recorded income of just under 6.9 billion euros and service expenditure of around 2.4 billion euros in 2019. The largest expenditure item in long-term care insurance was again the transfer to the statutory compensation fund in the amount of just under 4.1 billion euros.

Additional contributions

It has been charging an income-related additional contribution since 2015 : in 2015 it amounted to 0.8 percent of contributory income, and from 2016 to 2017 an additional contribution increased to 1.0 percent. In 2018, the additional contribution rate was reduced to 0.9 percent. Since 2019, the additional contribution has been 0.7 percent.

Risk structure compensation

Between 1994 and 2008, TK made compensation payments in the risk structure compensation totaling € 50.1 billion. With the introduction of the health fund at the beginning of 2009, an expansion of the risk structure compensation came into force. From this point on, however, it is no longer shown separately which fund pays how much money or receives it as a support payment.

Board of Directors and Board of Directors

Former entrance portal of Margarine-Voss . In the background the headquarters of the Techniker Krankenkasse

TK is headed by a three-person board: Jens Baas (chairman of the TK board), Thomas Ballast (deputy chairman of the TK board) and Karen Walkenhorst (member of the TK board). The term of office is six years. The annual remuneration of the CEO in 2018 was EUR 333,717. The position of deputy chairman of the board was remunerated with EUR 287,172.24. There are company pension commitments. Company cars are also provided, including for private use.

The board of directors consists of 30 honorary members - since January 2009 half of the insured and half of the employers' representatives (equal representation). The composition of the Board of Directors is decided every six years in a social election .

Vocational training and further education

At TK, more than 580 trainees are currently (as of July 2020) learning one of the professions of social security clerk , business clerk in healthcare and IT specialist system integration . In addition, TK offers support for the dual courses of study in business informatics and applied informatics in cooperation with the Nordakademie . TK operates two training centers, Salzhausen and Hayn , for employees and trainees for further training.


In 2018, TK was the first health insurance company in Germany to provide an electronic health record (eGA) for its policyholders. The insured can decide for themselves which diagnoses, medication etc. they want to save and to whom they allow access. The health record can be used as an integral part of the TK app under the name TK-Safe .


In 2009 TK was the first health insurance company to include alternative medical treatment methods such as homeopathy in its catalog of services, the effectiveness of which could not be proven in studies.

TK has since argued that homeopathy has an overall positive cost-benefit ratio . However, a study published in 2015 that examined 45,000 TK members found that patients using homeopathic remedies incurred significantly more costs over a period of 18 months than a comparable group of patients who did not. In addition to the additional costs for therapy and medication, this was also due to the fact that patients treated with homeopathy were on sick leave for longer.

In March 2017, a tweet from the official TK Twitter account caused criticism after a user was asked to name scientific studies "that prove the ineffectiveness of homeopathy". The Techniker Krankenkasse then apologized for the tweet, but continues to adhere to the homeopathic services.


  • Sven Tode, Fabian Müller-Lutz, Sandra Engel: Techniker Krankenkasse; 125 years of innovation and safety. Verlag Hanseatischer Merkur, Hamburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-922857-42-6 .

Web links

Commons : Techniker Krankenkasse  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Board of Directors
  2. a b c d e f Data on Techniker Krankenkasse. In: Retrieved March 11, 2020 .
  3. Statutory health insurance: For the first time, the Techniker Kassel is larger than the Barmer. In: Spiegel Online . January 14, 2014, accessed June 9, 2018 .
  4. a b The technicians: shorter and more concise. In: Retrieved September 20, 2016 .
  5. ^ Statutes of the Techniker Krankenkasse. Status: March 1, 2015. Accessed May 29, 2015 .
  6. Official website of WINEG. Retrieved December 21, 2011 .
  7. Article about the merger of IKK-Direkt with TK. Retrieved December 21, 2011 .
  8. WINEG. In: August 14, 2018, accessed October 25, 2018 .
  9. TK Annual Report 2019. July 5, 2020, accessed on July 5, 2020 .
  10. Techniker Krankenkasse - New values ​​2019: TK contribution rates
  11. TK in future with a three-man tip: Karen Walkenhorst in the ... | TK. Retrieved July 14, 2017 .
  12. Board of the TK on Retrieved March 9, 2016 .
  13. Transparency - The annual remuneration 2018, Die Techniker - Das Magazin, Hamburg 2019, p. 30
  14. Announcement of the press conference for the start of the eGA | TK. Retrieved April 22, 2018 .
  15. TK-Safe - the technician's electronic health record. Retrieved January 4, 2020 .
  16. Der Spiegel: Cost-Benefit Calculation: Health Insurance Companies Fight for Homeopathy , July 13, 2013
  17. Der Spiegel: Inflated Offer , July 30, 2012
  18. Der Spiegel: Health insurers fight for homeopathy , July 13, 2010
  19. PLOS ONE: Can Additional Homeopathic Treatment Save Costs? A Retrospective Cost-Analysis Based on 44500 Insured Persons , July 31, 2015
  20. Techniker Krankenkasse collects Shitstorm - because of this homeopathy tweet. In: . March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017 .
  21. Alternative healing methods: Techniker Krankenkasse makes a fool of itself with a homeopathy tweet. In: RP Online . March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017 .
  22. ^ Controversial topic of homeopathy. In: March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017 .

Coordinates: 53 ° 35 ′ 30 ″  N , 10 ° 3 ′ 23 ″  E