Buy an activity tracker or a smartwatch: This mutual fund subsidizes the purchase

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If you want to buy a fitness tracker or a smartwatch, you should talk to your health insurance company first. Because some suppliers subsidize a corresponding purchase.

Fitness trackers like the Garmin vívofit 4 can help you live a more active life. (Source: netzwelt.de)

  • Only certain health insurance companies offer a direct subsidy for the purchase of an activity tracker or a smartwatch and only under certain conditions.
  • However, many health insurance companies have a bonus point system that you can use to collect points in connection with a smartwatch or fitness tracker.
  • The system is very different depending on the mutuals. Points are awarded for health measures such as preventive medical examinations, participation in courses or sports activities.

Those who care about their health often buy a fitness tracker or a smartwatch. These not only monitor sleep, heart rate and other values, but also sometimes motivate people to lead a more active life. This is in line with mandatory health insurance companies.

They have an interest in you living as healthily as possible to reduce the burden on the system. Therefore, sometimes you can receive a grant if you buy a corresponding gadget.

Direct subsidy vs bonus system

The extent to which the purchase of a fitness tracker or smartwatch is subsidized depends heavily on the provider. Only a few mutuals offer a direct or unconditional purchase subsidy. Instead, the vast majority of mandatory health insurance companies rely on a bonus point system.

The pattern is similar: healthcare measures can be used to earn points that can be paid for later or redeemed for a reward, such as a smartwatch. In the following, we clarify the situation in the various health insurance funds.

Which mutuals offer a subsidy?

With general local health insurance companies (AOK), the subsidy depends on which part of the republic you are in. According to the state association, the conditions and the amount of the subsidies are different:

AOK: Differences by region

  • AOK Plus: With the AOK Plus, which is available throughout Germany, you get 3,000 bonus points for buying a fitness tracker or smartwatch. These points worth 30 euros can be paid directly. A maximum of one device is subsidized each year.
  • AOK North East: At AOK Nordost, 50% of the purchase price of a fitness tracker or smartwatch can be refunded every two years. However, a maximum rate of 50 euros per year applies.
  • AOK Rhineland and Hamburg: There are many more at the AOK in the Rhineland or in Hamburg. Up to 250 euros can be reimbursed every three years on presentation of proof of sports practice (for example in the form of recorded distances, covered). Participation in health measures can bring this amount up to 500 euros.
  • AOK Bavaria, AOK Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland and AOK Baden-Württemberg: These three mutuals have a classic bonus point system. Points can be accumulated by participating in preventive health measures such as vaccinations, courses or health check-ups. These can then be redeemed for non-cash prizes. A smartwatch is also offered here with the Acme Smartwatch SW203. For them you need 2600 points.

Technician Krankenkasse (TK)

Techniker Krankenkasse offers its policyholders support when purchasing fitness trackers or smartwatches. With a bonus program, up to 317 euros can be paid out each year. Points are collected by participating in health measures such as health checks or trainings.

Bartender

The procedure at Barmer is similar. Also here you can collect points in a bonus program by participating in health care measures. However, no payment is possible here. Non-monetary bonuses can be chosen instead. Barmer offers the Acme SW101 and Acme ACT206 smartwatches in their bonus store.

Classic IKK

Insured persons can also participate in health care measures with the IKK classic. If at least four such participations take place per year, the health insurance fund subsidizes the purchase of fitness trackers and smartwatches with a maximum of 150 euros. The insured can freely choose the model of the smartwatch or tracker.

DAK health

DAK-Gesundheit also offers its policyholders a bonus program. Points can be collected, for example, by participating in preventive measures, health checks or nutrition courses. However, the subsidy is limited to 84 euros per year. The model of the fitness tracker or the smartwatch can be freely selected.

Still not sure if you should use a fitness tracker or a smartwatch? In our great comparison tests, we clarify the similarities and differences and help you with your purchase decision.

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