Buy a fitness tracker or smartwatch: This health insurance company subsidizes the purchase

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

Fitness trackers like the Garmin vívofit 4 can help lead a more active lifestyle. (Source: netzwelt.de)

  • Only some health insurance companies provide direct subsidies for the purchase of a fitness 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 a fitness tracker.
  • The system is very different depending on the health insurance company. Points are awarded for health interventions such as preventive medical check-ups, participation in courses or sports.

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

They have an interest in you living as healthy as possible to keep the burden on the system small. Therefore, you can sometimes get a subsidy if you buy a similar gadget.

Direct grant vs. bonus system

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

The scheme is similar: Health measures can be used to earn points that can be paid out later or exchanged for a reward, such as a smartwatch. In the following, we clarify the situation with the various health insurance companies.

Which health insurance companies provide subsidies?

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

AOK: Differences by region

  • AOK Plus: With AOK Plus, which is available throughout Germany, you get 3,000 bonus points for buying a fitness tracker or a smartwatch. These points worth 30 euros can be paid out directly. A maximum of one subsidy per year is subsidized.
  • AOK Northeast: At AOK Nordost, 50 percent of the purchase price for 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 is much more at AOK in the Rhineland or in Hamburg. Up to 250 euros can be refunded every three years on presentation of proof of sport (eg in the form of registered, completed distances). Participation in health measures can increase this amount to up to 500 euros.
  • AOK Bavaria, AOK Rheinland-Pfalz / Saarland and AOK Baden-Württemberg: These three health insurance companies have a classic bonus point system. Points can be collected by participating in preventative health measures such as vaccinations, courses or check-ups. These can then be exchanged for non-cash prizes. A smartwatch with Acme Smartwatch SW203 is also offered here. For them, you need 2,600 points.

Techniker Krankenkasse (TK)

Techniker Krankenkasse offers its policyholders support when buying fitness trackers or smartwatches. With a bonus program, up to 317 euros can be paid out annually. Points are collected by participating in health measures such as check-ups or training courses.

Barmer

The procedure at Barmer is the same. Here, too, you can collect points in a bonus program by participating in health initiatives. However, it is not possible to pay here. Non-monetary bonuses can be chosen instead. Barmer offers Acme SW101 and Acme ACT206 smartwatches in their bonus shop.

NOT classic

Insured persons can also take part in health measures with the IKK classic. If at least four such participations take place in a year, the health insurance company subsidizes the purchase of fitness trackers and smartwatches with a maximum of 150 euros. The insured is free to choose the model of 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, control or nutrition courses. However, the subsidy is limited to 84 euros per year. The model of the fitness tracker or smartwatch can be freely chosen.

Are you still in doubt whether you need a fitness tracker or a smartwatch? In our major comparison tests, we clarify similarities and differences and help you with your purchasing decision.

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