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New bonuses: Techniker Krankenkasse TK wants to finance fitness wristbands

New bonuses: Techniker Krankenkasse TK wants to finance fitness wristbands


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TK: Use of fitness wristbands could be integrated into the bonus program
Technical and electronic aids in sport are becoming increasingly popular. There are now thousands of fitness and health apps and technical gadgets on the market. Techniker Krankenkasse is now considering integrating the use of fitness wristbands into its bonus program.

Technical aids in sport are trendy
They count steps, track movements, log sleep phases, measure heart rate, calculate calorie consumption: fitness bracelets or activity trackers - so-called wearables - are the trend. Hobby athletes use apps, gadgets or fitness trackers to measure, for example, the distance they have walked or the calories consumed.

Cash registers pay grants
In the meantime, some devices are also co-financed by health insurance companies. Last summer, for example, the AOK Health Insurance Fund was the first health insurance fund in Germany to announce that it would grant such a subsidy to its insured. This was followed shortly afterwards by Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), which announced that it would pay its members € 250 for an Apple Watch. It has now become known that TK is considering integrating the use of fitness wristbands into its bonus program.

Exercise healthy
The current movement study by the health insurance company showed that two out of three athletes want to use the digital training partner to measure and document their progress and training success. “63 percent monitor their body functions (especially the heart rate). Other motives are the desire to be able to do sport individually and the certainty that you are training healthy, ”the authors write.

Every seventh adult uses a fitness tracker
TK boss Jens Baas told the German Press Agency: “Our current exercise study shows that every seventh adult in Germany uses a fitness tracker. Half of them are convinced that they can exercise more. ” Some of the TK customers are said to see a positive effect on personal health. "So I can well imagine that fitness trackers will also play a role in our bonus program in the future."

The TK boss made it clear in the agency report that the participation of the insured is voluntary in any case. "It has nothing to do with risk assessment." The statutory health insurance - unlike the private one - does not undertake a risk assessment or assessment of its insured. "Everyone is insured regardless of who they are," says Baas.

Greens warn against eroding solidarity
According to dpa, the Greens have warned against the erosion of solidarity in health insurance through health apps. "Reductions in premiums through the back door for young and fit insured persons at the expense of older or chronically ill people are profoundly unsolidarized," said the health spokeswoman for the Green Group, Maria Klein-Schmeink, the news agency.

According to Baas, however, the integration of such fitness trackers into the bonus system does not weaken anything in the solidarity system. “On the contrary: A community of solidarity can only work if there are enough healthy people in it. That is why it is important to us not only to work for the medical care of the sick, but also to reward when the insured take care of their health, ”says Baas.

Use data from fitness wristbands
A few months ago, the TK boss suggested that data from fitness wristbands should be included in the planned electronic patient record. At that time, other health insurers were open to the proposal, but at the same time expressed doubts, partly because the legislature would probably not take part. (ad)

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