Are you thinking about changing health insurers? Or are you already with us and are looking for more information on the service available to you from the BKK? The following pages provide detailed information on the benefits offered by BKK WIRTSCHAFT & FINANZEN (BKK W&F) and the options open to you.
Not every health insurer is the same – on the contrary. We are a medium-sized insurer offering a transparent benefits portfolio and a wide range of supplementary programmes to keep you healthy. A personal advisory service, individual support and the search for alternative solutions are an integral part of our work.
BKK W&F is combining incentives and useful supplementary benefits in an attractive package tailored to all its members and all sections of society.
Service is our top priority. If you would like additional information on a specific area or have individual needs or queries, simply contact one of our specialist advisors. We will provide rapid assistance with a minimum of red tape – that is one of our key strengths.
Who we are
BKK WIRTSCHAFT & FINANZEN (BKK W&F) emerged in 2007 from the occupational health insurance fund of KPMG AG, the leading audit, tax and advisory firm. Committed employer and member representatives on the executive board secure the ongoing strategic development of our efficient and flexible structure. This ensures our members receive maximum benefits and comprehensive advice, rapidly and without the red tape. We don‘t deal in exclusions or waiting times: from the day they join, our new members have full, unrestricted access to all benefits.
The BKK W&F articles of association allow a wide range of additional benefits. Our insurance advisors can use this freedom in your best interests. We participate in the use of recognised new but untested therapies (Außenseitermethoden) and always seek alternative solutions instead of simply sending people away. Comprehensive and above all transparent benefits are a key priority at BKK, as is frank and open communication with members and contractual partners on the strengths and weaknesses of statutory health insurance. Unlike other health insurers and despite our good results, we do not display test seals of any kind – such awards are not always reliable. We only make promises which we can and do keep and prove. BKK W&F is ideal for all those looking for a statutory health insurer offering strong and transparent benefits.
How to join
Despite its somewhat unusual name („Business & Finance“), BKK WIRTSCHAFT & FINANZEN (BKK W&F) is a health insurer open to all across Germany with just a few exceptions*.
Usually, notice of termination of your previous insurance is required before you can move insurers. We do not need confirmation of cancellation from anyone starting an apprenticeship, or (re-)entering employment subject to statutory insurance, who is switching from private or family insurance. We will, however, always contact you in good time if we need any further details or documents to process your application.
Unlike a private insurer, we can insure spouses and civil partners without additional contributions. The same applies for children until they turn 23; or until they are 24 if they are still at school or engaged in vocational training. „Children“ includes largely dependant stepchildren and grandchildren, foster children and the children of children covered by the family insurance.
Non-contributory insurance primarily excludes persons who are exempt, insured individually or in full-time self-employment, or whose total monthly income exceeds 455 euros in 2020 (for those in marginal part-time employment [geringfügige Beschäftigtung], permitted total monthly income is 450 euros).
You can generally leave your former german health insurer at any time with effect from the end of the month by giving two full calendar months‘ written notice. When you join a new health insurer, you are required to stay with this insurer for 18 months.
If your health insurer is to charge an additional contribution, you can exercise an extraordinary right of termination up until the first increased payment is due**. In such a case, your membership will also end at the end of the month following the standard period of notice of two full calendar months. The advantage for you in this case is that you do not have to pay the increased charge for your previous health insurer at all. Simply send us your application (with the family questionnaire if applicable) together with confirmation that you have cancelled membership of your previous health insurance.
Recommend and benefit
As a thank-you for choosing us, and a little incentive to recommend us to family, colleagues or friends, we give you a bonus of 20 euros for every new BKK member who comes to us through you. For more information, please see the back of our magazine revista.
* BKK W&F is not open to people resident and working in Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt or Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
** The same also applies if an existing increased contribution is raised further, or surplus dividend payouts are reduced.
Statutory Health Insurance (GKV)
Whoever lives and works in Germany is usually covered by statutory insurance. Ninety percent of the population are insured through one of the health insurance companies within statutory health insurance. You pay a specific amount towards the insurance each month. The amount is determined by the level of the monthly income. In addition to that amount your employer pays another part. If you become ill or have an accident and have yourself treated by a doctor or in hospital, your health insurance will cover the treatment costs, except for the statutory additional payments. This means that no insured person suffers financial hardship due to illness in Germany. Therefore the health insurance pays not only for medical treatment but also for the medicines the doctor prescribes for you.
If you cannot work due to illness, your employer will also, as a rule, continue to pay your wages for 6 weeks. After this the health insurance will provide sick pay for a certain amount of time. Thus, the statutory health insurance is a dependable safeguard in case of illness. Particular cases can also be: accidents or treatment of diseases of employed persons. If you cannot pursue your profession any longer, due to illness, necessary measures will be covered if need be by other organisations, e.g. by the pension or the accident insurance. The responsibilities of statutory health insurance are subject to change, from time to time. Regulations, e.g. about benefits, contributions, or referrals from one doctor to another can be changed in the near future. The health insurance that you are insured with will update you on the changes. The general principle in statutory health insurance is solidarity. The insurance premiums are commensurate with the income, and do not depend on whether one has a family, is female or male, is old already or perhaps is frequently ill. This means that a person with a higher income will pay more into the insurance than a person with a lower income. In this system, the young support the old, single people support families, and healthy payers support sick ones. Yet, everybody has a right to the same statutory benefits.
There is a difference between being insured by statutory insurance and being privately insured. Usually, employees whose annual income does not exceed a certain amount (the amount changes annually, – the current amount can be found under “compulsory insurance” on the supplementary sheet), as well as trainees, unemployed people, students, pensioners, artists and publicists are members of the statutory insurance scheme. The members of their families can be insured with them free of charge, if they have little or no income. There is an age limit for children, depending also on whether they are still participating in vocational training or higher education. Handicapped children are covered through their parents without any age limit, if their disability prevents them from supporting themselves. Self-employed individuals and employees with a gross income above a certain amount can take out statutory or private health insurance voluntarily. You may choose your health insurance company yourself.
At the doctor’s
Regardless of whether you have private or statutory insurance, in Germany you may choose your doctor yourself. Statutory insurance members may only choose between the doctors who are registered and under contract to the statutory insurance scheme, which almost all doctors are, in practice. One differentiates between family doctors and specialized doctors. Family doctors are general practitioners, paediatricians and some of the practitioners specialized in internal medicine. You should always go to the same family doctor because he/she knows you and your state of health best. If necessary, he will refer you to the correct specialist. Specialists are doctors specialised in certain areas, for example gynaecologists or ear, nose and throat doctors. You can go directly to a specialist when you are sick, but you will have to pay the additional practice fee. If the referral of the family doctor to the specialist is handed in later you will receive a refund of the practice fee. Health insurances pay rewards to their members for always going to their family doctor first. Prior to deciding on a doctor, it is wise to consider what is important to you. Maybe you would rather be treated by a woman doctor than a doctor who is a man. Maybe the location of the doctor’s surgery is important for you because you rely on public transport to get there. It can be worth it to compare the surgery hours of different doctors, too. You can inform yourself as well about whether the surgery is always very crowded, and whether there are always long waiting periods. A good doctor will listen to you properly and explain to you in understandable terms what he is doing and why he recommends which treatment. He links his work to that of other doctors and thus refers you to a specialist or a hospital if needed. If you are not satisfied with your doctor or you do not trust him, you can change to another doctor. You should not do this too often, though, because every doctor has to get to know you all over again, and you him or her. Apart from this, changing doctors frequently may often also lead to unnecessary duplication of diagnostic procedures, for example X-rays, which may be a risk to your health.
The doctor attending you will determine whether you need to be admitted to hospital for treatment of an illness, or for an operation. With statutory health insurance you can only be treated in accredited hospitals. For example, all University hospitals are also accredited. Treatment in a private clinic is impossible for statutory health insurance members. Your doctor will give you a note of referral for hospital treatment. On this note you will find listed the two closest hospitals best suited for your treatment. If you choose a different hospital for treatment, you might have to pay for the extra cost. In this case, speak to your doctor and health insurance, and feel free to explain about special religious aspects. You will be referred by your family doctor or specialist to the hospital. He will write you an admission note which you have to take to the hospital with you. For some operations you do not need to stay in hospital for days or weeks at a time. These operations can be performed in a hospital or specialist clinic as out-patient treatment. This means that you can go home on the same day after the operation is performed. A longer stay in the hospital is referred to as “in-patient treatment”.