money for sports? Fitness offers from 3 health insurance companies in check

Photo: CC0 Public Domain – Pixabay/ StockSnap; DAK Health/Wigger

Health insurance companies such as TK, Barmer or DAK subsidize sports activities and offer bonus programs. Anyone who does sports can, among other things, have money paid out for it. Utopia combines the offer of three cash registers.

On average, people in Germany only walk around 5,000 steps a day. Many spend their working and leisure time sitting down. That’s not healthy – the health insurance companies know that too. Many statutory health insurers therefore promote the fitness of their policyholders – through prevention courses and bonus programs. Utopia combines the offer of Barmer, TK and DAK.

Health insurance companies in check: health courses and bonus program

As an incentive for a healthy lifestyle, many insurance companies offer health courses, also in the area of ​​exercise. Large health insurance companies have their own range of courses with face-to-face and online courses for the insured. Smaller ones tend to provide a budget that policyholders can invest in courses that meet specific needs.

Many courses are free of charge, some insured persons have to pay part of the costs. How much also depends on the cost of the course – usually only between 75 and 100 euros are covered. The exact regulations also differ depending on the insurance company.

In addition, most health insurance companies offer individual bonus programs. Anyone who can prove that they do sport in their everyday life or take part in certain medical check-ups will receive certain benefits in return. This can be money, sports equipment or grants. Large cash registers often offer an app that controls the bonus programs.

For the following comparison, we deliberately selected large statutory health insurance companies that offer both health courses and a bonus program and only summarized these offers. To make it easier to compare them, we have also examined health insurers whose offer is regulated as uniformly as possible throughout Germany. (With the health insurance company AOK, the bonus programs differ regionally, for example.)

Check out the range of sports offered by Techniker Krankenkasse

Health courses: Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) reimburses two health courses per year. It offers a range of free, proprietary health courses, such as back training. Online courses that were started after July 1, 2020 will also be reimbursed in full – but only up to a course fee of 100 euros.

All other health courses listed via the website’s appropriate search function are subsidized at 80 percent. This only applies to course fees of up to 75 euros (individual course) or 150 euros (combination course). The prerequisite for the assumption of costs for further courses is that these have a fixed start and end date and are certified by the Central Prevention Testing Center.

Bonus program: TK offers a points-based bonus program. Insured persons can collect points for certain check-ups, but also, for example, for active membership in a sports club or fitness studio. The same applies to participation in the health courses mentioned above or via challenges in the TK app. Such challenges include, for example, walking 60,000 steps in ten out of twelve weeks or cycling 40 kilometers.

The points collected can be exchanged for money, among other things. Each activity is worth 10 euros – a total of up to 160 euros can be paid out per participation year. Alternatively, participants can double their points and use them as a subsidy for further health measures. TK offers various services, for example it subsidizes sports and fitness equipment, participation fees for sporting events or membership in a fitness studio. You can also choose from offers that are not related to sports, such as a childbirth preparation course or acupuncture.

Key facts at a glance:

  • Overview of health courses
  • Maximum subsidy for individual courses (not from TK): up to 75 euros
  • Overview of measures that bring points
  • Overview of bonus program benefits (health dividend)

  • Points for a gym membership: 1,000 (= 10 euros)
  • Financial value: 1 point = 0.01 euros
  • Relevant apps: TK app (available on Google Play, App Store)

Overview of DAK: Prevention courses and bonus program

Health courses: The DAK-Gesundheit also subsidizes a maximum of two health courses per year with up to 75 euros each. How much the cash register shoots depends on the course.

The health insurance company offers, among other things, online coaching on topics such as cardiovascular training, pelvic floor and back. These courses include various units and workouts as well as knowledge texts and a quiz. They are free for DAK members.

There are also a number of prevention courses, also with a focus on exercise. Here the health insurance company concentrates on back training and endurance training. Courses from both areas are subsidized at 80 percent for adults. There are also prevention courses for sporty relaxation, including yoga. The offer varies depending on where you live – insured persons can use a search function to search for suitable health courses in their area.

Bonus program: The bonus program DAK AktivBonus works in a similar way to that of TK: there are bonus points for measures that benefit health. They include dental check-ups, vaccinations, but also the prevention courses and online coaching mentioned above. Participation in sporting events/competitions also earns points.

A collected point is worth one euro. If you opt for grants instead of money, you will receive an additional 20 percent on the points collected. Some of the services are aimed at athletes, for example sports medical examinations, protectors, helmets and membership in fitness studies are subsidised. Points count double for the purchase of sports equipment and body measuring devices.

Key facts at a glance:

  • Overview of health courses
  • Maximum subsidy for individual courses (not from DAK): up to 75 euros
  • Overview of measures that bring points
  • Overview of bonus program benefits

  • Points for a membership in the certified gym: 50 (= 50 euros)
  • Financial value: 1 point = 1 euro
  • Relevant apps: DAK app (available on Google Play, App Store)

Sports subsidies at Barmer: check health insurance

Health courses: Barmer subsidizes two courses per year: up to 75 euros for face-to-face courses and up to 100 euros for online courses. Prevention courses must be certified by the Central Prevention Testing Center – the health insurance company’s course search offers a wide selection. In addition to face-to-face events, Barmer offers various online courses – also on the subject of movement. These are free and include exercise videos.

You can choose from online courses on yoga, Pilates and pelvic floor training. On the health insurance company’s website, visitors will also find numerous guides on the subject of sport.

Bonus program: With the Barmer bonus program, insured persons can receive up to 100 euros a year as a cash bonus – or up to 150 euros in subsidies for health services. There is an active bonus for sporting activities and a preventive bonus for check-ups. Each measure brings between 100 and 150 points. 100 points correspond to 10 euros cash bonus. A special feature at Barmer: If you have collected at least 500 points in the bonus program three years in a row, you will receive a credit of another 500 points.

There are rewards from 50 bonus points. Points can also be gifted to others. In addition to payments, health allowances are also available, for example for sports medical examinations or membership fees for sports clubs and fitness studios. Here, the health insurance company proposes 50 percent. Anyone who redeems 500 points receives 75 euros, with 1000 points 150 euros.

Key facts at a glance:

  • Overview of health courses
  • Maximum subsidy for individual courses (not from Barmer): up to 75 euros
  • Overview of measures that bring points
  • Overview of bonus program benefits
  • Points for a gym membership: 50 (= 5 euros)
  • Financial value: 1 point = 0.10 euros
  • Relevant apps: Barmer app (available on Google Play, App Store)


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