The AOK is a group of health insurance insurance agencies which together form one of the largest health insurers in Germany.  AOK stands for Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse.

Each Bundesland has its own AOK, and for visitors to Germany this is the first port of call if they need to visit a doctor in order to get their EU health insurance card (previously E111) validated.

There are other health insurance agencies, such a the TKK (Techniker Krankenkasse), many of which are targeted at specific career groups.

Next year the Gesundsheitsfond takes hold, meaning that everyone should pay the same for their health insurance, and the choice of agency will be made based on the cover offered and not solely on the cost.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast


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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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