Where can I take out company health insurance?

Company health insurance

Principles

Company health insurance (bKV) is supplementary health insurance in the form of group insurance. It is a supplement to statutory health insurance. The employer takes out this insurance for his employees as part of the employment relationship. With this supplementary health insurance, gaps in statutory insurance cover can be closed. The employer becomes the policyholder, the employee is the insured person. Only the employee is entitled to benefits from the insurance contract.

Company health insurance is usually only financed by the employer (mandatory tariffs). In the employee-financed variant, one speaks of an optional company health insurance. There are also mixed forms.

Company health insurance can only be taken out if the contract relates to several employees or a homogeneous group of employees, such as senior executives or managers. The employer must take into account the General Equal Treatment Act (objective criteria, not arbitrariness).
The principle of equal treatment forbids both the irrelevant worse treatment of individual employees in a comparable situation and the formation of irrelevant groups. The principle of equal treatment requires the employer to treat his employees or groups of his employees who are in a comparable situation equally when applying a self-imposed rule (Federal Labor Court judgment of 21.01.2014, 3 AZR 362/11).
If the distinguishing features are not immediately recognizable and the employer does not explain its differentiation points of view, or if the different treatment according to the purpose of the service is not justified, the disadvantaged group of employees can demand to be treated in accordance with the beneficiary group of employees (Federal Labor Court judgment of June 16, 2010 , 4 AZR 928/08).

Extract from the press release of the Association of Private Health Insurance from March 18, 2019:

Company health insurance (bKV) is becoming increasingly popular. At the end of 2018 there were around 7,700 companies that offered their employees this additional protection. That is doubling in just three years (end of 2015: 3,848 companies). Around 760,000 employees are already enjoying special health services as a result.

At the end of 2018, a total of 757,500 employees at 7,700 companies in Germany benefited from company health insurance (source: Figures report by private health insurance 2018).

The employer attractiveness for applicants and employees is increased by a company health insurance.

Tax treatment of future security benefits

On November 29, 2019, the Federal Council approved numerous changes in tax law that the Bundestag passed on November 7 (law on further tax incentives for electromobility and on changes to other tax regulations - Annual Tax Act 2019). As the 2019 Annual Tax Act, the law contains many changes. This also includes the definition of the term cash benefit.
Section 8 of the Income Tax Act is amended as follows:

  1. The following sentences are added to paragraph 1:
    "Income in money also includes earmarked cash benefits, subsequent reimbursement of costs, money surrogates and other benefits that are based on a monetary amount. Clause 2 does not apply to vouchers and money cards that only entitle the holder to purchase goods or services and the criteria of § 2 paragraph 1 number 10 of the Payment Services Supervision Act. "
  2. Paragraph 2 is amended as follows:
    In sentence 11, the point at the end is replaced by a semicolon and the following words are added:
    "The vouchers and money cards that do not belong to the income in money according to paragraph 1 sentence 3 are only disregarded if they are granted in addition to the wages owed anyway."

The Federal Ministry of Finance published a letter from the Federal Ministry of Finance on April 13, 2021 to distinguish between cash benefits and benefits in kind (application of the provisions of Section 8, Paragraph 1, Clause 2 and 3 and Paragraph 2, Clause 11, second half-sentence of the Income Tax Act).
Abstract:

Remuneration in kind within the meaning of Section 8 (2) sentence 1 EStG is all income that is not in money. A payment in kind within the meaning of Section 8 (2) sentence 1 EStG does not exist if the employee can also request a cash payment instead of the payment in kind, even if the employer turns the matter over (BFH judgment of July 4, 2018, loc. Cit., Margin no. 16 ).

Under these conditions, benefits in kind within the meaning of Section 8 (2) sentence 1 EStG i. In conjunction with Section 8, Paragraph 1, Clause 3 of the Income Tax Act, among others:

- the granting of Health, daily sickness allowance or long-term care insurance coverage when taking out health, daily sickness allowance or long-term care insurance and paying contributions by the employer (BFH judgment of June 7, 2018, loc. Cit.),

- the granting of Accident insurance coverageif, when the employer concludes voluntary accident insurance, the employee can assert the insurance claim directly against the insurance company, provided that the contributions are not taxed at a flat rate in accordance with Section 40b (3) of the Income Tax Act. Point 2.2.1 of the BMF letter of October 28, 2009 (BStBl I page 1275) is outdated in this respect (see also No. 29, last sentence). Section 37b (2) EStG is applicable,

....

Not a benefit in kind, but a cash benefit within the meaning of Section 8 Paragraph 1 Clause 1 and 2 EStG includes:

- a payment from the employer to the employee upon conclusion of a Health, daily sickness allowance or long-term care insurance and contribution payment by the Workersif the employer's payment is linked to the condition that the employee concludes an insurance contract with a company designated by the employer (BFH judgment of July 4, 2018, loc. cit.),

....

The tax exemption of § 3 number 50 EStG for amounts that the employee receives from the employer in order to spend them on him (funds passing through) and for amounts that reimburse the employee's expenses for the employer (Reimbursement of expenses) remains unaffected. If the employee has an own interest in the purchased goods or services, there are no tax-free reimbursement of expenses and no transit money within the meaning of Section 3 No. 50 EStG (R 3.50 Paragraph 1 Clause 3 LStR); The employee's own interest in the purchased goods or services can be assumed if the goods or services are intended for the employee's private use.

This means that if the employer offers its employees direct insurance cover, it is a preferential benefit in kind. If the employer pays a subsidy on the condition that the employees take out private supplementary health insurance themselves, then there is a cash benefit.

Company health insurance benefits

The scope of benefits of the supplementary health insurance can be determined individually by the company as required.
Examples:

  • prevention
  • Dental treatment
  • dentures
  • Naturopath
  • Visual aid
  • Hospital (single room, double room, chief physician)
  • Hospital daily allowance, daily sickness allowance
  • Travel health insurance

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