Java at the heart of delivering German Health Care Insurance excellence

February 14, 2024 | 3 minute read
Philip Wilkins
Cloud Developer Evangelist at OCI
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Techniker Krankenkasse (TK)The German health system is funded through mandatory health care insurance with a statutory minimum care plan and a standard plan operated with both employer and employee contributions. Both statutory and standard schemes are managed through health insurance providers. The origins of the scheme stretch back to 1883. 

Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) is a health insurance provider whose history extends back nearly as far as the requirement for health insurance. As an insurance provider, it supports statutory and standard plans and is one of Germany’s largest providers. Not only does TK provide the services, but it has proven to be at the forefront of meeting new challenges and opportunities.  The provider’s services and quality of delivery have been recognized through awards and accredited for its service qualities. In 2023, TK won their 17th consecutive annual award of the Best Health Insurer Fund and was recognized by the Institute for Quality and Transparency of Health Information for its independence and ability to present interesting health information in a patient-relevant and understandable way.

Legislation changes in the late 1990s created the conditions in which TK needed new solutions and resulted in a new generation of software solutions built using Java. This new generation of Java solutions powers its ability to meet legislative changes and deliver its services efficiently, clearly, helpfully, and innovatively. The in-house systems have continued to grow and extend and now represent millions of lines of code that embody TK’s processes and business value.

TK's business values include strong security compliance, given the nature of the data they have to handle. Data such as personal data, financial data for both businesses and consumers, as well as individual clinical data mean the data is subject to some very stringent legislation that supplements the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements.

To meet these challenges, TK needs the assurance that they will receive fixes to any identified vulnerabilities as early as possible from an organization with recognized expertise. With a substantial code base, they don’t want standard Java open-source support windows to dictate priorities (i.e., three years with a one-year overlap with the next LTS release).  Having looked at the options available to them, TK elected to adopt Oracle Java Subscription. This is what TK had to say about their decision:

Techniker Krankenkasse chose Oracle for a long-term Java subscription to provide licensing and support for several reasons. Firstly, we want to use Java and get support from an organization with a clear record of leadership and both breadth and depth of expertise with the language and features in use by TK. Oracle has a wealth of talent and capacity to meet our needs. 

Secondly, Oracle has approached the relationship with us as a partner, not a supplier, recognizing that their success comes from our success.  As such, Oracle works with us to ensure we have the knowledge and skills to get the most from our investment. 

As a Java SE subscriber, we have direct access to fixes from the organization doing the work to make those fixes available. Oracle’s support allows us to address innovation but also maintain and move our code forward to newer versions of the JDK at a pace and assurances that we need.

Raphael Spaeth (Head of Department Architecture & Framework)

While the Oracle Java Subscription provides that critical assurance that TK needs, they value Oracle’s approach to engaging and empowering TK with the level of expertise and insight that Oracle has to offer, the expertise provided extends beyond the language itself to the wider ecosystem of tools and frameworks. After all, Oracle’s success is dependent on our customer's success.

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Philip Wilkins

Cloud Developer Evangelist at OCI

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