Previously, insured persons had to send their AU (Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung in German) to their health insurance company on their own. This will change from October 2021 because then medical practices will be able to electronically transmit the certificates of incapacity to the health insurance company. The AU becomes the eAU.
If the medical practice is technically not able to submit an electronic device, you will get a paper which you can send to your AOK.
How does the eAU work?
If your doctor has signed you off work, the certificate of incapacity will be created and sent to the health insurance company in encrypted form. This provides an electronic report without a diagnosis that the employer can access after you have informed your employer.
The advantages of electronic submission
As an insured person, you no longer have to submit the certificate to your health insurance company yourself. This saves time and you cannot forget it. They receive the AU immediately, so the deadline is always met. Possible sick pay is also quicker and there are no costs for insured persons, as there is no need to send the AU postally.
What to look out for when reporting sick
If your incapacity for work persists, you will need to look at the date of your current AU because the new one must be available to your health insurance company by the next day at the latest. If this is not the case, the AOK must stop any sick pays. Also make sure that you always present a valid card when changing health insurance, as otherwise the data cannot be transmitted promptly.
You can find more information (German only) about the topic and the AOK here.