Preventive Care: Getting Check-Ups on Public Insurance
doctor stethoscope checkup

Preventive Care: Getting Check-Ups on Public Insurance

Summary:

If you’re insured by a public health fund in Germany, you’re entitled to a range of preventive check-ups.

Public health insurance providers have an interest in keeping you healthy. After all, they’re counting on you being a lifetime member—and healthier people mean lower costs.

Preventive care and the early identification of potentially serious health problems is key to keeping customers healthy. That’s why all Krankenkassen, or public health funds, offer a selection of preventive screenings at no cost.

Free check-ups

In addition to a general health check-up, you can also get cancer screenings, women’s health screenings, and more. We break down the offerings for you below.

Basic check-up

This is referred to as a Gesundheits-Check-Up and the Ministry of Health requires all public health funds to cover the costs. The check-up includes:

  • Risk assessment for various diseases, including diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease, in line with family history
  • Full body physical
  • Blood panel to evaluate cholesterol and blood sugar levels (for those over age 35)
  • Urine panel to evaluate glucose levels, nitrate levels, and more (for those over 35)

How often you can get the check-up depends on your age:

  • Those between 18 and 34 years old are entitled to one check-up in that period. (Though if you show signs of developing a serious disease like diabetes, you will be entitled to follow-up appointments and additional care free of charge.)
  • Those 35 years old and over are entitled to one check-up every three years.

Cancer screening (women)

All public health insurance providers provide a wide range of Krebsfrüherkennung (cancer screening) services for women. These include:

  • Gynecological exam and cervical smear once per year (for those over 20 years old)
  • Breast exam and lymph node examination once per year (for those over 30 years old)
  • Mammograms every two years (age 50-69)

Cancer screening (men)

The Krankenkassen also cover yearly cancer screenings for men over 45. This includes:

  • Prostate screening
  • Lymph node examination
  • General check-up

Skin cancer screening

For patients over age 35, the public health funds cover a full skin cancer screening every two years. Some Krankenkassen, including TK, also do skin cancer screenings earlier. TK, for example, covers full skin cancer screenings every two years from the age of 20.

Dental check-up

While the public health funds don’t include full dental insurance, they do cover preventive dental health care. This includes:

  • Dental check-up (up to two times per year)
  • Gum disease screening

You can also often opt in to additional dental insurance.

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