Skin cancer screening is a universal right in Germany
Everyone aged 35 and over in Germany is entitled to free skin cancer screening once every two years – including expats studying and working in Germany. The cost is covered by health insurance, whether public or private.
The skin cancer screening is a visual check for three types of cancer:
- Basal-cell carcinoma
- Squamous-cell carcinoma
What does a skin check involve?
Screening is a preventive service designed to catch cancer at an early stage – the earlier it is caught, the greater the chance of a full recovery.
Your skin check with a dermatologist will include:
- A medical history to identify any background or lifestyle risk factors, such as family members with cancer or severe sunburn during childhood.
- A full-body exam, including the hair-covered parts of your body. You will need to undress fully and should avoid wearing jewelry or make-up on the day.
- Advice on further investigation if required, which may involve a referral for a second opinion or biopsy.
- Documentation sent direct to your insurance provider.
Will my insurance cover the full cost?
For a basic skin check, yes.
However, this visual check can never provide a 100% guarantee. More accurate techniques, such as light microscopy, offer between 20x and 70x magnification but are not covered by statutory health insurance. In most cases, private health insurance will cover the cost of those if they are justified by suspicious indications. You should always check with your insurer first.
At ottonova, we have gone one step further and removed age restrictions for skin cancer screening. We also cover in-depth examination of suspicious spots and skin changes, including a biopsy where necessary.