If you are 18 years or older, you can get a health check
New rules came into effect on 1 April 2019 for the health check-up (health MOT): women and men between the ages of 18 and 34 can have one health MOT. From the age of 35, they can have a check-up every three years. Since February 2021, people aged 35 and over have also been entitled to a one-time screening for hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus infection as part of the check-up.
This check-up is used to catch disease early, such as heart disease or diabetes mellitus. It is also an opportunity to detect health risks early, such as high blood pressure. If your doctor catches risk factors early, you get twice the benefit: diseases can be treated early and you have the chance to actively change your lifestyle to be more healthy.
1. Case-taking (medical history)
First your doctor asks about your medical history, including any previous illnesses and those of your close family members. Your doctor may consider any existing individual risks (such as a genetic predisposition).
2. Medical examination
Usually your doctor will take your blood pressure, physically examine your stomach, listen to your heart and lungs, and check your head, throat and sensory organs as well as your reflexes, joints, spine and muscle tone.
3. Laboratory testing of blood and urine
The lab tests are done first. A blood test is only done as part of the health MOT for individuals younger than 35 when there is an existing risk, such as when the patient is obese or has high blood pressure. The blood sample is usually taken in the morning. The reason for this is because your blood needs to be taken at least twelve hours after your last meal in order to ensure that the result is accurate. The blood test determines your total cholesterol, LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels on the one hand, and your glucose (fasting blood sugar) level on the other. These levels provide initial indications of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The health check-up does not include a full blood profile. For persons aged 35 and over, a one-time screening for a hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus infection is carried out as part of the blood test of the check-up. Individuals over the age of 35 also have their urine tested in addition to the blood test. Your urine is examined using urine test strips. This test shows whether your urine contains protein, glucose, red and white blood cells, and nitrite. The result provides indications of possible kidney disease or diabetes.
At the end of the health MOT, your doctor discusses the results with you. Your doctor will go over these results and advise you – if necessary – on how you can have a healthier life. If your doctor finds anything noteworthy, they will order more tests.
5. Checking the vaccination status
Your doctor will use your vaccination record to check whether you need a booster for certain vaccinations. If necessary, your doctor will advise you on recommended vaccinations and, if possible, carry them out directly.
Individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 can get one health MOT. You can get a health MOT every three calendar years from the age of 35. For example, if you have a check-up in June 2018, you can get another check-up any time from January 2021.
Simply contact a licensed general practitioner or internalist.
All services specified in the German Federal Joint Committee’s Guideline on health check-ups for early detection of diseases are covered by us in full. This includes the tests and examinations conducted by the doctor and laboratory as described above. You just need to present your SBK health care card.
If something noteworthy or concerning comes up during your check-up and needs to be investigated medically, we will also cover the costs of that.
Your doctor can also offer you personalised health care services as part of the health MOT. You would then pay for these services yourself privately. In this case, ask your doctor for two things: specific information as to why they recommend additional tests and time to consider your options. A prerequisite for additional tests is always a written agreement between you and your doctor.
The tests may cause some concern and uncertainty over a potential illness.
Health MOT – your SBK benefits:
- We cover the full cost of the examinations and tests conducted by your doctor and the laboratory as part of the health MOT.
- The SBK Health Telephone is at your service to answer questions about individual services of the health MOT. Call the SBK Health Telephone on 0800 072 572 570 00 (free of charge within Germany).
- Before paying privately for a service, please contact your personal consultant. They will give you individual advice and are happy to help.
- Earn rewards for your check-up. The health MOT is part of the SBK Bonus Scheme.
Please note: If you are not connected directly, unfortunately, all lines are busy at the time of your call. In this case you will hear an announcement in German and be directed to an answering machine. You are welcome to leave your name and telephone number after the tone and we will call you back as soon as possible.
How to get a health MOT:
Arrange for a health MOT with your GP or an internalist. This will usually involve two appointments. In the first appointment, blood and urine samples are taken. In the second appointment, your doctor will discuss the lab results with you and conduct their own physical examination of you. You just need to present your SBK health care card – we’ll cover the cost for you.