Skin cancer prevention

Information and help making decisions on skin cancer prevention

 

Skin cancer is more common than you might think. For this reason, it is worth inspecting your own skin and any moles on a regular basis. From the age of 35 it is a good idea to have a doctor examine your skin every two years. This examination is especially recommended for individuals in risk groups: people with light skin and lots of moles. According to many experts, the simplest and best prevention even today is to ensure you have efficient protection from the sun by applying lotions or sun creams.

An early detection examination primarily aims to do one thing: to catch an illness in a healthy individual before symptoms arise. These individuals are considered healthy at the time of the examination. If an illness is detected early, they be treated faster and get the intervention they need. As soon as you notice an abnormality, such as changes in your skin, or your doctor suspects that something requires more investigation, the examination is no longer about early detection. The corresponding necessary examinations for investigating the suspicious change in your skin are then considered treatment and become a service covered by your health insurance.

Skin cancer screening – your SBK benefits:

How skin cancer screening works:

  1. First your doctor takes your medical history. How often have you spent time in the sun or in a tanning salon? How often have you had sunburns? Do you have relatives who have had skin cancer? The doctor is able to determine your personal risk of skin cancer using this information.
  2. Your doctor then systematically examines your entire body for any noteworthy changes in your skin, including on your head and your nose and mouth. His eyes are trained to find noteworthy changes. During the examination, the dermatologist uses a dermoscope (reflected light microscope) to shine additional light onto the skin. Noteworthy changes especially include spots that have become dark and moles that have changed edges or are of a certain size.
  3. After examining your skin, the doctor will discuss the result of the examination with you and advise you on recommended courses of action, such as moderating the time you spend in the sun.

How to get a skin cancer screening:

You can get a skin cancer screening from a GP medical specialist, dermatologist, venereologist or internalist. There is one condition, however: your doctor must be certified to conduct a skin cancer screening. This is necessary in order for the examination to be charged as a statutory health service or in order to be reimbursed for the costs. Please note: there are different rules governing skin cancer screening for customers 34 years of age and younger and for customers 35 years and older.

Rules for customers aged 34 and younger

We cover up to €25 of the costs of skin cancer screening once per year as an extra service for customers who are 34 years of age and younger. You can get a screening from an approved certified dermatologist. In most federal states, you receive an invoice from your dermatologist after the examination, which you can then send to us. Just upload the invoice in the Meine SBK app or at meine.sbk.org/en.. Alternatively, you can send the invoice by post to the following address: SBK, 80227 Munich. Your reimbursement will arrive in your bank account after a few days.

There are different rules in the following federal states:

According to new requirements by our supervisory authority BAS (the German Federal Office for Social Security), in Bavaria we are no longer permitted to cover the costs of skin cancer screening for customers 34 years of age and younger every year, but instead only every two years. The new rule came into effect on 1 April 2022.

Have you had a skin cancer screening in Bavaria in the past and want to know when you can next have a screening free of charge? These examples will help clarify that for you:

  • If your last skin cancer screening was in 2021, you can have your next free screening again this year. Once you have had a screening in 2022, your next free screening will be two calendar years later, from 1 January 2024.
  • If your last screening was in 2022 but occurred before 1 April 2022, you can have your next free screening from 1 January 2023. Once you have had a screening in 2023, your next free screening will be two calendar years later, from 1 January 2025.
  • If your last screening was in 2022 but occurred after 1 April 2022, you can have your next free screening from 1 January 2024.

Costs can only be covered if the screening is performed by a participating practitioner. Your personal consultant will gladly provide you with information about participating practitioners. The service is generally charged directly to us through your SBK healthcare card. If your dermatologist is unable to do this, please contact your personal consultant.

Important to know: as soon as you notice an abnormality with your skin (such as an unusual mole that as changed) and you go to have it investigated, the examination is no longer considered a screening. These types of examinations are considered treatment by a doctor, for which we will always cover the cost.

We cover the cost of skin cancer screening by a certified dermatologist once per year for anyone 34 years of age and younger. You do not receive an invoice; instead the service is charged directly to us through your SBK healthcare card.

The cost of annual skin cancer screening can only be covered if the screening is performed by a participating practitioner. Your personal consultant will gladly provide you with information about participating practitioners. You do not receive an invoice; instead the service is charged directly to us through your SBK healthcare card.

Rules for customers aged 35 and older

For customers aged 35 and older, skin cancer screening is a statutory service and is generally charged through the SBK healthcare card. You are entitled to a screening every two years. For example, if you have a skin cancer screening in June 2021, you can have another screening from January 2023 onwards. However, if you discover a suspicious spot or mole on your skin in the meantime, you can have it examined by your GP at any time as a treatment service. Here, too, you just need to present your SBK healthcare card.

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