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From October 1st 2021 patients with “public” health insurance will not have to pay for baby screening, hepatitis check and group therapy as the health insurance companies will cover the costs.

The services themselves are not necessarily new, but before October 1st, patients with “public” insurance had to take care of the costs themselves. In detail, the examinations and therapies involved in this new rule, established from the Federal Joint Committee (Gemeinsamen Bundesausschusses, G-BA) are as follows.

Extension of newborn screening
During the screening a few drops of blood are examined in order to discover rare congenital diseases in the first days of the newborn’s life. In the course of this examination, two other diseases can also be checked, for example spinal muscular atrophy and sickle cell diseases.

One-time hepatitis screening
Statutory health insured from the age of 35 have the option of being tested for hepatitis B or C disease during their “check-up” – this health examination can be carried out once every three years. This allows the detection of asymptomatic diseases at an early stage and severe late effects of liver inflammation, such as cirrhosis or cancer. If the insured catches up on hepatitis screening before the expiry of the three-year period, they can bill their Krankenkasse.

Introduction of basic group psychotherapeutic care
Therapists should inform the patient about mental disorders as well as opportunities and benefits of group therapy. “Trial lessons” in a group setting are also possible.