Preventive or early detection checkups (or screenings) enable you to get examined for common diseases. During a checkup, doctors determine whether you have any health issues or symptoms, such as hardening or thickening of the breast tissue. They carry out medical tests and examinations, evaluate the results and discuss them with you.
The health insurance companies cover the costs of preventive checkups. However, they only pay for checkups required by law, which are determined by the Joint Federal Committee. In the Joint Federal Committee, doctors and therapists, together with representatives of the health insurance companies and hospitals, determine which specific checkups the health insurance companies should cover. The committee picks specific checkups based on whether the checkup in question can detect diseases and ensure they are safe for patients. You can find a list of the checkups, the coverage of which by the health insurance companies is required by law, in the section "When shall I have which checkup?".