Preventive services are an important part of your healthcare, especially as you age. Older adults are more susceptible to developing a number of health conditions, including lung cancer. Thankfully, Medicare has comprehensive coverage for preventive care, and you won’t even have to pay anything for some annual tests.

If you meet certain criteria based on your health and age, you can get an annual lung cancer screening at no extra cost. We’ll explain the conditions for Medicare coverage and how the lung cancer screening works below.

Key takeaways:

  • Medicare covers lung cancer screenings with low dose CT scans once a year if you meet certain conditions.

  • You must be between the ages of 50 to 77 and have a history of smoking to receive yearly coverage for lung cancer screenings. 

Medicare coverage for lung cancer screenings

Medicare covers lung cancer screenings once a year if you meet certain conditions related to tobacco usage, your health, and age. The exam is completely free if your doctor accepts Medicare. This shouldn’t be a problem since the majority of healthcare providers take Medicare.

If you have Medicare Advantage, however, your costs could be different. You’ll need to find a doctor who’s in your plan’s network, and even then, your out-of-pocket costs will be determined by your policy. You may have to pay a copay or coinsurance for the exam. Get in touch with your insurance or healthcare provider to get help understanding what you’ll pay.

What tests are included for lung cancer screenings under Medicare?

If you meet the requirements for yearly lung cancer screenings, Medicare covers a low dose computed tomography exam, also called a CT scan. A CT scan provides in-depth images of your lungs, so doctors can detect any abnormalities. Medicare covers CT scans to manage other medical issues as well.

Lung cancer screening eligibility requirements for Medicare coverage

To receive Medicare coverage for lung cancer screenings once a year, you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • You’re between the ages of 50 and 77.

  • You don’t show signs of lung cancer.

  • You currently smoke or you stopped smoking within the last 15 years.

  • You have a history of smoking an average of one pack (20 cigarettes) per day for 20 years.

  • Your healthcare provider recommends yearly testing.

Keep in mind that you’ll have to meet with your doctor before your first lung cancer screening. You and your healthcare provider can discuss any follow-up information and the best course of action for your health. 

Other free preventive services with Medicare 

There are a number of other preventive services Medicare covers, so you can prioritize your wellbeing and detect early signs of medical issues. 

Some common screenings include:

If you ever have questions about your preventive care and what Medicare covers, you can call a Medicare Advisor at Chapter who would be happy to walk you through your benefits. Make the most of your healthcare and call us at 855-900-2427 or schedule a time to chat for free advice tailored to you.

Get Medicare, Maximized