Medicare Preventive Services
Breast Cancer Screenings (Mammograms)
Few things are more important than preventive services when it comes to maintaining your health.
Regular checkups and diagnostic procedures are the key to detecting many health concerns in their earliest stages, when you have the best chance of a full recovery. Especially when it comes to such a serious condition as breast cancer, the earlier you know what you’re up against, the better.
Dealing with a problem early usually means you have several viable options to choose from and an excellent chance of success. Early detection is likely to help your pocketbook as well. Not only can preventive care save your life, it can save you thousands of dollars.
Breast cancer is the second-leading type of cancer among women in the US, and the second-leading cause of cancer deaths. Each year, there are over 200,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed across the country, and nearly 40,000 women die annually of this disease.
Risk of breast cancer increases with age. A history of smoking and a high-fat diet can also be contributing factors.
The good news is that survival rates are high among women whose breast cancer is detected early. The National Cancer Institute estimates that 2.6 million women in the US have a history of breast cancer. Many of these women, thanks to screening and early detection, have gone on to live cancer-free lives.
Breast Cancer Screening
Women 40 and older are advised to get an annual breast screening mammogram. Medicare covers a breast screening mammogram every 12 months for any woman with Medicare aged 40 or more.
Medicare also pays for one baseline mammogram for women with Medicare aged 35-39, and covers digital technologies for screening mammograms.
All women are strongly advised to take advantage of these Medicare-covered preventive services.
Self-examination is another important preventive care measure. Women who practice proper palpating (feeling) technique are often able to detect changes in their breasts in the early stages. Women who do breast self-examinations leading to detection of cancerous growths usually have smaller tumors at the start of treatment than women who do not do self-examinations.
Self-examination is especially important if you miss a mammogram. Most lumps or changes discovered in this fashion are benign, but it’s much better to be safe than sorry.
Cost of Mammograms
Under Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) you pay nothing for your annual mammogram if your doctor accepts assignment. All women with Medicare are eligible for this preventive service.
Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medicare Supplement Plans can all go a long way toward providing the preventive care you need to maintain your good health.
If you have further questions about Medicare preventive services or any other aspect of Medicare, contact MedicareMall now and let us lead you with confidence through the Medicare maze