Medicare Preventive Services
Colon Cancer Screenings
Few things are more important than Preventive Care 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 the prognosis and chances for a full recovery are best. Especially when it comes to such a serious condition as 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.
Colon Cancer Screenings
You are considered at high risk for colon cancer if there is a history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps (polyps that could become cancerous) in your family.
Whether you are at high risk or not, you should take advantage of the colonoscopy everyone on Medicare is eligible to receive. This test is generally covered once every 120 months, or every 24 months if you are at high risk. There is no minimum age.
The following colorectal screenings are available to people aged 50 and older who are enrolled in Medicare:
- A Fecal Occult Blood Test is available once every 12 months.
- A Flexible Sigmoidoscopy is generally available once every 48 months, or every 120 months after a previous screening colonoscopy for people not at high risk.
- If your doctor decides to use a Barium Enema instead of a flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, this test is covered every 24 months if you are at high risk for colorectal cancer and every 48 months if you are not at high risk.
Under Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) you pay nothing for your colonoscopy. If a polyp or other tissue is found and removed during the colonoscopy, you may have to pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the doctor’s services and a copayment if the procedure is done in a hospital outpatient setting.
Under Original Medicare, you pay nothing for your fecal occult blood test or flexible sigmoidoscopy as long as your doctor or health care provider accepts assignment.
Under Original Medicare, you pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the doctor’s services if you receive a barium enema. The Part B deductible does not apply. If the procedure is done in a hospital outpatient setting, there is a co-payment.
If you are enrolled in a Medicare Supplement Plan, your plan will pay the 20% excess charges. Coverage under Medicare Advantage Plans varies by plan. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, an approved specialist referral may be required.
As with any other health condition or problem, colon cancer is best detected and treated early, so it’s important to take advantage of the colon cancer screening service Medicare provides.
Medicare can go a long way toward providing the preventive care you need to maintain your good health—if you have the experience and knowledge to take advantage of it.
Contact MedicareMall now and let us save you money and lead you with confidence through the Medicare maze!