Does Medicare cover bone density tests?

Looking for answers about whether Medicare covers bone density tests? Medicare Part B will cover bone density test costs if you meet certain requirements and if you get the test performed by a doctor or another qualified healthcare provider. We will cover everything you need to know about bone density tests that are covered by Medicare in this article.

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UPDATED: Feb 22, 2022

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The Highlights

  • Medicare Part B covers bone density tests once every 24-months, or more often if deemed to be medically necessary
  • Bone density tests can determine how at-risk you are of breaking a bone
  • Bone density tests can also help to determine if you are exhibiting signs of osteoporosis or osteopenia

A bone density test can be used to detect and ascertain how at-risk you are of breaking a bone, or if you are showing signs of developing bone disease. Being at risk for osteoporosis can lead to reduced bone health if you’re not careful.

Keeping up with bone strength is a great reason for these tests to exist. Medicare will cover the costs of a bone density test in most cases. In the cases where Medicare won’t cover the costs of a bone density test, then your health insurance provider might.

If you’re worried that you aren’t getting affordable health insurance quotes, then you should check out this insurance rate comparison tool. This free-to-use tool will help you to quickly compare local healthcare insurance rates. To get started, all you need to do is type in your ZIP code and start comparing.

What portion of Medicare covers bone density tests?

Medicare Part B will cover the cost of a bone density test once every 24-month period if it is ordered by a doctor for medically necessary reasons. Medicare Part B will also cover the cost of a bone density test more frequently if your doctor thinks it is medically necessary.

This is because there are different types of bone density testing available. For example, if your doctor uses the osteoporosis ICD 10 medical code to order the bone density test, this would be a scan that is medically necessary more frequently than the 24-month period.

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What is a bone density scan?

A bone density test uses two different X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are present in a specific group of bones. The bones that are most commonly tested with a bone density scan are the bones of the spine and the hip bones. Scans aren’t ordered just because someone is showing symptoms of osteoporosis, but rather for a number of reasons to ensure a person’s bone structure is stable. A bone scan can help catch multiple risks.

How do doctors perform a bone density test?

During a bone density test, your doctor will have you lie down on your back on a padded exam table. Depending on what bones are being scanned, you might need to rest your legs on a padded raised platform.

During the bone density scan, a scanning machine will pass over the area of your body that is being tested. At the same time, another machine will pass underneath the table that you are on. These two machines will send what they are seeing to a computer that your doctor is watching. While the two machines are scanning you, your doctor will instruct you to stay as still as possible.

In closing

Under most circumstances, Medicare will cover the cost of a bone density test. Many health insurance plans will also cover any related costs, matching what Medicare will pay.

Don’t buy health insurance without comparing all of your options, and knowing what exactly you need in terms of medical advice. While it’s true you want to be aware of your own health, you also don’t want to pay for something like coverage for bone density affecting disorders if you’re not at risk.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you could get a better insurance rate, we have a rate comparison tool available to you. This tool is completely free to use, and all you need to do is enter your ZIP code to get started.

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