Does Medicare Cover Skin Cancer Screening?

Medicare Benefits Solutions
Aug 25, 2021

Does Medicare Cover Skin Cancer Screening? Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, and unfortunately, it often goes undetected until it becomes a serious health concern.

In many cases, skin cancer presents itself as moles or other skin growths. These may start off small, but in time, they grow, change color and develop irregular margins.

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Medicare Coverage Skin Cancer Screenings

Medicare typically doesn’t cover screening for skin cancer in asymptomatic people. However, Medicare Part B may cover skin cancer screening when you ask about a concerning skin condition during a doctor’s appointment.

This coverage is extended because the matter is being brought up during a covered visit instead of being discovered during a visit specifically designated for screening.

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Skin Cancer Risk Factors

There are different factors that increase your risk of developing skin cancer including:

  • Having many moles
  • Prior history of severe sunburn
  • Indoor tanning use
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Moles that change in size, shape, or color
  • Weakened immune system
  • Having fair skin, blond or red hair, blue eyes, and freckles

The good news is that skin cancer is very treatable if caught early on. This is why skin cancer screenings are important, particularly for those who are more susceptible to the development of skin cancer.

These individuals are usually people who have a family history of skin cancer, but they may also include individuals who spend a lot of time in the sun without skin protection.

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Early Detection of Skin Cancer

If you’re concerned about skin cancer development, a skin cancer screening is a quick and painless way to receive medical guidance from a professional. In most cases, screening for skin cancer involves meeting with a dermatologist who can visually inspect areas of concern. If your dermatologist believes that a particular area may be cancerous, a small sample can be taken for further evaluation.

During evaluation, your sample will be checked for cancer cells or cancerous growth. If evidence of cancer is found, further blood tests may be required to check for additional cancer cells circulating in your body. Imaging tests may also be required to further verify the findings.

Treatment for Skin Cancer

Treatment for skin cancer can vary depending on the location and severity. In many cases, cancerous skin cells can be surgically removed, and many of these procedures can be completed on an outpatient basis using only local anesthetic. In more severe cases, additional treatment using radiation and chemotherapy may be required. This is usually the case when skin cancer has become malignant and spread to other parts of the body.

Does Medicare Cover Skin Cancer Treatment?

If you are found to have skin cancer, Medicare will cover skin cancer treatment through various parts of the program. If a cancerous growth needs to be removed surgically, Medicare Part B will pay for the procedure as long as it takes place in an outpatient setting.

Any treatment administered while you are admitted to a hospital or skilled nursing facility will be covered by Medicare Part A, the inpatient benefit. If medications are prescribed for home use in the treatment of skin cancer, Medicare Part D may provide coverage for drugs listed in your plan’s formulary.

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