Yes. In fact, Medicare Part B covers many preventive services free of charge.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded access to free preventive care starting in 2011, allowing Medicare to offer several preventive and wellness services without deductibles, copayments or coinsurance charges.
Eligibility for free preventive screenings is typically based on age, risk factors and Medicare-determined time frames. Your doctor or other health care provider must accept assignment, which means the provider accepts the Medicare-approved amount as payment in full. Medicare offers a list of detailed requirements for each of the services.
You may find it helpful to use your online Medicare account to keep track of preventive services you used previously and to see a schedule of Medicare-covered tests and screenings you may be eligible for in the next two years.
What preventive services does Medicare pay for?
Medicare covers about two dozen preventive services without any cost to you. Some tests are restricted by age or health history.
Although the vast majority of Medicare beneficiaries are 65 or older, about 1 in 7 are younger. Most Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients qualify for Medicare 24 months after they become eligible for disability benefits.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening. One-time screening ultrasound for people at risk.
Alcohol misuse screenings. One screening and up to four counseling sessions a year.
Bone mass measurements. Every 24 months if you’re in certain high-risk categories for broken bones or osteoporosis, more often if medically necessary.
Breast cancer screening. One baseline mammogram for women ages 35 to 39, and a screening mammogram every year for women starting at 40. Diagnostic mammograms can be more frequent but have to be medically necessary. Those types of mammograms come with a 20 percent copay.
Cardiovascular disease screenings. Every five years for tests to measure good and bad cholesterol and triglycerides, a type of fat, in your blood.
Cervical and vaginal cancer screening. Pap tests and pelvic exams every 24 months — every 12 months if you’re at high risk — to check for cervical and vaginal cancers.
Colorectal cancer screenings. Four tests are completely covered:
- Every 12 months, starting at age 45, a fecal occult blood test to detect blood in the stool.
- Every 48 months, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, starting at 45 if you haven’t had a colonoscopy in the previous 10 years. The procedure uses a scope to look at the lower part of the large intestine, also called the sigmoid colon.
- Every three years, a stool DNA test for those ages 45 to 85 without high risk of colon cancer or colon cancer symptoms.
- Every 10 years, a screening colonoscopy if you’re not at high risk for colon cancer, or every two years if you’ve had a history of colon problems or a family history of colon cancer.
If your doctor finds and removes a polyp or other tissue during a screening colonoscopy, the procedure becomes a diagnostic colonoscopy. In this case, you still won’t have to worry about the Part B deductible, but you will have to pay 15 percent of the cost.
Medicare plans to reduce the cost to 10 percent from 2027 to 2029 and to waive the coinsurance starting in 2030. Similar rules apply if the doctor removes a lesion or growth during a flexible sigmoidoscopy screening.