Medicare and Breast Cancer Prevention: Here's What's Covered

Isaac Lane Koval / Corbis / VCG

While October always raises the bar for awareness, breast cancer prevention is a year-round goal. Beyond sporting your own pink gear, take this time to take action for your own health, too, by scheduling a preventive screening for breast cancer.

Getting a mammogram might not be the most comfortable experience in the world, but it's vital to your health, especially as you age. It can help find breast cancer early, when it's most treatable, and your Medicare plan may support you in more ways than you think. Here's how:

Medicare coverage for preventive mammograms

With Medicare, you pay nothing for a mammogram screening each year as long as you meet the following requirements:

  • For women 40 or older with a Medicare Advantage plan, every 12 months is fully covered when you see an in-network doctor.
  • For women 40 or older , one mammogram screening is fully covered every 12 months as long as you see a doctor who accepts Medicare.

Coverage for diagnostic mammograms, or mammograms that are done to investigate a symptom or problem, varies across different Medicare plans. So call your plan for specific details.

Medicare support for breast cancer prevention

You don't have to manage your health alone, especially when it comes to breast cancer prevention and awareness. Many Medicare plans will mail you information about mammograms, reminders to schedule your mammogram, and helpful tips for maintaining breast health.

Some Medicare plans also offer you extra benefits like fitness programs to keep you healthy. And since are key to protecting your breast health, you'll want to check out what your plan offers. Some fitness programs give you gym memberships to participating facilities at no extra cost.

If you have more questions about breast cancer prevention or need more resources, talk to your doctor or call your plan for information.

Rachel Quetti is a health care writer at Aetna with experience in senior wellness, Medicare, commercial health care, and consumer engagement. When Rachel isn't trying out new fitness classes, she is cooking up fun, (mostly) healthy recipes in the kitchen. Rachel lives in Watertown, Massachusetts and has a degree in journalism from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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