Does Medicare cover blood tests?

Looking for answers about whether Medicare covers blood tests? Blood tests are Medicare-approved diagnostic tests, so they will usually be covered. Diagnostic tests such as complete blood count, blood chemistry tests, blood enzyme tests, lipoprotein panels and sexually transmitted disease (STD) tests are considered medically necessary in most cases, so you typically won't have any out-of-pocket expenses for them. Find out more about Medicare and blood tests below.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Dec 14, 2021

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The Highlights

  • Medicare covers the entire cost of medically necessary blood tests when your doctor orders them.
  • Blood tests are considered to be clinical diagnostic laboratory tests, along with other tests such as a urinalysis, fecal occult blood test, and prostate-specific antigen test, among others.
  • Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B both cover blood tests. Medicare Advantage plans will also cover medically necessary blood tests.

Because blood tests can be so important for giving your doctor a complete view of your health, you might be asking yourself if Medicare covers blood tests. The good news is, in most cases, Medicare does cover blood tests that are ordered by your doctor.

Covering the costs of different medical tests and procedures that aren’t covered by Medicare, however, can be difficult unless you have a good health insurance provider.

Before you buy health insurance make sure you take a look at all the options in your area.

We have a free-to-use tool that makes finding affordable health insurance rates in your area easy. All you need to do is enter your ZIP code to get started using our insurance rate comparison tool.

Does Medicare cover blood tests?

Medicare coverage usually includes the total cost of any blood tests that are ordered by your doctor for diagnostic purposes. If your doctor orders a blood test that is not for a diagnostic purpose that Medicare has ruled to not be medically necessary—and your health insurance won’t cover the cost—then you will have to pay for the blood test out-of-pocket.

This is a really rare occurrence, and you can minimize the likelihood of it happening by talking to your doctor about what the blood test is being ordered for.

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Which parts of Medicare cover blood tests?

Medicare Part A covers the cost of medically necessary blood tests. These blood tests will need to be ordered by a doctor or for an inpatient hospital stay.

Medicare Part B covers the cost of outpatient blood tests that are ordered by a doctor, as long as a medically necessary diagnosis is provided.

What common blood tests does Medicare cover?

Because Medicare will cover the cost of any medically necessary diagnostic tests, there is a wide variety of blood tests that are covered under Medicare. Let’s take a look at some of the blood tests covered by Medicare.

  • Complete blood count: checks the count of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin that is present in the blood.
  • Blood chemistry test:  measures the amount of various chemical compounds, such as blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, blood glucose, albumin, CO₂, calcium, sodium, potassium, and chloride. A blood chemistry test is a part of a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) test.
  • Blood enzyme tests:  measures the presence of various enzymes in the blood, such as liver enzymes and troponin. Troponin is a protein that is only present when there is damage to your heart function.
  • Lipoprotein panel: checks for a variety of proteins that make up the total amount of cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein, and high-density lipoprotein.
  • Sexually-transmitted disease (STD) tests: sexually-transmitted diseases and infections can be diagnosed with a blood test.

Medicare covers the cost of these blood tests if your doctor needs them to choose a treatment plan.

The Bottom Line

Medicare covers blood tests because of how much these various tests can tell your doctor about your overall health. Most blood tests are diagnostic and will be considered medically necessary.

There is some blood work that your doctor might order that is not for a Medicare-accepted diagnostic reason. In these cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of your blood test. However, your health insurance provider may still cover the cost of the blood test.

Because of this, we encourage you to use this free tool that lets you easily compare different health insurance quotes for your area. All you need to do is enter your ZIP code and start comparing the rates. These rates are what is available from all of the insurance providers in your area.

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