Does Medicare cover a full-body skin exam?

Does Medicare cover a full-body skin exam? Original Medicare will usually not cover them as a preventative measure, but it may cover them due to concerns about skin disorder signs. Medicare Advantage may cover them, but you would have to contact your policyholder to make sure. Read more below about which dermatology services Medicare may cover.

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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: Jan 4, 2021

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The Highlights

  • Original Medicare will usually not cover full-body skin exams as a preventative measure. It may cover them due to concerns about potential signs of a skin disorder.
  • Medicare Advantage may cover full-body skin exams, but you should contact your policyholder to make sure.

Full-body skin exams are a preventative health service where a dermatologist checks the skin, hair, and nails for melanoma or other types of cancer. But does Medicare cover a full-body skin exam?

This will vary depending on the Medicare plan type. Below, we’ll look at the details for each plan type to give you an idea of whether you might be covered or not.

If you need help finding health insurance, use our free tool above by entering your ZIP code to compare health insurance quotes in your area.

Does Medicare cover a full-body skin exam?

Because full-body skin exams are preventative, original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) will usually not cover them, unless they are being done by a dermatologist due to concern over a new skin growth, varied pigmentation, or some other potential sign of a skin disorder.

Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) may cover full-body skin exams as a preventative measure and/or due to concerns. This will depend on your individual policy, so it is best to check with your policyholder regarding this question.

There are also some programs that offer free skin cancer screenings, such as the SPOT me Skin Cancer Screening Program.

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What dermatology services does Medicare cover?

Medicare will usually cover dermatology services that are medically necessary, meaning that they are being used as a treatment for a specific reason.

Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage will usually cover a skin biopsy if there is the presence of any suspicious signs or symptoms of skin-related disorders.

Medicare will also usually cover treatments for disorders, such as rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema. If you are prescribed medication for these disorders, Medicare Part D should cover them as long as they are on the approved drug list.

Regardless of what Medicare will cover, you will most likely have some out-of-pocket expenses, including your premium, deductible, and coinsurance or copayment.

Conclusion

As a preventative measure, original Medicare will usually not cover a full-body skin exam. However, it may cover them if they are being done as a screening for skin cancer or a potential sign of a skin disorder.

Medicare Advantage may cover full-body skin exams, both as a preventative measure and/or due to concerns, but you should check with your policyholder to make sure.

If you need help finding an affordable healthcare plan in your area, use our free comparison tool below by entering your ZIP code.

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