Does Medicare Cover Colorectal Cancer Screenings?

Learn how Medicare covers colon cancer screenings

by Ray Wilson+ on Mar 29, 2016 | 2 Comments

Colorectal cancer screenings include several types of tests, including colonoscopies. Each screening has its own type of cost, and some are covered at 100% by Medicare, while others have out of pocket costs. These costs can add up. You will want to check below for coverage.

Does Medicare Cover Colorectal Cancer Screenings?

Medicare covers colonorectal cancer screenings are covered in the following way:

    Screening barium enema: It is covered by Medicare once every 48 months if you’re over 50, and once every 24 months if you are at high risk for colorectal cancer. You pay: Part B deductible, copay, and 20% coinsurance.
    Screening colonoscopy: It is covered every 120 months if you are over 50, and once every 24 months if you’re at high risk for colorectal cancer. You might pay: Nothing, unless the test is diagnostic, biopsies or lesions are removed. If you need a diagnostic colonoscopy you will pay: 20% coinsurance, but you do not pay the Part B deductible.
    Screening fecal occult blood test: Medicare covers stool test lab once every 12 months if you’re 50 or older. You pay: nothing.
    Multi-target stool DNA test: Medicare will cover this test once every 3 years if you meet certain requirements (mainly that you are not at high risk for colorectal cancer). You pay: nothing.
    Screening flexible sigmoidoscopy: Medicare will cover this once every 120 months if you are not at risk for colorectal cancer and have had a colonoscopy screening; if you are at high risk, it is covered once every 48 months. You pay: nothing.

Does Medigap Cover Colorectal Cancer Screenings?

Medigap can pick up all or part of the out of pocket costs that result from diagnostic testing or if you have a barium enema. As these costs can be very expensive, Medigap can protect you against a large financial burden if you need significant colorectal cancer testing.

Learn More about Medigap Get a Medigap Quote

Does Medicare Advantage Cover Colorectal Cancer Screenings?

Yes, Medicare Advantage plans cover colorectal cancer screenings, however, you may have out of pocket costs. Remember that each Medicare Advantage plan offered in your area cover each service differently. Before choosing a Medicare Advantage plan call one of our licensed independent insurance agent at 800-930-7956, so that we can help you learn what your individual costs will be. . 

Learn More about Medicare Advantage Get a MA Quote

Next steps

Now that you’ve learned about colorectal cancer screenings, check out the rest of the preventive screenings covered by Medicare . For questions about Medigap or Medicare Advantage call a licensed independent Senior65 insurance agent at 800-930-7956.

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Reader Comments and Questions

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By Nancy on April 30, 2019

I have regular Medicare as well as Aetna Medicare Open Access Elite HMO. I had a colonoscopy less than a year ago (different insurance at the time) and the Dr wanted me to have another one sooner than is generally recommended. This is because the cleansing process didn't work properly on me and the Dr wasn't able to do a complete examination. What out of pocket expenses should I expect to have to pay using the Aetna Medicare Open Access Elite HMO plan? The Dr is in Network.

You will have to check with your Aetna Plan directly to see how they handle this situation. If you are unhappy with your plan and want to switch during open enrollment, please give us a call.
-Chris from

By Jeremy on April 01, 2016

Does Medicare cover flu shots? Those can really add up.

Medicare does cover preventive services such as flu shots. Let us know if you want to find help covering the out of pocket costs that Original Medicare leaves. Call one of our licensed independent insurance agents at 800-930-7956 for help with Medicare Health Plans.
-Eric from

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