November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a good time to shed light on steps that can be taken to avoid this disease, and what Medicare covers for lung cancer. Lung cancer affects more than 220,000 people each year, and more people in the U.S. die of lung cancer than any other type of cancer. Quitting smoking is the best way to eliminate the risk of lung cancer.
If you smoke, Medicare Part B covers smoking cessation counseling. The counseling consists of up to 8 face-to-face visit within a 12-month period.
In addition, since 2015 Medicare Part B has covered one lung cancer screening per year, as long as you meet the following guidelines:
- Have Part B
- Are age 55-77
- Don’t have signs or symptoms of lung cancer
- Currently smoke or quit within the last 15 years
- Smoked an average of a pack a day for at least 30 years
- Get a written order from your doctor
Before you get a screening, see your doctor to talk about the risks and benefits of a screening.
Here is a video put out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on what you can do to help cut your risk. For more help, call the National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitline at 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669). To learn how Medicare helps with treating cancer, read our article here.