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The PSA test is a screening that measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. Results of the test could determine if a man is at risk for prostate cancer.

Medicare covers the PSA test in conjunction with a digital rectal exam once a year for men 50 and older (starting the day after you turn 50).

Medicare will also cover any additional diagnostic prostate cancer screenings as ordered by your doctor.

Costs

For the PSA test, you pay $0, unless your particular doctor does not accept Medicare assignment.

For the rectal exam, you will pay 20 percent of the cost while Medicare will cover 80 percent. The Part B deductible and any copayments apply.

For diagnostic screenings, you will pay 20 percent, while Medicare will cover 80 percent of the cost.

What to Know

Prostate cancer screenings have been controversial due to “false positive” determinations, leading to overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Sometimes the test can detect a cancer that actually will not be harmful to the patient. In these cases, aggressive treatment will not be performed and the cancer will simply be watched by a doctor.

For more information on making the decision whether to get screened, visit the American Cancer Society’s guidelines page for prostate cancer screening.

Medicare By State

Medicare is regulated by the federal government. However, private insurance companies are allowed to offer various parts of Medicare, and these plans can differ from state to state.

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