Can Medicare Cover CT Scans?

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Medicare coverage for CT scans is determined by several factors, including the type of Medicare plan you have and the specific medical condition for which the scan is being performed. Here’s a breakdown of how Medicare typically covers CT scans:

  1. Original Medicare (Part A and Part B):
    • Part A: Medicare Part A covers CT scans performed as an inpatient in a hospital or a skilled nursing facility. If you meet the necessary criteria for inpatient care, such as requiring treatment for a severe illness or injury, Part A will generally cover the CT scan.
    • Part B: Medicare Part B covers medically necessary CT scans performed on an outpatient basis. For Part B coverage, the CT scan must be ordered by a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider and meet specific criteria established by Medicare. These criteria include the medical necessity of the scan and the appropriate use of diagnostic imaging.
  2. Medicare Advantage (Part C):
    • Medicare Advantage plans, offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare, provide the same coverage as Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Therefore, the coverage for CT scans under Medicare Advantage plans follows the same guidelines as outlined above.
  3. Additional Considerations:
    • Deductibles and Coinsurance: Medicare Part B typically requires beneficiaries to meet an annual deductible before coverage begins. After meeting the deductible, Medicare generally covers 80% of the approved amount for CT scans. Beneficiaries are responsible for the remaining 20% as coinsurance.
    • Medical Necessity: To receive coverage for a CT scan, it must be deemed medically necessary by a healthcare provider. This means that the scan is required to diagnose, treat, or monitor a medical condition.
    • Prior Authorization: Some CT scans may require prior authorization from Medicare or your Medicare Advantage plan before they will cover the procedure. It’s essential to check with your healthcare provider and insurance plan to determine if prior authorization is needed.


  • Medicare coverage for CT scans depends on the type of Medicare plan you have and the medical necessity of the scan.
  • Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) generally covers inpatient and outpatient CT scans, respectively, if they meet the criteria for medical necessity.
  • Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans provide the same coverage as Original Medicare and follow the same guidelines for CT scan coverage.
  • Deductibles, coinsurance, medical necessity, and potential prior authorization are factors to consider when seeking coverage for CT scans under Medicare.

Helpful Resources:

  1. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): The official website of CMS provides detailed information about Medicare coverage and policies.
  2. The official Medicare website offers comprehensive resources on various Medicare services, including coverage guidelines for CT scans.
  3. National Institute on Aging: An organization dedicated to aging research, the NIA provides valuable insights and resources for Medicare beneficiaries.

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