Comprehensive Guide: Understanding Medicare Coverage for Bone Density Tests

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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Medicare coverage for bone density tests. As a leading authority in healthcare information, we aim to provide you with detailed insights into the coverage options available through Medicare for bone density tests. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions about your healthcare needs.

Understanding Bone Density Tests

Bone density tests, also known as dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans, play a crucial role in assessing bone health and identifying conditions like osteoporosis. These tests measure the density of your bones and help determine the risk of fractures and other bone-related issues. Medicare recognizes the importance of early detection and prevention, which is why coverage options are available for bone density tests.

Medicare Part B Coverage

Medicare Part B, also known as Medical Insurance, generally covers preventive services and medically necessary diagnostic tests. When it comes to bone density tests, Medicare Part B provides coverage under specific circumstances. To qualify for coverage, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Your doctor or healthcare provider must order the bone density test to evaluate your bone health and assess the risk of fractures.
  2. You must have a referral or prescription from your doctor indicating the medical necessity of the test.
  3. The test must be performed by a Medicare-approved provider.

Under these conditions, Medicare Part B covers 80% of the cost of bone density tests. However, it’s important to note that you will be responsible for paying the remaining 20% through coinsurance. If you have a Medigap or Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, it may help cover this coinsurance amount.

Medicare Advantage Coverage

Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C plans, are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. These plans combine the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B, and many Medicare Advantage plans also provide additional coverage options beyond what Original Medicare offers.

When it comes to bone density tests, Medicare Advantage plans may cover them as part of their preventive care services. Coverage details may vary depending on the specific plan you choose, so it’s essential to review the plan documents or contact your plan provider directly to understand the coverage and any associated costs.

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage

While Medicare Part B covers bone density tests, it’s important to note that it does not cover prescription drugs. However, you can obtain coverage for prescription medications through Medicare Part D, which is the prescription drug coverage component of Medicare.

If your bone density test results indicate a need for osteoporosis medication, you can explore Part D plans to find coverage for these prescriptions. Each Part D plan has a formulary, which is a list of covered medications, so it’s crucial to review the formulary to ensure your prescribed medications are covered.


In conclusion, bone density tests are crucial in evaluating bone health and detecting conditions like osteoporosis. Medicare offers coverage for bone density tests under specific circumstances through Medicare Part B. Additionally, Medicare Advantage plans may also provide coverage, and Medicare Part D can cover prescription medications related to bone health.

By understanding the coverage options available, you can take proactive steps to prioritize your bone health and make informed decisions about your healthcare needs.


  • Medicare Part B covers bone density tests when ordered by a doctor for medical necessity.
  • Medicare Advantage plans may offer coverage for bone density tests as part of their preventive care services.
  • Medicare Part D provides coverage for prescription medications related to bone health.
  • Stay informed about your specific Medicare coverage and explore different options to ensure comprehensive bone health care.

Useful Links:

  1. National Osteoporosis Foundation
  2. National Institute on Aging – Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases
  3. – Preventive Services

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