Does Medicare Cover 3D Mammograms?

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We understand the importance of staying informed about your Medicare coverage options, especially when it comes to essential healthcare services such as mammograms. In this article, we aim to provide you with comprehensive information about Medicare coverage for 3D mammograms, ensuring you have the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your healthcare.

Understanding 3D Mammograms

Before delving into Medicare coverage, let’s first understand what 3D mammograms are. Also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, 3D mammography is an advanced imaging technology that offers a more detailed and accurate view of breast tissue compared to traditional 2D mammography. By taking multiple X-ray images from different angles, 3D mammograms create a three-dimensional reconstruction of the breast, enabling better detection of abnormalities, especially in dense breast tissue.

Medicare Coverage for 3D Mammograms

Medicare, the federal health insurance program for individuals aged 65 and older or those with certain disabilities, covers various preventive services, including mammograms. The coverage for 3D mammograms under Medicare varies depending on several factors:

  • Medicare Part B Coverage: Medicare Part B generally covers preventive services, including mammograms, as long as they are deemed medically necessary. Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for a screening mammogram once every 12 months, beginning at age 40. However, if you have a higher risk of breast cancer due to family history or other factors, your doctor may recommend more frequent screenings, and Medicare may cover them.
  • Facility Accreditation: Medicare requires that mammograms be performed at accredited facilities to ensure quality and accuracy. When considering a facility for your 3D mammogram, it’s important to ensure it meets Medicare’s accreditation standards. You can check with your healthcare provider or Medicare itself to find accredited facilities in your area.
  • Cost Sharing: For most preventive services, including mammograms, Medicare Part B covers 100% of the cost when received from an approved provider. However, it’s worth noting that if further diagnostic testing is required following a screening mammogram, there may be additional costs involved, such as co-pays or deductibles.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans: If you have a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), your coverage for 3D mammograms may differ. These plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare, and they must provide at least the same level of coverage as Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). It’s essential to review the specific details of your Medicare Advantage plan to understand the coverage it offers for 3D mammograms.

How to Ensure Medicare Coverage

To ensure your 3D mammogram is covered by Medicare, it’s important to follow these steps:

  • Choose an Accredited Facility: Select a mammography facility that meets Medicare’s accreditation standards. This ensures the accuracy and quality of the procedure and increases the likelihood of Medicare coverage.
  • Obtain a Referral or Prescription: Before scheduling your 3D mammogram, it’s generally necessary to obtain a referral or prescription from your primary care physician. This step ensures that the procedure is deemed medically necessary, increasing the likelihood of Medicare coverage.
  • Verify Coverage and Costs: Contact Medicare or your Medicare Advantage plan to verify your coverage and understand any potential out-of-pocket costs, such as co-pays or deductibles. This step helps you plan for any financial obligations related to your 3D mammogram.
  • Follow Recommended Screening Intervals: It’s crucial to follow the recommended screening intervals for mammograms, as advised by your healthcare provider. Medicare typically covers one screening mammogram every 12 months, but your doctor may recommend more frequent screenings based on your individual risk factors.


  • Medicare Part B generally covers 3D mammograms that are deemed medically necessary.
  • Choose an accredited facility for your 3D mammogram to ensure Medicare coverage.
  • Contact Medicare or your Medicare Advantage plan to verify coverage and potential costs.
  • Follow recommended screening intervals to maintain optimal breast health.

Relevant Links:

  1. National Cancer Institute – Breast Cancer Screening
  2. – Mammograms
  3. American Cancer Society – Mammograms and Other Breast Imaging Tests
  4. FDA – Mammography Facility Database

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