During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we want to talk about screening tests – the best ways to check for signs of a health problem before you experience symptoms. Getting regular screenings for breast cancer can help catch cancer early when it’s most treatable. Screenings that you need depend on factors including age, gender and family health history. Talk with your primary care provider (PCP) to get the screening you need and learn more about breast cancer screening and Medicare from the Aspire Health Medicare Advantage plan team.
Breast cancer screening recommendations
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early are regular mammograms, known as x-ray pictures of the breast. Mammograms can detect cancer up to three years before it can be felt. If you’re a woman, the team at Montage Health’s Carol Hatton Breast Care Center recommends yearly mammograms starting at age 40 to screen for breast cancer. If you have questions about breast cancer screening or risk factors, always ask your doctor or healthcare provider here in Monterey County.
Medicare costs for breast cancer screening
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Original Medicare covers:
- One baseline mammogram if you’re a woman between ages 35-39,
- Screening mammograms once every 12 months if you’re a woman age 40 or older and
- Diagnostic mammograms more frequently than once a year, if determined medically necessary.
If your doctor accepts Medicare, the cost of the screening mammogram is covered in full, and you would be responsible for 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for a diagnostic mammogram, and your Part B deductible would apply.
Medicare Advantage plans cover the same services as original Medicare. Just remember specific coverage varies by plan. Aspire Health Medicare Advantage plan members can reach out to Member Services with any questions about coverage for breast cancer screening.
Breast cancer screening in Monterey County
For those living in Monterey County, the Nancy Ausonio Mammography Center and the Carol Hatton Breast Care Center are two local facilities that specialize in women’s healthcare services. From all-female staff to spa-like waiting areas, both offer caring employees who strive to make your visit as comfortable and stress free as possible.
Lifestyle factors to lower breast cancer risk
While some risk factors including age, family history, genetic mutation and reproductive history cannot change your breast cancer risk, the CDC points out that there are other risk factors that you can change. These include lack of physical activity, being overweight or obese, taking hormones, drinking alcohol or reproductive history. If you want help in making meaningful lifestyle changes that can positively impact your health while also lowering your risk of breast cancer, make sure you reach out to your enhanced care team including health coaches, available to Aspire Health Medicare Advantage Plan members at no-cost. Our team of caring, knowledgeable health professionals can help you achieve your health goals through convenient, one-on-one telephonic support.
For all matters related to your medical health, we recommend contacting your doctor or healthcare provider directly.