Blood tests play a crucial role in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of a large number of diseases. Many patients and doctors rely on blood test results to create a holistic treatment plan geared toward overall wellness, but blood tests can also be vital when determining whether a current treatment is effective or not.
Blood testing is typically a quick and virtually painless procedure, and in just one visit, a relatively small amount of blood can provide a wealth of knowledge to healthcare providers. Because blood testing is so important, many Medicare recipients wonder whether or not their laboratory and diagnostic testing will be covered by their insurance as blood testing is utilized so frequently in the world of medicine.
Does Medicare Cover Blood Tests?
In the vast majority of cases, blood testing is covered by Medicare Part B. Part B (Medical Insurance) provides benefits for medically necessary care administered in a physician’s office or in an outpatient clinical setting. Blood work that has been ordered by a doctor can be considered necessary for a variety of reasons, and as long as you have been provided with official lab orders, your testing should be covered by Medicare. It’s important to make this distinction because Medicare benefits often aren’t available for lab testing that a patient has sought out on his or her own.
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) may also provide coverage for blood testing when such tests are administered in a hospital or skilled nursing facility setting. This may be the result of a temporary stay during recovery from a procedure or after an emergency requiring a hospital stay.
Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage does not provide any coverage for blood testing because this part of Medicare is designed only to address prescription medications that are provided at retail pharmacies. It’s worth noting that some blood tests can provide improper readings due to medications, so always clarify with your physician what medications to take and which to avoid prior to having your blood drawn.
Medicare Provides For More Than Just Blood Testing
Aside from simple and routine blood testing, Medicare benefits also offer coverage for a range of associated diagnostic tests, including urinalysis, tissue testing and screenings for certain diseases when a medical order has been provided. This essentially means that Medicare recipients are able to receive diagnostic services for almost any illness with a doctor’s orders as long as the testing is medically necessary and carried out at a Medicare-approved facility.
Finally, while Medicare Part B does cover the majority of blood testing, diagnostic testing and screening, additional services may be covered through benefits under a Medicare Advantage plan.