The large population of Medicare beneficiaries across the country can benefit from Medicare coverage of electrocardiograms (EKGs). Due to heart disease being the leading cause of deaths in the United States, EKGs can detect heart complications or abnormalities in earlier stages.
Most Americans with heart disease are suffering from coronary artery disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that coronary artery disease (CAD) is most common in older American’s with heart issues.
Ironically, many will unknowingly live with CAD until they have a heart attack or stroke. Good news is, being proactive can prevent potential life-threatening emergencies from occurring.
Medicare Coverage of Electrocardiograms (EKGs)
It’s possible to need testing such as an EKG at least once within a person’s lifetime.
Using electrocardiograms, doctors can determine more valuable information about the heart’s health. Having a clear understanding of a patient’s heart condition is vital to properly treat them.
Fortunately for beneficiaries, Medicare covers the costs of electrocardiogram testing (under certain guidelines).
Regular visits to the doctor will likely include diagnostic testing. Your doctor will order tests according to health history and overall condition. Your healthcare provider will order some routine diagnostic tests as a preventative care strategy.
Once the tests are over, your doctor will review the results with you. Make sure to ask any questions and address concerns during this visit to avoid missing important information.
Medicare will provide coverage for diagnostic testing when your doctor orders them as “medically necessary”.
Taking the proper steps and working with your healthcare providers is the best way to maintain a proactive and heart-healthy lifestyle. However, some may still have a greater risk for heart disease than others for reasons out of their control.
For instance, a higher risk is found in people with a family history of heart disease, or those older in age. Nonetheless, these two risk factors aren’t anything you can control. On the other hand, you do have control over other potential risk factors.
Starting with simple lifestyle changes is the best preventative. Changes should aim to increase your overall health, by breaking bad habits.
For example, if you smoke, quit with the help of coverage for smoking cessation. If you don’t regularly exercise, go for a short 30-minute walk at least once a day. Walking/being active will boost heart health.
Making small changes to your daily routine can help control and prevent possible complications or the worsening of any health condition(s).
The Silent Attack
Commonly enough, many people don’t even realize they have heart disease until after having a heart attack or stroke. Sometimes, individuals visit the hospital for a separate complaint and the doctor may order an EKG test. Only to find an underlying potential issue.
In many cases, without your doctor’s professional opinion and care, it’s very difficult to know if you’re having heart complications. Therefore, regular visits to your doctor are crucially important to your overall health.
EKGs Help Doctors Detect Heart Disease
If you’re at risk for coronary artery disease or already have heart problems, diagnostic testing is something to become familiar with.
More than just a test, EKGs are a type of heart scan. Recording the electrical activity of the heart. In turn, showing how fast or slow your heart is beating. Doctors can see the strength and timing of the electrical impulses that pass through every part of the heart.
EKG’s test for previous heart attacks, current heart attacks in progress (if any) and other potential health issues posing a threat to your future health. Using this tool, recovery is faster and more successful because health problems are most often found in the earliest stages.
Doctors use EKGs in routine exams to screen patients for heart disease. However, they also help doctors track and record the progress of a disease.
The benefits are exceptional, sometimes allowing doctors to detect things you were both unaware of. Therefore, EKGs have the potential to save someone’s life.
Medicare Coverage for Electrocardiograms
After the initial “Welcome to Medicare” visit, your doctor may refer you for an EKG screening. Medicare Part B will cover the costs for a one-time EKG screening. Every Medicare beneficiary has a one-time cost-free visit to meet with their doctor to discuss health history.
Furthermore, you may receive a referral for a heart scan in the future. This will depend on your current health condition/history or family medical history. In this case, Medicare covers costs as your doctor believes the screening is medically necessary.
Beneficiaries with Original Medicare coverage must meet their Part B deductible before coverage begins. Once the deductible is met, Part B covers 80% of the cost of service. While the beneficiary is responsible for the remaining 20% of costs.
Contrarily, receiving an EKG at a hospital or similar inpatient facility may come with a copayment prior to treatment.
Medicare Supplemental Plans and EKG Coverage
Medicare Supplement and Advantage (MA) plan enrollees may have different out-of-pocket costs than those of Original Medicare. Each plan has its own coverage options.
Some MA plans don’t provide any coverage for EKG screenings. Beneficiaries with these MA plans are responsible to pay out-of-pocket for the costs of screenings.
Moreover, other MA plans provide some coverage for heart scans, but not all. Patients are responsible for the remaining balance after their plan pays its portion. Often with MA plans, beneficiaries must pay a deductible cost as well.
Medicare Advantage plans are alternative options to receive Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Many Supplement plans have lower costs than Original Medicare.
Medicare Supplement plans work side by side with Medicare coverage and might aid in paying out of pocket costs. This is a great option to consider if budget or income is a determining factor in plan choice.
Reducing Risk for CAD or Heart Disease
If you’re suffering from heart disease, consider making some realistic adjustments to your daily lifestyle. You may benefit from certain medications to help your condition. Certain surgery options can even help manage and prevent more serious complications in the future.
If Heart disease goes without treatment for long enough, the results can be fatal. Your healthcare provider may suggest different methods to try. These suggestions can help lower your risk for heart attacks or further progression in any pre-existing heart disease or conditions.
Lifestyle changes can be minor or more significant. Try to reduce the fat and sodium intake in your diet or maybe even increase your physical activity for the week.
Talk to your doctor about medications that can reduce high cholesterol, blood pressure, irregular heartbeats or low blood flow. More intense changes may include surgical procedures.
Additional Medicare Coverage for Electrocardiograms
Those with heart issues that took place before Medicare coverage understand the costs associated with cardiologist care. To ensure you have the most comprehensive coverage contact an insurance agent at the number above.
Our team of experts cares about making Medicare as simple as possible by answering your questions and walking you through enrollment.
Don’t delay enrollment, the best time to purchase coverage is now. You’re never going to be younger and healthier than today, therefore coverage will be more affordable today than in a year.
If calling an agent right this second is too much of a hassle, we got your back, fill out an online rate form and begin the process to better coverage.