Does Medicare pay for bone density testing?

Healthy bones are essential at any age. As we get older, having strong bones can take a little more than just drinking a glass of milk each morning. Did you know Medicare can help protect your bones?

Medicare can help you prevent or detect osteoporosis at an early stage. The first step is talking to your doctor to see if you need or are eligible for a bone mass measurement test. This test will see if you are at risk for broken bones.

If you are at risk or meet one of the following conditions, the test will be covered by Medicare Part B once every 24 months (or more if medically necessary).

  • You’re a woman, and your doctor has declared you’re estrogen deficient.
  • Your X-rays show the potential of osteoporosis, osteopenia, or vertebral fractures.
  • Your current or future treatments include taking prednisone or steroid-type drugs.
  • You have primary hyperparathyroidism.
  • You are currently experiencing osteoporosis drug therapy and are being monitored to see if it is working.

Some other habits to incorporate into your lifestyle to help protect your bones include:

  • The average person should have 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Women over 50 and men over 70 should be having 1,200 mg per day. So, try adding calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, and kale to your diet.
  • Taking a vitamin D supplement. It is pretty common to be vitamin D deficient, so one of the best ways to get it is through a supplement. Vitamin D will help to absorb the calcium you are eating.
  • Exercise regularly for 30 to 60 minutes per day. Balance related exercises, such as yoga can help improve your balance, which will help prevent falls. Being on your feet, in general, will help to strengthen your bones. So, head outside, get that vitamin D, and go for a walk or run. If that isn’t your style, you could even dance around your living room!
  • Don’t smoke or drink excessively. Substance abuse can cause loss of bone mineral density.
  • Be cautious of your risk. Family history, medical conditions, and weight can influence your risk for osteoporosis. Ask your doctor about discussing your risk.

Our experts are here to answer all of your Medicare questions. Call your local Avery Hall office if you are interested in learning more about your specific Medicare plan!

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