Medicare is a type of insurance available to seniors aged 65 and older and people with certain disabilities. In general, Medicare solely covers medically necessary services. Many dermatologist services fall under this category. Here are three types of dermatological care you can receive if you hold Medicare insurance:
1. Full-Body Screenings
Skin cancer is a serious concern. Some people are at greater risk of developing skin cancer due to their fair complexion, family history, and prior skin cancer diagnoses. People at high risk for skin cancer are advised to have their entire body checked by a dermatologist annually. People without these risk factors may also want to submit to full-body screenings as a preventative measure.
Ordinarily, Medicare does not cover preventative services like full body dermatological examinations. However, some people purchase supplemental Medicare insurance. Many supplemental Medicare plans cover full-body screenings.
2. Skin Biopsies
If you or your dermatologist discover a suspicious mole on your skin, your dermatologist may request a biopsy. During a biopsy, your dermatologist will inject a local anesthetic into your skin. They will remove a tissue sample from the suspicious mole or lesion. The sample will be tested for cancerous cells in a lab. Skin biopsies are necessary for the diagnosis of skin cancer, so they are covered by Medicare.
3. Skin Cancer Treatment
If your biopsy comes back positive for cancer, you will need treatment. Skin cancer treatment comes in many different forms. Surgical excision is usually the first line of treatment. Surgical excision is similar to a biopsy, but more tissue will be removed. The goal of skin cancer surgery is to remove as much of the tumor from your body as possible. If your dermatologist cannot remove all of the skin cancer, or if your cancer has spread to other parts of your body, you may require chemotherapy, radiation treatment, or some combination of the two.
Your dermatologist will decide what treatment is right for you based on the extent of your cancer. Skin cancer treatment is covered by Medicare. Your Medicare insurance may even cover hospitalization if you need to check into a hospital during the course of your cancer treatment.
Your skin health is important, and Medicare insurance can help you protect it. When you understand the limits of your Medicare coverage, you can utilize your insurance more fully. Don't be afraid to seek treatment for these necessary medical procedures. Contact a Medicare dermatologist to learn more.