Nov 20, 2018

COPD—Knowing more can help you breathe easier

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of diseases that cause breathing problems, like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. People with COPD are more likely to have difficulty walking or climbing stairs, be unable to work, and have other chronic diseases, like diabetes or heart disease.

To help you detect COPD early, when treatment works best, Medicare Part B covers a lung cancer screening with Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) once per year if you meet all of these conditions:

  • You’re 55-77
  • You’re asymptomatic (you don’t have signs or symptoms of lung cancer)
  • You’re either a current smoker or have quit smoking in the last 15 years
  • You have a tobacco smoking history of at least 30 “pack years” (an average of one pack a day for 30 years)
  • You get a written order from their doctor

You pay nothing for this service if your doctor accepts assignment.

If you’ve already been diagnosed with moderate to severe COPD, Part B covers a pulmonary rehabilitation program. These services help you breathe better, make you stronger, and help you live more independently. You’re covered as long as you have Part B and a referral from your doctor.

November is National COPD Awareness Month. Breathe easier knowing Medicare is here to help.