Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of diseases that cause breathing problems, like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. In the United States, tobacco smoke is a key factor in the development and progression of COPD. Having COPD significantly increases your risk of severe illness from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
A test for COPD can help you detect it early, when treatment works best. It can also help you understand your risk for severe illness if you get COVID-19. 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 don’t have signs or symptoms of lung cancer (or you’re “asymptomatic”).
- 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 your doctor.
You pay nothing for this screening if your doctor accepts
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. Learn more and breathe better knowing Medicare is here to help. You can also learn how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.