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Does Medicare Cover Skin Cancer Screening?

Medicare does not cover skin cancer screening for people with no symptoms. However, Medicare Part B does cover doctor visits when you have a skin cancer concern.

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Different Types of Skin Cancers

First, let's learn about the different types of skin cancers. Then discover what skin cancer looks like and what dermatologists do to diagnose it.

The most serious type of skin cancer is melanoma. Other types of nonmelanoma skin cancers are considered less dangerous .

Skin Cancer and Medicare FAQs

What are the signs of Melanoma?

Melanoma can appear on any part of your body, including your eyes and internal organs. You can use the ABCDE memory aid for warning signs of melanoma on your skin.

  • Asymmetry: a shape where one half does not match the other half

  • Border: a place where the edges are not smooth

  • Color: skin color is uneven and may have shades of brown, black, gray, red, or white

  • Diameter: the area is larger than the tip of a pencil eraser (6mm)

  • Evolving: a spot is new or changes in size, shape, or color

What Does Basal Cell Look Like?

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) often appears in areas exposed to the sun – for example, your

head/face and neck. BCC can look different from person to person and may look like the


  • An open sore that does not heal

  • A shiny bump

  • Reddish patch

  • A scar-like area that is flat white, yellow or waxy in color

  • A small pink growth with slightly raised, rolled edge and a crusted indentation in the center

What Does Squamous Cell Carcinoma Look Like?

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) may look different from one person to another. I can look like the following:

  • A scaly red patch with irregular borders

  • An elevated growth with a central depression

  • An open sore that persists for weeks

  • A wart-like growth

SCC legions may crust over, itch or bleed. They commonly appear in sun-exposed areas of your skin.

Does Medicare Cover Skin Cancer Biopsies?

Medicare Part B does cover skin cancer biopsies when your doctor orders this diagnostic test. To diagnose skin cancer, a doctor removes (biopsies) the tissue and sends it to the lab. If they find cancer cells, your biopsy report will tell you what type of skin cancer you have.

When to See a Dermatologist?

Whenever you see skin changes that concern you, make an appointment with a dermatologist (skin doctor).

For Medicare cancer coverage questions, please call Senior Healthcare Direct at 1-833-463-3262, TTY 711 and speak with a licensed agent. You can also get a quote, and we will contact you.

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