Medicare covers cholesterol testing as part of the covered cardiovascular screening blood tests. Medicare also includes tests for lipid and triglyceride levels. These tests are covered once every 5 years.

However, if you have a diagnosis of high cholesterol, Medicare Part B will usually cover continuing blood work to monitor your condition and your response to prescribed medication.

Cholesterol medication is usually covered by Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage).

Keep reading to learn more about what Medicare covers to help diagnose and prevent cardiovascular disease.

The cholesterol test is used to estimate your risk for heart disease and blood vessel disease. The test will help your doctor evaluate your total cholesterol and your:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Also known as “bad” cholesterol, LDL in high quantities can cause the buildup of plaques (fatty deposits) in your arteries. These deposits can reduce blood flow and can sometimes rupture, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Also known as “good” cholesterol, HDL helps carry away LDL cholesterol and other “bad” lipids to be flushed from the body.
  • Triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood that is stored in fat cells. At high enough levels, triglycerides may increase risk of heart disease or diabetes.

Cholesterol testing isn’t the only thing Medicare covers to help identify, prevent, and treat cardiovascular disease.

Medicare will also cover an annual visit with your primary care doctor for behavioral therapy, such as suggestions for a heart-healthy diet.

Medicare covers other prevention and early detection services — many at no charge — to help you identify health problems early. Catching diseases early can maximize the success of the treatment.

These tests include:

Preventive servicesCoverage
abdominal aortic aneurysm screening1 screening for people with risk factors
alcohol misuse screening and counseling1 screen and 4 brief counseling sessions per year
bone mass measurement1 every 2 years for people with risk factors
colorectal cancer screeningshow often is determined by the test and your risk factors
depression screening1 per year
diabetes screening1 for those at high risk; based on test results, up to 2 per year
diabetes self-management trainingif you have diabetes and a written doctor’s order
flu shots1 per flu season
glaucoma tests1 per year for people with risk factors
hepatitis B shotsseries of shots for people at medium or high risk
hepatitis B virus infection screeningfor high risk, 1 per year for continued high risk; for pregnant women: 1st prenatal visit, time of delivery
hepatitis C screeningfor those born 1945–1965; 1 per year for high risk
HIV screeningfor certain age and risk groups, 1 per year; 3 during pregnancy
lung cancer screening test 1 per year for qualified patients
mammogram screening (breast cancer screening)1 for women 35–49; 1 per year for women 40 and older
medical nutrition therapy servicesfor qualified patients (diabetes, kidney disease, kidney transplant)
Medicare diabetes prevention programfor qualified patients
obesity screening and counselingfor qualified patients (BMI of 30 or more)
Pap test and pelvic exam (also includes a breast exam)1 every 2 years; 1 per year for those at high risk
prostate cancer screenings1 per year for men over 50
pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine1 vaccine type; other vaccine type covered if given 1 year after first
tobacco use counseling and tobacco-caused disease8 per year for tobacco users
wellness visit1 per year

If you register at MyMedicare.gov, you can get direct access to your preventive health information. This includes a 2-year calendar of the Medicare-covered tests and screenings you’re eligible for.

Every 5 years, Medicare will cover costs to test your cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride levels. These tests can help determine your risk level for cardiovascular disease, stroke, or heart attack.

Medicare covers other preventive services as well, from wellness visits and mammogram screenings to colorectal cancer screenings and flu shots.

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