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Medicare requires patients to meet certain criteria to be eligible to have a lung cancer screening covered.

In early 2015, a new Medicare policy went into effect that covers the cost of annual lung cancer screening for eligible patients. Additionally, most private insurance companies will cover patients meeting eligibility criteria.

Criteria

Under US Preventive Service Task Force Screening Guidelines, patients must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Age 50-80 years old
  • Have smoked at least 20 pack years (1 pack year = smoking 1 pack per day for a year)
  • Be a current smoker, or have quit within the past 15 years

Medicare Patients must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Age 55-80 years old
  • Have smoked at least 30 pack years (1 pack year = smoking 1 pack per day for a year)
  • Be a current smoker, or have quit within the past 15 years

Please note: We also evaluate patients with other exposures and risk factors (like asbestos exposure or a family history of lung cancer) who aren’t sure if they would be eligible for screening based on these criteria. If you’re interested in screening, but not sure that you would be eligible, please contact the clinic to make a shared decision making appointment.

For more information about eligibility and the screening exam, see the What Should I Expect at my Visit? page.

Appointments

To make an appointment as a new patient, please call the UNC Lung Cancer Screening Clinic at (919) 966-3383