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Medicare covers dermatology services that are medically necessary. In other words, if you need dermatological services to diagnose or treat a skin condition, Medicare will likely cover it.
Dermatology services for cosmetic purposes are generally not covered unless they’re needed to treat a skin disorder. Medicare also doesn’t cover preventive skin checks.
What dermatology services does Medicare cover?
Medicare doesn’t cover preventive screenings for skin cancer unless you or a doctor has spotted something worrisome. But if your doctor refers you or you’ve got a suspicious-looking mole, Medicare may cover the visit.
Medicare may also cover dermatology visits for treatment of certain skin conditions, including:
Malignant mole removal.
Skin tag removal if medically needed.
Does Medicare cover cosmetic procedures?
Generally, if you have a skin condition treated only because you don’t like the way it looks, Medicare will not cover it. However, some cosmetic services may be covered if they’re medically necessary, but they may require prior authorization.
For instance, Medicare may cover surgery on varicose veins or Botox to treat excessive sweating — but your medical provider may have to make the case that you need the procedure.
Does Medicare Advantage cover dermatology?
Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover everything that Medicare covers, but they also have the option of offering additional benefits. If you have Medicare Advantage, call your plan to see what dermatology services it covers.
What part of Medicare covers dermatology?
Outpatient dermatology services are typically covered under Medicare Part B, which is your medical insurance. Under Part B, you’ll be responsible for a deductible — $226 in 2023 — and 20% of Medicare-approved charges for the visit or treatment.
If you have Medigap, your plan may cover some or all of your Part B costs, other than the deductible. (If you have Medigap Plan C or Plan F, those cover the Part B deductible, but they’re no longer sold to new enrollees.)
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, dermatology visits may be subject to a different deductible and may require a copay or coinsurance.
What Medicare covers
Medicare covers a lot of things — but not everything. Find out where Medicare stands in the following areas: